In the middle of teaching about dependent clauses yesterday afternoon, my cell phone rang, vibrating my entire desk. Whenever my phone rings or vibrates during the day my throat tightens and my hands shake with anticipation hoping it's the adoption agency with good news. Usually it's a telemarketer, so I don't get too worked up anymore. Casually, I sauntered to my desk and checked the caller ID. "Unavailable" read the screen. Without skipping a beat, I kept teaching. Soon, my phone buzzed once indicating a voice mail. While students were doing board drills, I asked my para if she minded if I checked my voice mail in the hall. "This is Kim with the Nebraska Children's Home..." began the voice mail. Immediately tears filled my eyes. I hung up the phone, ran into my room, begged my para to cover for me, and I fled to Nate's room. I grabbed him so we could listen to the voice mail together. "Your profile..a couple...medical condition with the baby...give us a call back"---the adrenaline in my body wouldn't stop pumping, my limbs tight, my heart racing. We couldn't call the agency back right away since we both had classes to attend to, so we agreed to call during the last period of the day (our free periods).
I think it's some cruel, unwritten rule that caseworkers not answer the phone whenever prospective adoptive parents call. I left a message and tried to go about the last period of the day, working haphazardly, my mind wondering to all the possibilities that lay ahead.
The bell rang at 3:05 and students filed into my room for Extended School Day...I meandered around the room, explaining problems, giving make-up quizzes, answering questions, settling students in. At 3:15 my phone buzzed. The caller ID read "Unavailable." I answered--despite the fact seven students were watching me. The caseworker began to spell out the details, and I tried to tune out the seven rowdy kids and focus instead on her words. Using flailing arm movements, I tried hushing the kids...and failed. I asked the case worker if she would please hang on, ran into my co-worker's classroom next door, and blurted out (in front of another teacher and a student), "It's the agency...please cover my class!" Within a matter of seconds I was scribbling down two pages of medical history, trying to get every detail down.
From there, everything's a blur.
The caseworker called to ask if she could share our profile with a couple whose baby was due December 24th. The couple seemed like a great fit for us, but the baby had major medical issues. Originally we marked we were alright with these issues, but it's protocol (and a good one at that) for the agency to inform prospective adoptive parents of these situations prior to handing out profiles to birth parents. It was decision time. We had the chance to take a risk and share our profile with this couple or not. Saying yes meant the possibility of having a child by Christmas...allowing me to fulfill my dream of being a mom and of giving kitschy Grandma and Grandpa coffee mugs to my parents as Christmas gifts. But it also meant parenting a child (our first child) with major medical issues that we knew only a little about. Saying no meant we go back to waiting...something I'm terrible at.
Last night Nate and I prayed, cried, prayed more, read Bible passages, cried, talked, prayed, and cried...until 12 AM when we made our decision. We prayed after we made our decision and held each other tightly until sleep came.
This morning I showered and readied for work in a daze. During my quiet time this morning, I cried and prayed that God would make me strong in my weakness (Paul's prayer in 2 Corinthians 12), that our decision would bring Him glory.
It's back to waiting for us. Another Christmas spent childless.
I started my first period class this morning while choking back tears, the insides of my cheeks raw from biting them in order to keep from crying. Recognizing my somber, unstable demeanor, my students settled in quickly and focused the entire period. I'm glad I stuck out the day at school--no matter how maddening my job can be, I love my students. The day was easier to get through because of them. When I got home from work, there was a package in the mailbox from my mom containing a card and a book of encouraging Bible verses (though we did not share yesterday's events until now), and an early Christmas package of goodies from Trader Joe's from our good friends, Micah and Amee. It's funny how God works...He used the people we love in our lives to bring us joy and comfort at just the right time.
While the past 24 hours have been frustrating, confusing, exhausting, etc---I feel a strange sense of peace tonight. Maybe it's because I have no more tears left to shed, but I suspect this peace has more to do with God and less to do with me.