I was driving when it hit me. The ground was covered in white powder. A chill was in the air. Christmas time smells waft about every store entrance. Yet my mind was stayed on one thing: A random thought that took root suddenly transforming my perspective.
I am a rainbow baby.
I was conceived after loss. The bone deep pain of miscarrying a child was soothed in a way with my expectancy. I’ve heard the story all my life. I’ve been told how my sibling resides in Heaven waiting to meet us. The stories of how my first kick brought sudden joy after the unexpected loss of my grandfather. How my great grandmother died before I was born, yet I arrived on the her first birthday spent in Heaven; bringing joy to my family on a day that should have been filled with sorrow. These stories of how I received my middle name because my presence was a source of joy on gloomy days. Yet, never had I connected the dots to refer to myself as a rainbow baby.
Adoption is born out of loss. The severed loss of biological ties for the child and sometimes an adoptive family’s bout with infertility. We’ve had so many ask if infertility was the reason we pursued adoption. The answer is no. For us, that was never an issue. In fact, the depression I experienced in my first pregnancy (which in part drove us to adopt) came about by how quickly I became pregnant. My crisis was rooted in how I didn’t feel* ready for the changes occurring.
Another thought hit me yesterday as we sat in church behind a couple with twin baby girls. I would guess they were around three months old. I could probably tell you their age if I’d been brave enough to approach them and share how much I enjoyed watching them. But I was too wrapped up in my own sadness of longing. So I didn’t.
Why did God call us two years ago to this journey for us to sit here in this undefined space of waiting?
I’ve pondered this question for a solid twenty-four hours. One one hand, I’m no closer to an actual answer now than I was when it hit me. On the other hand I, once again, have assurance of two things: One, God is good at being God. He has impeccable timing. It just isn’t the same as my own desired timeline. Second, no tear is wasted. I may not know it now – or ever – but there is purpose in this wait. Maybe, just maybe, we needed to experience some loss – loss of our ideal and our control, the loss of potential matches and the directions we thought our story might go – to more fully appreciate the abundance of God’s design in His adoption plan taking root here.
I struggled through the day yesterday with tears brimming at every turn. It was another day filled with questions and doubt and longing. In part, I blame the dreamy places I allowed my mind to travel as I watched those adorable little girls. In other ways, its because of my own perceived notions of chastisement in the waiting. But then my phone dinged with a notification. I’d been waiting for an email, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw I had one. I was however at the sender: The adoption agency.
This week, our profile book will be presented to a mom due smack dab in the middle of our birthday extravaganza – the two week span into which all four of our family birthdays fall as well as several extended family members. I know, it sounds crazy! Why ask for yet another birthday to land in the midst of that? My concern turned prayer all along this journey has been that our adopted child would not feel ostracized with a birthday landing at the opposite end of the calendar. To some children that might seem better. To others, like I was as a child, it would feel like an exclusion from the family.
So, here we are.
Will you join us?
This will be the third time our profile book is presented. It could very easily be dismissed yet again. This child may not be destined to be ours. But then again, it may. My prayer throughout all of this has been that when it is our turn to be chosen, the child in their mother’s womb would leap for joy. I pray this would be a sign and a source of peace to her that we are the right family for her child.
Who knows, maybe this child is our rainbow baby.
Whether that’s the case or not, I can say with certainty: This year, the season of advent, the mounting anticipation awaiting the Savior’s birth, is not lost on me. God was doing something amazing in the years of waiting for the Messiah. He’s doing something amazing now.
*Crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. I emphasize the feeling words because it was anxiety that brought on my depression; a crisis rooted in my emotions not in my circumstances. I want to be very clear on that because though I feel I can empathize through personal experience – not relate – with a mother in a crisis pregnancy on the emotional toll depression can have in unexpected pregnancy situations, I cannot and will not attempt to link ourselves in any way circumstantially.
Curious how this whole thing works?
Here’s the generalized gist:
- Expectant mom, and when possible dad, are counseled by the adoption agency on whether or not creating an adoption plan is right for their child.
- A few adoptive families with matching criteria are approached with each given situation and asked for permission to present their personalized profile book to said mom/couple.
- Typically only a few profile books (created by the adoptive families) are presented at a time. If she chooses to make an adoption plan, she selects a family.
- From there, things can vary depending on the situation. Sometimes they desire to meet with the adoptive family, sometimes not. Specifics are sketchy, but once the two are officially “matched” monies are paid from adoptive family to the agency for processing fees and expectant mom for specific living expenses.
- Then, upon the child’s birth and subsequent placement in the adoptive family’s home, the largest sum of finances are due to help cover additional fees, legal requirements, post placement living expenses for mom, etc.
- Follow-up visits occur with the adoptive family until the adoption is finalized as well as with mom (as long as she’s willing).