I am thrilled and grateful to announce that a new little life has entered our lives:
Born: Tuesday, July 24, 2:38 p.m.
7 lbs., 1 oz., 19 inches long
Adopted into our family (pending subsequent finalization in six months that at this point is just a formality):
Friday, July 27
All I can say is that she is the most beautiful, best baby EVER, and I have so much more to tell you about how the way this situation has unfolded has been such a spiritual, faith-affirming experience.
C., Sophia's birthmom (I will use the term birthmom because that is what C. prefers), is a strong, 28-year old Christian who, after much prayer, felt that if my husband and I were open to it that we should be present at Sophia's birth and involved with the baby during her time at the hospital. At first, we were hesitant because we wanted to guard our own hearts during that time period when Sophia was 100% C.'s daughter and also because we didn't want our presence at the birth/hospital to be intrusive to C.'s time with Sophia or to impart any sense of pressure or obligation to C. (we kept telling C. that even though we would be thrilled to parent Sophia, we would understand and support C. if she had a change of heart and decided to parent Sophia herself). Anyway, we are so thankful that we were able to be there at the birth; it turned out to be an incredible gift to experience her arrival, and I will write more about her birth story later.
The only unfortunate news is that little Sophia is having some health issues and is in NICU at a nearby children's hospital. She is a normal baby, except that she has an anatomical abnormality involving her urethra, etc. The doctors have assured us that the problem is correctable with reconstructive surgery, and in the next week we should get more specifics about what that will entail. As the pediatric urologist explained it to us, Sophia is a basically healthy, beautiful, normal baby who has some plumbing problems that are fixable.
In the short term, the problems caused some scary issues for us all right after her birth when, a few hours afterward, she had to be transported from the hospital where she was born to the children's hospital for emergency surgery to drain urine that had built up and caused her poor belly to be distended to the point that it interfered with the ability of her lungs to expand fully. She got through the surgery like a champ, though, and is doing fine and eating well, although right now she has a tube in her abdomen helping to empty urine for her. She is scheduled for more tests on Monday and we expect her to be in the hospital for at least a good part of next week and perhaps longer.
As you can imagine, the health issues in tandem with the adoption process have been quite a roller coaster ride, but here is the part that is so faith-affirming to me: there was no relational tension whatsoever between us and C. the whole time; to the contrary, we prayed together, communicated extaordinarily well, and totally worked together as a cohesive team to deal with Sophia's health issues. C. had a normal, uncomplicated delivery and was/still is recovering well, but she was stuck in the hospital where she delivered after birth while Sophia was being rushed to the children's hospital across town. She told us to go with Sophia and signed releases so that we could be with Sophia at the hospital and so that the doctors could talk with us directly about Sophia's condition since we had been present with C. at prenatal doctor's appointments and ultrasounds concerning Sophia's condition and could help to answer some of the doctor's and nurse's questions. Also, C.'s cell phone wasn't working properly and for some reason that was the phone number that kept popping up for her in the children's hospital system, so I was able to be right there to hand the doctors the direct phone number to C.'s hospital room whenever they needed to talk with C., such as for consent to Sophia's emergency surgery. I constantly called and updated C., and she was thankful that we could be her eyes and ears at the children's hospital; I usually got information to her more quickly than the doctors did.
There is so much more to write about that whole situation. In short, C. told me that the hospital social worker told her that they had never seen a birthmother and adoptive parents work together in such an amazing way; C. responded that "Well, then, maybe that's because you haven't seen a situation before where those parties asked Jesus to be in the middle of it."
We LOVE Sophia, and what a beautiful blessing from God that we also love C.
We are parents at last, and there's nothing better. I now want to go back to feed my lovely daughter, but in the meantime I will leave you with this: