Where I left off.
Sometimes you have to pick up where you left off.
Even if that means over a year behind,
so today I bring you part 3 of our story.
I believe that the reason I hesitated to share this part of our story is because it is so very intimate.
It is the rubber meets the road of adoption.
It's the one life laid down for another.
This part of our story is deeply woven with beautiful hope, courage, and rejoicing,
but deep sorrow and surrender.
I actually recommend reading our story from the oldest post to the newest.
It gives a more thorough understanding of our journey.
SO. Picking up from Part two. We had the honor of first meeting K on Memorial Day.
It was magical.
There is just something extraordinary about meeting someone
that you potential could forever be tied to.
We spent the next several months traveling back and forth to her hometown.
Hours were spent on the phone and over text message getting to know each other.
Through it all, there was an understanding that we were all just trying to figure out how to do this.
There are not many blogs, books written on how to get to know, form a relationship with your birth mom, so we were all navigating uncharted territory.
The more time we spent together the more tightly knit we became.
She quickly became like a sister to me, and my love for her was deep, like blood deep.
August quickly approached,
and we all knew that the day we'd meet this little one was coming at us like a bullet train.
There was no stopping it.
As I look back, I honestly am astonished I was not more afraid.
Sure, I had moments of fear.
Moments, sometimes days where I was crippled by the what ifs,
but I had an underlying peace.
I had peace that if this was our Eliana Faith... our little answer to Faith
It would all fall into place.
I was not afraid of K changing her mind.
If she had, I would have still loved her as deeply as I do,
and I knew God would have lead us to our Eliana.
Before we knew it...
the day to travel for the planned c-section was here.
We planned to travel on my sister's birth day and celebrate my sister in K's hometown the day before the scheduled c-section.
I should preface this next part by a couple things.
1. My sister is my best friend. She is the only person on this planet that shares my DNA and has walked out the length of my story. There is no one else on the planet that knows me to the extent that she does.
2. My Sister is a labor and delivery nurse.
3. My Sister's love language is gifts.
I know those sound random, but they are an integral part of this beautifully God written story.
We packed our car August 23, 2011.
We packed our suitcases, and we packed a suitcase for a baby.
We put an empty carseat in the car, and we in faith headed out of town into the unknown.
Again, I remember being nervous, yet I had a deep peace.
We arrived at dinner time on the 23rd.
As we opened the door to K's house, we knew something was up.
In between each sentence, she was having to take a breath and bear down.
I remember looking at my sister, the labor and delivery nurse,
and mouthing, "Oh. crap."
Her response: a head nod.
A head nod from a nurse is never a good thing in this kind of situation.
Ready or Not...
Here we went. We packed bags quickly and headed to the hospital.
One day prior to the scheduled c-section.
K was in active labor.
(We even had to pull out the infant carseat, so we could all fit in the car to get her to the hospital.)
I remember sitting in the back seat thinking,
"Are there hidden video cameras somewhere?!"
It seemed like a movie.
I felt like I should be hanging out of the window screaming at people
"MOVE OVER woman in labor over here!!!"
K was immediately checked into the hospital,
and she was told that she would be having the baby that night.
Holy canoles, for being a girl who likes her ducks all in a row,
my ducks just got blown out of the water!
Was this really happening?! Now?! Like this!!
Watching K labor was difficult. I hated seeing her in physical pain.
I wished I could pull a Freaky Friday and switch spots with her,
so she wouldn't have to hurt.
So... back to my sister. Have I told you how she amazing she is?!
Well, she is an amazing sister and an amazing nurse.
We took turns coaching K through the contractions.
Time marched on, as we waited for them to call her in for the c-section.
If I remember correctly, there were three emergency c-sections that trumped K's,
so she was forced to labor far longer than any person undergoing a c-section should have to.
The time finally came for her c-section, and we were all ready.
Ready to be done with the physical pain.
They wheeled her back into the surgical, delivery room,
and as they did I whispered the scripture I was given for K long before we met her into her ear.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go"
With that I let go of her hand and released her and the baby fully onto the Lord.
Eliana was born a little after 11pm weighing in at 8lb 8oz. of perfection.
On my sister's birthday (Could there be a better birthday present?)
Three hours later, K was ready for us to come meet Eliana.
I love that K was the first to get to see and hold her.
I know most adoptive moms wish it was them, but I love that it was her.
She was able to lay eyes on this beautiful girl for the first time and love her fully.
She was able to love her and see her first.
I had Eliana many years ago in my mind's eye,
so I love that in the physical K was able to be the first.
The ride up the elevator seemed to take forever.
I felt like I had led in my shoes.
The moment was here...
This was the moment I had dreamed about for years.
This was the day I'd meet my daughter.
As we reached the door, I felt like my heart could be heard audibly outside of my chest.
I had already made the decision that I would love this baby without abandon.
I would love without bounds, fully knowing that it could end in heart break.
We entered the room and my eyes immediately met K's.
I just wanted to see in her eyes that she was ok.
In fact, I remember that I had to remind myself that a baby was there.
This picture below speaks volumes.
It speaks much louder and more eloquently than I could ever use words to convey.
This picture is the culmination of years of waiting.
Years of negative pregnancy tests.
Years of longing with seemingly no answer.
Years of unknown.
They are boiled down to this moment.
The moment I first held Eliana.
My world became undone.
I loved her.
I loved her immediately.
I loved her with my entire being.
Our stay in the hospital was short for a c-section.
I spent most of my time loving on K.
I wanted K to spend as much time with Eliana in these hours as she possibly could.
I wanted her to have every moment she could with her to be able to drink her in.
To love her.
That she did. She loved her deeply.
She held her and wept. Held her and kissed her.
This was probably the most emotionally intense days of my life.
I was completely torn apart watching someone I love hurt.
Now, it was the heart hurt.
I hated watching K hurt.
With each tear that fell on Eliana, I felt like it was my fault.
There was a moment where I completely melted down.
I actually left the room and asked the nurse for a private room.
I curled up in the corner of a hospital meeting room,
and I wept.
I wept long and hard.
It was in that time I realized that I was not the source of pain.
I was the beautiful silver lining.
You see God foresaw all of this.
He knew...all those years I lay in bed crying myself to sleep...
He knew K needed and answer to her prayers.
He knew that Eliana would have two mamas.
You see Eliana was chosen by God to be in our family.
Eliana was chosen.
She is so wanted.
K chose life for my sweet baby.
K chose a life with us for her.
Forever, this will be the hardest and most bittersweet decision.
She is the most courageous, most selfless woman I have ever met.
I love that God chose us to be the answer to her prayers.
We are so blessed.
God takes the most bitter of circumstances and makes them sweet for his glory.
He makes Beauty from ashes.
In the end, Love always wins.