Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Divine Appointment...

(Many times I stay up much later than my family, typing away on the keys of my laptop.  Words... I am a girl of words and I often have trouble sleeping until they all spill out across the screen.  Some days the words don't come as easily as others.  Some days I have trouble keeping up with my thoughts despite the fact that I type more than 70 wpm.  Not everything is published.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to say how many of my posts stay in draft form.  But I figured I'd start sharing some periodically....) 

I have several stories of Divine Appointments that have happened over the years. In most of them, I was the one learning the lesson. Sometimes the lesson wasn't clear at first, but over time, it's become more clear.

I've only shared this Appointment with very, very close friends. But now I feel led to share this story more openly. I pray it helps someone... and that God uses it for His glory.

Last year, when we matched with Xander we immediately went to the hospital to meet our son. Since his birthmother had been discharged, he was in the nursery and the hospital's policy stated that no one under the age of 18 was allowed in the nursery unless they were the child's parents. This policy was put in place because other babies are in and out of the nursery and they didn't want a lot of visitors in and out and exposing the babies to germs. It was heartbreaking but the girls looked at him through the window and Brandon and I had to take turns going back to spend time with Xander.

We knew Xander would be in the hospital for a bit and Brandon was flying out for work that Sunday, so the girls went to my Aunt's to visit. Without this arrangement I would be unable to hold Xander for that week since we still had no babysitter here. We wanted to get a jump start on bonding and spend that precious time with him so we were thankful that my Aunt offered to care for the girls. (And the girls didn't mind going to visit at all!)

So I was visiting Xander in the hospital and I was there most of my day. I would wait until he fell back asleep to go make phone calls, use the restroom and grab a bite to eat.

One day in particular, he dozed off and I was thankful because I really, really had to use the restroom. But when I went to lay him down, I felt that I must not leave the nursery. Unsure why, I sat down and rocked him some more.

As I rocked and thought about how some babies were born drug exposed, my heart started to harden towards their mothers. How on earth can anyone do that to their babies? I wrestled with my judgements and continued to rock. I felt anger rise up in my chest and my heart started beating fast.

Less than 5 minutes passed, and in came another mother. I smiled and scooted my rocking chair over a foot so that her rocking chair wouldn't thump the wall each time it rocked back and forth. I watched her ask the nurse if there was somewhere to put her frozen meal that she had tucked into her jacket. I saw her look at her baby and bring him to her lips and kiss him. I saw her coo to him. She asked me Xander's name and said I looked wonderful having just delivered. At that point, I explained that I was his adoptive mother. She smiled and looked down at her baby. She grabbed a baby wipe and carefully wiped spit up off of her baby's face.

The nurse came in and the mother asked about her son. The nurse looked my direction and asked if she wanted her to speak in front of me or if she wanted me to leave the room. I got up and said that I'd excuse myself to give her privacy. The mother said not to leave, to keep rocking my new baby son and gave me half a smile. I insisted and so did she. She begged me to stay.

It wasn't long before I realized that her baby was exposed to drugs while she was pregnant. And he was in the process of withdrawing too. She was visibly upset and the tears started falling.

I saw how harshly the nurse spoke to her.  I heard the terse responses.  

The nurse walked out of the room and the mother met eyes with me. I had tears falling too. In my head, I started pleading for my tears to stay in my head.. and not to bubble over. But she kept looking at me and I couldn't break my eye contact with her.

She was upset. She shook while she held him.  She was sad to see her baby in such a state. I'd go so far as to say that she was devastated.

And I felt terrible. Immediately terrible. Convicted.   How dare I judge another mother. Goodness knows, I sure hadn't been a "perfect" mother to my two girls.  I hadn't done drugs, but I fell short other ways.

My heart began to soften.  She explained without me asking, that her cousin was going to adopt her baby. She had several children at home and had gotten mixed into the drug scene and was really struggling to get out.  She loved her baby but didn't feel like she could care for him.

And my heart broke in two.  I told her I could tell that she loved her baby and that I'd be praying for her.  That I knew with God's help, she could beat addiction.  And she cried and rocked her irritable baby, telling him over and over how very sorry she was.

I'm not going to lie.  When Xander struggles sometimes I get angry with his birthmother and God has often brought the mother in the nursery into mind.  His birthmom surely had her struggles, but then don't we all?

People have asked how I have been able to keep a soft heart towards Xander's birthmom.  I regularly write her letters and send a massive amount of pictures.  That is our arrangement and I've kept up my end of it.   It hasn't been easy to keep a soft heart, but with God's help, it has happened.

Do I wish she had stayed clean during his pregnancy?  Yes.

Am I thankful that she chose to carry his pregnancy despite her status?  ABSOLUTELY! 

See.. I'm not that very different than his birthmom or the mother in the nursery.  I need God too!  I sin, and make (sometimes) really awful choices.  And He is changing me.  Just like He can help both of the birthmother's in this story.

God is sooooooo good.  He can redeem it all.  My God is a healing God.  He can restore what the locusts have eaten.  And I've prayed for each of these birthmothers and myself ever since.  Wouldn't it be something if we get to meet again in Glory?  I'd love it. 


1 comment:

Erika said...

Good grief, Stephanie. This has me in chillbumps all over. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.