Last year, on April 1, 2015, we received the call that we thought would change our lives. It was our adoption coordinator calling to tell us we had been chosen by an expectant couple to adopt their baby boy, due in June. It being April Fools Day, I of course was questionable about this in the beginning: who calls to give great, unbelievable news like that on April 1st? Nonetheless, it proved to be true (at least we thought so at the time) and we felt like the two luckiest people on earth.
The next six weeks were a blur that still traumatizes me at times. Right off the bat problems started flying around like mosquitos at a summer barbeque. The mother wanted to place, but now dad was changing his mind. Grandma was furious that her daughter was placing her grandson for adoption but was unwilling to help with the baby. Mother insisted nothing would stop her from placing. Then it came around that the husband may not be the father. Uh oh. That brought with it a whole new, fun set of awkward and treacherous issues. Conflicts kept arising, and I didn’t know how I was going to keep my nerves from shredding like pulled pork before the due date in June.
As it turned out, I discovered on my own that the whole thing was a scam perpetuated by the expectant parents. I still don’t know to this day why we got to be the lucky couple that fit the bill for their scheme, but we did. When I found out that they had never had any intention of placing their baby for adoption, my world collapsed. I was an emotional wreck. It was one of the lowest times of my life and I just couldn’t bounce back for some reason. I resented the hubs for his ability to grieve and move on. I just grieved. I found it bitterly ironic that the April Fools Day phone call had, in a round about way, ended up being an April Fool. Usually I appreciate irony, but this circumstance only fed my frustration.
Throughout the summer of 2015 I grew anxious and frustrated. I wish that I had the foresight then to see that something bigger and better was waiting for us just around the corner. But my faith was too shaken and I was unable to think it terms of, “That just wasn’t the baby for us. Our baby will be coming any day now!” I wanted to throat punch anyone who even though that silently in the privacy of their own mind. I had been robbed of a baby I considered mine when he never was, and I was determined to stay pissed off about that for as long as I could. Talk about making some unhealthy emotional decisions.
So anxious and emotionally depleted was I that by the last week of August we decided to abort our adoption plans or at least delay them. But God…well, He had another plan. He knew what I did not, which was that the baby that He had intended for me was about to be born. We were about to become a mama and dada for the second time, but only God knew! If only I had allowed my faith to permit me such joy then, in knowing that my broken heart could be whole again. But I didn’t, and I grew. I learned a lot from that experience, and in the future I will be stronger when faced with adversity that I am not meant to understand.
As it turns out, that April Fools Day phone call set into motion some very educational and character building times for me. A day that brought such joy and hope also led to heartache and pain…and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! Just think of it; if that couple had been for real and that adoption had taken place, I wouldn’t have my precious CJ. I would have a different baby, but it wouldn’t be CJ, and he is the baby I know God unquestionably intended us to love and cherish as our very own. There is a popular saying in adoption: You may not have grown in my body, but I grew you in my heart. (There is nothing like a baby to turn a satirist’s heart right to mush, by the way.) And as soon as I looked into those swollen new baby eyes, I knew he was mine and it was always meant to be that way. This was the baby my heart had longed for all those months, not the one that was lost the previous spring. My heart and soul were not pining for just any baby, they were pining for my baby, the one in my arms. The one that grew in my heart.
So, instead of reviling April Fools Day every year for the rest of my life, I will celebrate it. I will mark it as the day that put us on the path to our destiny; the marvelous unparalleled gift of raising this remarkable baby boy and the honor of being able to call him our son. The wondrous gift of each other that E and CJ have as brothers. The life CJ will have in a family that considers ourselves the lucky ones because he is a key part of it. Beauty arose from ashes and I will never take that for granted. I might be the luckiest woman alive! So do your worst, April Fools Day. I think I have you beat.
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*cover image “You Grew in My Heart” borrowed from Hazelnut Cottage on Etsy