When we first got the call that we had been chosen by a birth mother (I'll call her K), we learned that she wasn't ready to meet us yet. We were a tad bit disappointed, BUT we could totally understand why she would feel that way. This was a huge decision for her. With it being only 2 months until the birth, the agency let us know it was possible that we may not meet K until the hospital, and in some cases birth mothers even choose to never meet the adoptive parents. So we began to pray for her daily; that she would have peace in her decision, that God would calm her fears, and that we would be able to have an impactful relationship with her.
About three weeks later we got the call that K was ready to meet us! Our agency set the date, which was about 2 weeks away, to meet with our case worker, the pregnancy counselor, and K. Leading up to that was a roller coaster. Some days I was incredibly nervous...what if she doesn't like us? What if we're not the people she thought we were based on our profile book? What if I say something to mess it all up? Other days I was so excited! She was the person carrying our child. She chose us for a reason and we were so thankful for the opportunity to meet her. The closer the day got, the calmer I became.
We headed to Nashville early that morning, exactly one month from her due date. We arrived a tad early and sat in a room by ourselves. K had a doctor's appointment that was running late, so the longer we sat and waited, the more my nerves came back. However, as soon as K walked through the door, they all melted away. I immediately gave K a hug and a bouquet of flowers we brought for her. I said, "These are for you!" She said, "Well, these are for you," and handed me all of her ultrasound photos. That was the first time we saw our daughter. Talk about holding back the tears!!!
We sat down and K began to talk about her doctor's appointment and current state of pregnancy. Her first question for us was if we had chosen a name. For some reason, I was the most nervous about that part of the conversation. We had put a lot of thought into the name Gracen Leigh, but what if she hated it?!? We told her the name and explained how we had landed on it. We wanted Gracen to know about God's grace and faithfulness in our journey to her but we also wanted it to be a reminder to us...that we may never forget that God's grace is why we're parents. He loves us and gives us what we don't deserve. We explained that Leigh is the female version of my dad, my grandfather, and Brett's middle names. It was family name that she would have since she was our family no matter what. The good news is that K loved it!
They told us the meeting would last around 30-45 minutes, but we ended up talking with K for about 1.5 hours! Everything they told us about her was true. She is laid back, talkative, and funny. We got to hear all about her other children and her family. I felt like I was sitting with a friend. She made us laugh and cry throughout the entire conversation!
When asked by the pregnancy counselor why K chose us from our profile book, she gave us several reasons. The first thing out of her mouth was because, even though she was born and raised in Tennessee, she was a huge UK basketball fan! But on a more serious note, she decided to choose a family that couldn't have children. Whey they showed her our book, she said something just stood out to her. She liked us! She said it was important to her to have grandparents who were still married and close by, my job was flexible to be home with Gracen, we had a cute dog (duh!!), and we both had light hair and blue eyes like she does. She put our picture on her phone and thought about if for a few days. She just kept coming back to us. What meant the most to us is when she said, "I am thankful I can give you a gift that you can't give yourself right now. She is your baby, I'm just carrying her for you." Brett and I were both in tears.
Our time with her was awesome! It couldn't have gone better, actually. We were excited at how confident she was in her decision and it helped us feel at peace with everything too. We also found out that day that she was being induced on October 29th and K explained how she wanted us at the hospital to meet Gracen right away and do all the firsts (feeding, diaper change, etc). So, we went home with 29 more days to prepare feeling grateful, blessed, and humbled.
Stay tuned for Gracen's birth day story!