Monday, August 22, 2011

Elijah's Bread

Even in the midst of absolute solitude and depleted of anything material, God provided for Elijah by sending bread to him with ravens.  He did that for me spiritually through the joyful emails I got from Kayla in their planning for a new baby girl in their lives.  In my times of emotional isolation from my family and friends and in my times of pain and rejection from Alex's father, I closed my eyes and thought of Kayla.  I remembered how it felt to plan for my own daughter, Carli.  I pictured in my mind how I poured over color schemes for her nursery, picked out story books to read to her and sat for hours in her rocking chair that I bought for her room.  I would rock back and forth and daydream about what it would be like to hold my sweet baby girl. I imagined Kayla doing the same thing. 

An email came to me within days of our meeting.  A note bursting with excitement as she told me about the patterns she'd picked out for Alex's nursery.  Her mother seemed to sew together the most adorable set from scratch in just minutes.  Pictures came in of the beautiful creation that Alex's grandmother made for her very first grandchild.  I thought of the loving care it took to make such a sweet decorative set of comforter, pillows, blankets and curtains with all the trimmings.  Cute little birdies adorned the fabric in a watermelon pink and chocolate brown with green accents.  I hadn't seen anything like it. It was an original, fearfully and wonderfully made just like the little baby I carried.  I read the emails a few times, browsed pictures, patted and rubbed my belly and told Alex what a beautiful room she'd have.  I told her how much she was loved by her family, even now and they didn't have the experience of living with her like I did.  It was food for my soul.

I accepted that I was a vessel.  A messenger to let a family know that a prayer had been answered. God had delivered, I was carrying their hopes and dreams for the future.  Alex was kicking me and moving around pretty often. I wondered how much she picked up on my emotions and it concerned me for her sense of well-being.  I wanted her to know that love surrounded her and she need not be afraid.  I didn't want to get attached to Alex.  She wouldn't be staying and I didn't want to make her upset so we just kept our conversation on what her family was up to.  I told her we'd just be hanging out together for a little while and that her mother couldn't wait to hold her.  I told her that her mom had been praying, longing for her.  I told her how kind and gentle her mom was and how proud I was of her dad.  I told her that her daddy was a baseball coach and that no doubt, he'd be teaching her what ever sport she'd fancy and would most likely be at every game cheering her on.  I could rest in peace knowing that they would be her parents.  The comfort rained over me. 

Strangely my daughter, Carli had very little if anything to say to me about my protruding belly.  I wanted to leave it to her to comment on but she seemed to avoid it.  She layed on it and sometimes would kiss it but she had nothing to share. I wondered what that meant so I let it be and waiting to see if anything would develop.  I was grateful for the peace that Carli seemed to have in her silence. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Dark Side

I wish I could tell you that everything was sunshine and roses from the moment I met Alex's parents.  I wanted things to go smoothly but there were forces at work who had other plans.  I knew what I was getting into. When you turn your back to the dark side, they tend to let you know how little they appreciate it.  The other thing I had to get my mind around was the the fact that sin does not happen in a vacuum and no matter what you do or how sincere your repentence, there will be casualties.  It is the same in every war.

I came back to the hotel, high on my experience in the coffee shop, to my silly little girl bundled up with Angel on the sofa at the condo.  They had just come back from their third trip to the splash park near the pool.  Carli's hair was still soggy from her afternoon of fun.  Her big sapphire-blue eyes smiled as wide as her lipstick rose grin.  I am always so impressed by how enthusiastically she can beam as she exclaims, "Mama!" when I come in the door.  I hugged Carli who had now hopped out of her spot to run up to me and hug my legs.  I heard the report of the good day that Angel and Carli had shared.  Angel asked very simple questions about the meeting, knowing that after Carli went to bed she'd get better details. 

I took Carli down to the park so I could watch her play at her behest and call my mother who had sent no less than 20 text messages the whole time I was gone.  I knew she was eager but I didn't want to be rude and start typing on my phone during our meeting time!  She picked it up on the first ring and started hammering me about why it had taken so long to get back to her when she only wanted to know if I was okay.  I pleaded my case but I was cut off by the barrage of questions that she rapid-fired at me about every last detail of their lives.  When the questions deteriorated to the ridiculous I got annoyed. It had been a long, emotional rollercoaster of a day and I was not appreciating her seeming lack of sensitivity to my state of mind.  "What is there denomination?" I heard.  I honestly didn't know and for what it was worth, I didn't care.  We had been over their statements of faith and spoke at length in letters, through counselors and now in person about where they were at spiritually.  Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, who cares?  When I didn't know, I was berated as if I'd not given any thought at all to who I was about to place in the care of this child.

When my nerves and emotions got the better of me, I rose up and hissed like a cobra into the phone.  "I am sorry if this got a little too real for you today but this is my decision not yours!"  I didn't think I could stop myself from unloading on her so I cut the conversation short.  I felt so rejected by my mother for not considering me at all in the conversation.  Didn't she know the weight that this carried?  Why couldn't she be there for me emotionally?  I was grateful for Angel's company.  She was the gentle and encouraging sounding board when things with Mom got heated. 

Sorry to say that as far as my dad was concerned, he was MIA from this whole experience.  My first encounter with him on hearing my unplanned news was that I was an embarrassment and a disappointment.  The second was just a text message that he loved me.  I felt better when I received that but when you cut someone with your words, no amount of smoothing over is going to erase the scar it leaves.  I only have comfort in knowing that my Heavenly Father was there to hold me and tell me that it wasn't true.  He was proud of my bravery in what He'd ordained for my life.  I clung to that with all that I could in the moments where the enemy wanted to make me 'not good enough' and thing of shame.

What could have been a very joyous day ended in frustration and anxiety over how I would get through this with my family opposing me.  I dreaded the thought of having to fight them with every breath until the day she was born but I was willing to do it if God was on my side.