On Friday afternoon I was standing at the graveside of an elderly man we had just buried. I was waiting for the vault man to put the lid on the vault when my phone started buzzing. It was my wife.
“Are you ready?” she asked.
I coyly responded, “For what?”
But I knew what my wife meant. Today was our birth mother’s due date and yesterday we had received news from our adoption agency that the birth mother was three centimeters dilated.
It was time.
“Her water broke. She’s five centimeters. She’s at the hospital.”
At the time of the call, the cemetery was only a couple minutes away from the hospital. But pulling up to the hospital in a hearse isn’t very fashionable, so I drove a half hour back to the funeral home, picked up my wife, we packed our bags and drove through the tourist ridden Amish country to the hospital in Lancaster County.
We arrived and were ushered into the delivery room where a group of strangers awaited to accept us into their family by giving us one of their own. Hugs. Kisses. Tears. Tears.
This isn’t how it is supposed to be. We should be able to have our own children. But we can’t. The birthmother was ready to give us what we couldn’t have and she couldn’t support. And yet, what awaits inside of her womb will forever unite our mutual brokenness in redemption.
She’s six centimeters.
It’s four p.m. and we’re all hungry. So I grab the birthmother’s boyfriend and we speed off to McDonalds in search of a double cheeseburger, a Shamrock shake, a number one value meal and one or two other sundry health items.
By the time we get back, we learn that it’s time. It’s REALLY time. The nurses usher us out of the delivery room and into a private waiting room, where we’re told to make ourselves comfortable for an hour or two. We sit down and I crack open my carton of nuggets. It’s been a while since I’ve had McDonalds. And I can’t help but be a snooty white person and mentally hate what I’m eating while my taste buds delight in the ecstasy of fries, coke and something that resembles chicken.
While I’m inwardly ranting about McDonalds, the door to our private room opens and the doctor pops in, telling Nicki and I that “She’s ready to see you.”
“What?” we ask, begging for more context.
“He’s here. He’s healthy. She wants you to meet him.” My French fries filled mouth drops open. What we had expected to take an hour or two took 15 minutes. I nervously looked at my wife, we held hands and walked down the hall, opened the door and saw our son for the first time. Wide-eyed. Not a cry. Not a noise. Just looking at his new world. This was the moment we had imagined for seven plus years. The moment we couldn’t create ourselves. The moment that was given to us by a young girl whose broken unselfishness made us into parents.
Introducing Jeremiah Michael Wilde, a child born of sorrow, redeemed by the everlasting goodness of God.
In a later post (probably sometime this week), I’ll explain all the ins and outs of the adoption process, but until then please extend your warm welcome through congratulations and prayers for our son Jeremiah : )