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Letting go………



Damn this body of mine – why is getting pregnant so easy, but staying that way so  difficult? I’ve miscarried more times than I wish to remember – eight to be exact – twice in the third trimester – all of them painful – not necessarily physically, although there was that, but gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, painful. I received the news from my OB for the last time – “you can’t do this again, Patti. It could kill you.” It broke my heart.

I am the middle child of six, so I had this vision of having a houseful of my own to raise. I was determined to give our daughter a brother or sister, but my body was betraying me at every bend.

Instead of receiving a bundle of joy to hold in my arms, I received a grief packet from a well meaning hospital chaplain. Instead of receiving warm wishes from friends and family, I received looks of pity and awkward conversations – after all, what does one say – sorry for your loss – again – and again. Kind of gets old after the third or fourth time, let alone the seventh or eighth.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I knew deep down that my doctor was right, that I needed to let go. And so, on a very cold and dreary day in early January, my husband and I read some scriptures, cried some tears and gave our wish for a second child over to the Lord. We let go.

A funny thing happens when you let go of something you’ve been clinging  to so tightly for so long – you have to release your grasp on it – you have to open your fingers, one-by-painful-one, and when you do, your hands are now open and free to receive something else. Who knew?

My oldest child, now six, was visited by the Make a Wish foundation in June.  Her first wish was for a baby sister. Out of the mouths of babes! She was pressed to make another wish and sighed as only a six year old can, saying, “I guess if I can’t have a sister, meeting a princess would be nice.”

4th of July weekend in small towns is a big deal and ours is no exception. We were eating at the local restaurant in town when the juvenile judge approached our table. “Would you and Jeff be interested in adopting”? I just about fell out of the booth. YES! No questions asked. YES! Our six year old just looked at me with a beatific smile of one who simply KNOWS.

Could it be this simple? Well, yes and no. We met the young birthmother at our home a week later. She was in no position to care for another child and was eager to see that this GIRL she carried was adopted into a good home. There were a lot of legal hoops to go through, and there were some scary times in the process, when the birthmother disappeared for a few weeks and we thought she changed her mind, but then, on a warm,  clear Thursday night in mid-September, I received a phone call. “Could you come to the hospital? I think I’m in labor.”

Driving as quickly as I dared, I arrived at the hospital just as she was settled in to a room, and was prepared for a long wait. This was not to be so. Just 2 short hours later, Hannah Marie was born and I received her into my arms. Her birthmother did not want to hold her and left the hospital in the morning. I wouldn’t see her again until the following Monday in court when she went through what is known as the right of surrender. She was so brave. I cried  through it all. She was letting go and entrusting me to receive this precious gift. I did so with a humble heart and a spirit filled with awe at a God who knew – who KNEW, all along, that this lesson of letting go would bring me to this place of being filled, but in His way and in His time.

Irony of ironies – you do the math. Right around the time we went through the painful process of letting go in January, Hannah was in the very early process of being formed in her birth mother’s womb. It is only in the process of letting go that we are able to receive.

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