This post is part of a series called Letters to Our Son.
Dear sweet boy,
As soon as I finished chemotherapy, my friends had one question: “What is next for you?” Some asked if I would teach again, others thought I might use my fresh start to go a new direction, enjoying a new job in a new city. But I was passionate about nothing, which was odd for me. Generally, when one season ends, I know where the next one is taking me. But I felt lost, directionless, yet also content to sit still for a while and not pursue a new direction. Plus, we wanted to grow our family by adoption.
On January 24, 2019, I went before the throne of God and begged. I begged for my cancer to be gone. I begged for our season of intense trial and suffering to cease with my last chemo treatment. But, more than anything, I begged that God would give us a child. I prayed boldly, asking for things I knew were almost impossible, yet I’d seen them happen in the lives of others. I prayed for Him to circumvent all the waiting and keep us from the sting of another loss. I prayed for Him to move in a way that would leave us in complete awe, unable to speak. I prayed for a miracle.
One week later, something unexpected happened. At 2:56 PM, my phone pinged with a message that would change our lives—and yours—forever.
We learned that you were going to arrive soon. We knew your birth mother, yet somehow we didn’t know she was pregnant. You had been growing in her tummy, your tiny fingers and toes becoming the perfect ones that fascinated us on our first night with you. Your eyes growing to be big and beautiful, the ones that melted our hearts when you stared into our eyes (and it felt like you were examining our souls). But we had been making a 434-mile move and slugging our way through my chemo treatments. I had undergone a metamorphosis, the cancer dying along with a strong spirit of self-sufficiency. I think it is God’s grace to us that we didn’t know about you while we were doing those things; we would have been preoccupied, wondering how things would turn out, if we would be able to welcome you into our family, as our son. I would have been keen to control what parts of the situation were remotely within my reach. As it came about, we were able to see the mighty hand of God move in dramatic ways to let us be your parents, and to know that it was only of Him.
As always, God’s way is best.
The day after learning about you, I lay on the cold table for my first post-chemo CT scan. As the contrast pumped through my port, my heart swelled, realizing how much anticipation lingered over a simple test. What it revealed would chart the course of our next season. Would we continue with treatment, or wave goodbye to that season and enter a new and infinitely more joyful one—becoming a family of three? We had to wait four days, over an excruciatingly long weekend, to get the results. This was a mental-gymnastics sort of weekend, one of taking thoughts captive, combatting lies with truth, and learning to press into trusting God’s providence. My heart was changed for the better, as we sorted the baby things we had with Micah, talked with your birth family, and made basic preparations for a drive across four states.
As always, God’s way is best.
On February 5, 2019, we learned that I was “free of disease,” and it became clear that, unless something drastic changed, we were going to become your parents. We spent the next four days filling out mounds of paperwork, talking to our attorney, and squeezing in our required social worker meetings, for our home study. It was completed—typed and ready to submit—the day before you arrived, just in the nick of time!
We’ll always be thankful that God delighted to make you our son! You are the miracle for which I prayed, the most delightful surprise of a lifetime. You are a living, breathing answer to a desperate prayer. And soon, we’ll celebrate your first birthday! To me, it feels like a celebration for all three of us—a day of praising God and rejoicing over all the exciting milestones we’ve enjoyed with you this year.
But I’ll write another letter about that. 🙂