We were at church camp with no signal. Despite that fact, I had my phone strapped to me all day knowing at anytime we could get a call, a call that would make me a Mama. As the day went on, I realized it didn’t matter that my phone was attached to me, there was NO signal, so I finally stopped checking every five seconds. After helping teach a children’s class I decided to allow myself to see if, by chance, something had found a way to my phone.
There was missed call and a voicemail from our home finder! My heart leapt as I struggled to understand the message she left; it was broken up and choppy. I was able to make out there was a placement for a baby girl. My heart was racing, this was it, I could feel it. This was that moment. The moment people talk about when they ‘just knew.’ I loved her before I even knew her name. I had never touched her, but my arms were already aching to hold her.
I found a spot where I could stand in just the right way to call Lindsey. I was able to get a bit more information amongst the static. A 6 month old baby girl was in need of permanent placement. It looked like this would go the route of adoption and we had been specifically asked for. I ran to find Boogie and I could feel the tears burning my eyes; we were going to be parents.
The next day we drove the 2 hours home and waited for the Social Worker to show up. I kept running to the window every time a car would drive down our road, crossing my fingers it would be her. When they finally showed up with a carseat and a small Walmart bag, I tried to act calm. I peeked around her carseat as they sat her on our dining room table. She was perfect. I asked to hold her, still unsure of how this all was supposed to happen, and gently scooped her up. She was calm and quiet, unbothered by all the newness around her. Her dark brown eyes skipped around and fixated on the light above us. It was surreal and almost like in that moment time had slowed down. As I was holding her and taking her in, the workers gave us the information they had. I tried to listen, but I was a little distracted with all the thoughts whirling in my head. About 5 minutes later, they were gone. And just like that, it was the 3 of us, the way God had planned it. I was finally with the child I had been writing to all these months. I wrote to her without knowing how old she was, where she was living, what her name was. All I knew was that I was writing to the child we were working for, worrying over, and praying for- Layla.
I may not have had morning sickness, labored in a hospital bed, or even known how much she weighed when she was born, but I was her Mama and I never, not even once, doubted that. You see, I may not have physically been sick because I had a little one growing inside me, but there were days that I was sick with worry about the upcoming trials and ‘what ifs’. Nope, I don’t have some great story to tell about my contractions and throwing ice chips at nurses. But I DID labor for her: home studies, background checks, paper work, hours of classes, paper work, interviews, oh and-more paperwork.
Even though I may not have those stories to tell you about the 9 months leading up to her birth, I have plenty to tell of the moments she grew in my heart. The times that I dreamed about her and talked about her before we had met, the endless nights we prayed for her to join us, the moments that she steals our hearts, over and over again. How when she calls for ‘mama’ it sometimes puts a lump in my throat because I’m so thankful it’s me she’s calling for, and it all goes back to that day- July 24, 2014. The day we met.