There’s a suitcase in our study. As I packed it, the reality began to set in that our little family of 3 would be adding a fourth soon. The definition of soon isn’t nearly as calculated as my Type A personality would like. Soon, to me, means the phone rings this week. But the reality of soon in this situation can’t be circled on a calendar. The reality is that soon might mean the call comes next month. Or next summer. Maybe even next Christmas. Oi. So we wait.
The huge navy luggage bag is packed in the event that we get a call quickly about a mom who is in labor now (or has already given birth) and has chosen us. Chosen US (oh wow, oh wow, oh wow), to meet her at the hospital as soon as a plane, car, train, donkey or gondola can get us there. It’s called in the adoption world, a “drop in your lap” baby. Meaning, there wasn’t a lot of time to plan (or pack). If we get that call in the middle of the night or day, it also means that the first time we’ll meet the birthmom will likely be at the hospital right before or just after she gives birth to a baby that will join our lives for eternity. Now THAT, y’all, is a moment. One that is hard to imagine. That is, if she wants to meet us at all. It’s surreal to consider. My sincere hope and prayer is that the birth mom will want to meet us. If she does, I have no idea what that moment in time will bring. It will no doubt, be burned in both of our memories forever. I don’t know what I’ll say, if I can talk at all.
The suitcase is stocked full of everything a newborn needs the first few weeks of life. Bottles, monitors, crib sheets, little diapers (well, not that little-my perception of small is skewed for life), formula, thermometer, pulse oximeter (not kidding), pjs and a million other things. It’s packed, zipped up and ready. To the outside is taped a list of its contents, lest I forget what I packed (and all the Monica Gellars said “Amen”).
Packing the suitcase was interesting. Do I pack winter clothes or summer? Any of the seasons is a possibility. We have no idea where the suitcase will go. Georgia? Nebraska? Louisiana? Delaware? Do they have airports in Delaware? If our baby is from Deleware, will he be a Delewarian? Deleware-er?
Should I pack girl and boy clothes? There might not be time to buy clothes beforehand. I landed on mostly yellow, green and gray. Evidently baby Gap has voted, and gray is the new baby neutral color. I did pack one distinct boy outfit and one definite girl outfit, both of which I love, to bring baby home in. Will our hotel room have a kitchen sink? We should pack bottle steam bags just in case. Medela bottle steam bags=changed my life.
I got more excited than I thought I would as I packed. I didn’t exactly nest with Tucker, so I’m not sure if it was akin to nesting or getting the nursery ready or just having a tangible task that makes it seem real. All I know is that as I packed brand new baby socks and newborn diapers, there were glimpses of the changes about to come. The joy and anticipation of a snuggly new babe. Who will wear the newborn gray polka dot onsie. A baby who will have his very own personality and gifts to add to our family
The hard part about packing the bag is that now that the packing is over, the suitcase has no definite destination. Zipping up the suitcase didn’t signal that we’re nearing the end of the timeline. I wish it did. I’m a planner that way. The hard part is leaving the suitcase in the study. Passing it every day and wondering when we’ll rush in to grab it and throw it in the car.
But the great thing about God is that he prepared our family for this season of waiting. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re professional (or intrinsically patient) waiters, but we’ve seen the sidelines a few times before. We’ve all had those long seasons of waiting. For us, waiting through infertility, lots of logged NICU time waiting to bring our baby home, 2 seasons of isolation-have given us great gifts. Those circumstances, where we felt like we were going to sit on the bench forever gave us the gift of learning how to wait. Waiting in faith is different than it used to be. We’re less anxious. More hopeful. And astoundingly more grateful. Mostly, we’re more surrender-ful. It’s my blog, I can make up words. Surrender-ful of his plan. Surrender-ful of his writing of the story. Surrender-ful of his timing. So we wait, surrender-ful of his perfectness in this situation.
No matter where that suitcase goes, and no matter when (or if) it’s unzipped again, it’s right. It’s just right. The time and place, girl or boy, now or next year, birthfamily and circumstance. All of it, will be right.
Even if it’s Deleware. Our baby would be Delewarean. I looked it up.
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7