I flew into Orlando on Tuesday, Jordynn’s due date. I had asked her if she would like to meet me face to face. (She could meet Brian when he drove out from Colorado that weekend.) She liked the idea. We picked a Denny’s near the airport.
I arrived a few minutes early and picked a table where I could watch for a very pregnant young woman to walk up to the door. I twiddled my thumbs. I ordered water. I brushed my fingers through my hair. I thought about the five other times we’d talked with birth moms and the feeling of nervous anticipation that went with each one. Sometimes it was face to face, sometimes it was over e-mail, but each time I’d wanted to put my best foot forward.
Smile. Share my heart.
Sound wise and disciplined, but fun and hip all at the same time.
Communicate youth and vigor.
Illustrate age and understanding.
Be everything she would hope for in a mom.
It’s a lot of pressure, really.
The first five situations hadn’t ended up with a baby in our arms. Three moms chose to parent, one chose a closer family so she could have interaction and one broke our hearts by choosing us and then changing her mind and choosing a family she’d never met – on the day the baby was born.
The potential for rejection hung there. It could happen again.
So there I sat. Heart in my throat. Wondering what would happen next.
Fifteen minutes passed. Twenty. Thirty.
She changed her mind.
I talked with Brian on the phone. Talked with Sam. Texted my mom. Anything to keep my mind occupied. Everyone was praying, everyone was with us in thought.
A car pulled up and I just knew it was her. She and her friend stepped out of the car and came up to the door. She was very pregnant and very beautiful.
I ran my fingers through my hair. Smiled big. Hoped she would like me.
She walked into the restaurant and spotted me right away. I got up and wrapped my arms around her in a big hug. Probably too much. Probably shouldn’t have done that. But I couldn’t help it. I felt such love for her already.
She sat down. Lovely blond hair, pretty blue eyes. Immediately I felt a connection to her. We began to chat. She told me about her life. I told her about ours. I told her she could ask any question she wanted and I would do my best to answer.
We talked about all kinds of things, but there was one message I wanted to make very clear: She would always be a heroine in our home. Always.
With little family support, she’d chosen life. Then she’d thought long and hard about adoption. She wanted a good life for her daughter, a family, a home. She was courageous and brave and strong. When she found her way to Florida, she’d connected with a wonderful family who had helped support her through the emotions. One member of that family sat beside her and encouraged her through our whole conversation.
It was an amazing picture of grace and kindness.
Jordynn was articulate and wise beyond her years, and it was my joy to meet her. Our conversation cemented our connection and we both felt good about moving forward.
It was better than any blind date.
This was me, Savannah, Jordynn and a dear friend meeting for the very first time to begin a relationship that would end with Savannah in our arms.
It’s still mind-boggling to me. To us.
It’s still miraculous and beautiful that a meal at Denny’s changed our lives.
It makes me smile. And I wonder if the heavenly realms were hanging out around Denny’s that day. Seeing something of God unfold and smiling and nudging each other with delight.
I like to think that was the case.
Watch a miracle. Order a cheeseburger.
Now that’s a good day.