Some stories are so big that you just have to sit in them for a while. Savor them. Roll them around in your head and ponder: Did this really just happen?
The beginning of the most miraculous week of our lives began in a golf ball.
Actually inside of a golf ball.
No, sleep deprivation hasn’t made me that loopy – it’s really true. Arnold Palmer is from Florida and they have a lovely birthing hospital named for his wife, Winnie. The waiting area is shaped like a golf ball.
We had received the call from Jordynn on Monday night, Feb. 18th. She was going into the hospital the next day to be induced. “I’m going in at 3:00,” she told us, “but I can have my friend call you when I’m getting close so you don’t have to sit here waiting.”
We were there at 3:00.
We met with the social worker at the hospital and she let us know that as soon as Jordynn went into labor we would get a pager. Then when the baby was born, the pager would go off and we could meet Savannah up in the nursery.
We sat on pins and needles inside the golf ball for the first few hours, but quickly found out we would be in for a longer haul. Jordynn had her dear friend and her friend’s mother with her, and they were kind enough to keep us informed. “It’s going to be a while,” they said. The doctors didn’t want to induce Jordynn until she was dilated more.
We settled in. Asked for blankets. Spent the night on a couch dreaming of our baby girl being in the Masters.
The golf ball
At 5 am, a security guard roused us. “You can’t have your feet on the couch,” she said. “Too many opportunities to transfer germs.” She patted the end table. “You can put them on here though, just not on the couch.”
The end table. Where people place drinks and food and purses. Hmmmm. Vs. the couch – where people place their tushies. I guess people at this hospital pat one another’s tushies more than they drink soda or eat food.
We avoided the end tables from there on out.
Wednesday passed slowly. We kept ourselves busy by working on e-mail, eating excessive amounts of junk food and discussing world peace. The minutes ticked by.
Wednesday evening we got word.
They were going to induce her. We were invited up to the second floor to the labor and delivery area. The nurses were wonderful. It turned out they had a room available right next to Jordynn’s. Would we like to stay there?
They even turned on the computer so we could watch Jordynn’s contractions on the screen. It all felt utterly surreal. They told us how they would bring Savannah into our room as soon as she was born. We could watch her being cared for, weighed and measured. I stared at the equipment and tried to imagine our daughter there in just a few hours.
Then the most beautiful thing happened.
The nurse stopped in. “Jordynn has said you can come in for the delivery.”
Oh, how I loved this girl! That she would be willing to give us that incredible gift! Brian and I just looked at each other, eyes wide, tears brimming.
We slept fitfully as Jordynn started into labor. The nurse had said it would take some time so she encouraged us to settle in and get rest.
Yeah, no problem.
At 9:40 the next morning, the nurse came in. “it’s time.”
We walked next door and stood near the head of Jordynn’s bed. Savannah was crowned and ready. “Wow, she has a full head of hair!” The nurse said.
“That’s because she’s been in there so long!” Jordynn said, still able to smile.
One last push and swoooosh, there she was.
Our daughter. Our girl. Born.
They waved Brian over to cut the umbilical cord. I trembled as I watched him. Could this really be happening?
The nurses whisked us all away into the next room where they wiped Savannah down, weighed and measured her and set her into our arms.
Savannah Grace Colopy had entered the world: A gift from a brave young couple who wanted this precious girl to have a loving family. In sacrifice, in utter and complete beauty and strength, they gave her to us.
We are still undone by that incredible honor, amazing privilege and holy responsibility.
The nurse told us that it would be good for Savannah to rest on bare skin. Brian delighted in her as I got ready. Then I held her close to my heart.
Tears filled our eyes.
She was ours.
And now, the crazy beauty in it all? I think back to when we were waiting on Nathaniel, when we thought for sure that God would bring him into our world. We were forty days from Nathaniel’s birth when I felt like I wanted to do something special. Forty days. I could fast sugar, I could pray something unique every day… but I felt like God wanted me to do something specific – that He wanted me to praise.
So I began my 40 days of praise and spent each morning focusing on a different aspect of God’s goodness. Holy. Kind. Good. Gracious. Compassionate. Loving. Pure. Tender.
Then the 40 days passed and our birth mom changed her mind and gave Nathaniel to another family.
I held onto God even as the tears streamed down my face.
But here’s the beautiful thing. I calculated back from Jordynn’s due date to find out when Savannah was conceived – just out of curiosity.
It was literally…. to the day…. when I began my 40 days of praise.
Lovence was rescued from a mountain village the same week I began my 40 days of praise.
Laurentz was delivered to his first orphanage the same week I began my 40 days of praise.
While we were preparing for one family, God was already orchestrating the details of another. He was attentive and loving to a teenage woman and directed her toward our family. He saw those hungry boys and delivered them to safe places. Even in the midst of the pain of a messy world, He was already working out how He could come alongside each and every one of us.
He is amazing. He is real. He is good. He is loving.
Thank you, Jesus, for Savannah Grace. For Jordynn. For the birth dad. Thank you for Lovence and Laurentz. Thank you for our grown kids, Sean, Jessica, Cassie and Samantha.
I can’t wait for the family picture we’ll get to take one day.
What a motley, glorious, beautiful crew we’ll make.
Because family, whether by blood or adoption or God just setting hearts together, is the place where you belong for always.
Savannah Grace, you belong.
Lovence, you belong.
Laurentz, you belong.
Samantha, you belong.
Sean, you belong.
Jessica, you belong.
Cassie, you belong.
And you, my friend… belong. You belong in the family of God – adopted, celebrated, and loved like crazy till the end of time.