As some may remember, Lucas' birthmom was due to be induced on June 2nd, but on the morning of the 1st (Felipe's birthday), we got a phone call that birthmom was headed to her doctor's office b/c she was having contractions. We were planning a brunch with our family (Felipe's mom, my mom, my sister, dad and step-mom). A little later we got another phone call informing us that birthmom was already dilated 5cm, was in active labor and was headed to the hospital. Felipe and I didn't make it to brunch :) We were so excited because we, along with some friends, had been praying that she would go into labor naturally and not have to be induced. We arrived at the hospital not long after birthmom and her sister. Our friend who connected us also met us there. When we went in to meet birthmom, she was in seriously active labor and had not had her epidural yet. She had dilated to 7cm and labor was moving along quickly. So, we met her between contractions, which had to be intense for her. But she said it was what she wanted. She was glad we were there and wanted us to stay with her. When we all first laid eyes on each other, we all cried and quickly felt more at ease. I have to say it was one of the most awkward moments, yet quickly became very natural. It felt so organic and right that we were all together for this most awesome event in all of our lives. I got to be next to her and hold her hand through contractions. I wanted so badly to be able to take the pain for her. Not in a jealous way, but in an, I-wish-you-didn't-have-to-go-through-this way. She was so sweet and wonderful to Felipe and I. She even wanted to meet our moms. After she got the epidural of course :)
When our moms walked in, she immediately commented on a necklace that Felipe's mom was wearing. It was a piece from Jerusalem. Rita quickly took the necklace off and said, "Well then, you should have it." Side story: a few days before we learned about Lucas and his birthmom, Rita was in Israel. She went to Shiloh, the place where Hannah prayed for a son and was given Samuel. At Shiloh, Rita prayed for the Lord to remember Felipe and I and give us a child. She was wearing that same necklace when she was there praying for us. So, it felt completely right for our birthmom to have the necklace.
We were with her all the way through delivery, along with her mom and sister and our friend who connected us. I was holding her hand as our son was born. Lucas was born at 2:36pm on a Tuesday. Felipe and I immediately followed the baby as he was being cared for by the nurses and our friend and the sister attended to the birthmom. I quickly texted one of our parents, who were waiting anxiously across the hall... "He's perfect!" That's how they learned he was a boy.
We, birthmom and us, were all together in the room for about 2 hours after the baby was born. Birthmom wanted me to hold the baby. I took him over to her and told her his name is Lucas. We got to pray together and assure her that Lucas would always know who she was and what she had done for him... that she had given him life, given him to adoption in love and hope. His little life is not filled with rejection and shame... but with love, hope and redemption. And she is a huge part of that.
After a couple of hours, the nurses took us to our own hospital room with Lucas, where I was able to nurse him for the first time. Lucas had to remain in the hospital for 48 hours. We gave our birthmom an open invitation to come and visit us and him anytime while we were there. She came to visit twice and even brought him a gift... a keepsake that had been passed down in her family from her grandfather, to her mother, to her and now to Lucas. Every time she saw him, she just stared at him and smiled. And on our last day there, we stopped by our friend's house to return something that had been left at the hospital and we saw our birthmom there again. She had her son with her that day and we got to meet her 2 year old. I got to hold him and even got a picture. He's a precious little boy.
I wanted to share this story because I feel like it may encourage someone out there. And I like the story... it's full of love. God's presence was experienced in all of us. And Lucas has brought hope into the world for me. Hope fulfilled. My heart is healing. Throughout the entire experience, I felt no loss, no jealousy, no sadness for what was Not. I only felt gain and love.