**Throughout Katie's pregnancy, she and I often wrote each other long emails. I have kept all of them. They are in my journal, and I am also going to put them in a special book for Noah to read someday. I decided to post this email to Katie because it records how my family supported me throughout the infertility/adoption process, as well as how God reminded me through small "tender mercies" that He was aware of me and my situation. Though He can't always intervene to save us from heartache, He is always there.
Date: February 28, 2011
Subject: God Answers Prayers, Even Little Ones
I am stuck in an airport in Detroit without a cell phone to call Ryan and tell him what's going on. Man, life can be inconvenient sometimes!
My getting stuck in this airport is a long and harrowing story...and since I have nothing to do whilst sitting here and waiting for the next flight...and since I want to record this story for my posterity...I'll go ahead and tell you the entire tale. I hope you don't get bored! The day after our last failed adoption, I wrote a blog post titled "Heartbroken" about all of our disappointments in trying to get a child. My aunt Muriel, who is a famous artist, read it, and she said that she just started crying for me, and she wanted to do something to help--she wanted to fix it, but she knew she couldn't. So, instead, she decided to do something to show me that she loves me and is constantly thinking of us and praying for us to get a baby: she did a painting. I was so touched because this is a woman who literally gets thousands of dollars for her paintings, and she did one just for me. Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture of support. The painting is of a baby inside of an avocado—that sounds a little weird, I know, but she said that it was a "fertile image" and that she was sending lots of "good baby mojo" our way. :) (I love that woman.) Interestingly, you contacted me just a few days after she sent me a photo of the finished painting. And even more interesting, the day after you called me--literally, the day after when no one but Ryan, Sally, and my dad knew about you--she emailed me this message:
I had a dream with YOU in it last night. Sometimes I do have such strange dreams...almost a pre-cog kind of thing. I am wondering if there is some baby action running high right now? OK this will sound weird to you because it did to me! I was with you and your sisters and all of us were creating things. Cooking creations, art creations, crafty creations all together in the same room~ and the strangest thing....I WAS PREGNANT! It was a bit disturbing to me in the dream even. But when I woke up, I realized it was you who was pregnant in my dream, not me...hmmmmmmm~I wondered if there was something big going on. Or am I just the crazy aunt? Yeah, that could be true too! (=
Love you and hope that my dream was a hint of things to come (one can be pregnant with potential adoption too you know!)!
Crazy, huh? It's like the woman has ESP!
Anyway, this aunt lives in St. Louis, so she gave me my painting while I was visiting my sister this week. It was all cardboarded up to protect it, and I brought it as one of my carry-ons on the flight. I also have a ginormous and heavy duffel bag because I didn't want to pay to check a bag. Well, the flight from St. Louis to Detroit went off without a hitch, and I was careful to protect the painting. But then, I went to the bathroom in the airport at my layover in Detroit, and I accidentally left the painting in the stall!!!! I was so weighed down by my big duffel that I didn't realize it. I had a very short layover, so I hustled to my next gate (which was literally across a huge airport in a totally different concourse), and I just made it to the gate as they were boarding. Standing in line, I looked down at my duffel, and it dawned on me: "I left the painting in the bathroom." I completely panicked. I stood frozen for about thirty seconds trying to decide what to do: If I run for the painting, I will almost definitely miss my flight...But if I don't run for the painting, I will be losing a priceless and precious heirloom from someone who really loves me...If I run for the bathroom and I miss the flight, I will probably have to pay big bucks to rebook a ticket to Buffalo...If I get on the flight, I could probably call Lost and Found and get the painting shipped to me, but I've lost stuff in airports before, and it was never found...
Finally, I just started running. I knew that the painting could not be replaced. I ran all the way across the airport hauling my ridiculous duffel bag. I wanted to just throw it into a corner and come back for it later, but I was afraid that I would cause a bomb scare. (Crazy girl throwing a bag in a corner and then sprinting away probably wouldn't look so good in an airport.) By the time I got to the bathroom, I was so out of breath. I was coughing and panting and praying (literally). It wasn't in the bathroom, so I ran out to ask a janitor or worker if they had seen anything. Unfortunately for me, I chose the meanest Delta worker in the history of mankind to ask. She was so snippy, and when I told her that the painting was really important to me, she said, "Well, if it was so important to you, maybe you should've held on to it." Uhhhhhh....DUH LADY! DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT? Thanks so much for your empathy and compassion!
The mean lady told me to go try the airport Lost and Found but she doubted it would be there. At this point, I started bawling.
I started to walk toward the Lost and Found, saying a silent prayer asking Heavenly Father to help me find the painting. All of the sudden, I had the thought that the painting was probably still close by. After all, it had been less than an hour. I turned around and found another flight attendant. Luckily, she was really nice, and she actually tried to help me instead of making me feel like an idiot. After a few minutes of searching, she found the painting behind one of the gate desks (someone had brought it from the bathroom). Talk about relief!! By this point, I had missed my flight, and when I told her that, she rebooked me on a later flight for free. I was so grateful!
Anyway, I wanted to record this story because I plan to hang the painting in the baby's nursery, and I want the baby to know that the painting was created by my Aunt Muriel's love and was saved in the Detroit airport by God's love.
Stories of God helping people find things sometimes really bother me. When I hear people bear testimony that God helped them find their CTR ring or cell phone or whatever, I think it somewhat trivializes the true meaning of prayer. I always think, "There are people in this congregation who have been earnestly praying for years for God to bless them with children or heal them of a terminal disease or help them overcome destructive addictions...If God hasn't yet answered their heart wrenching prayers, how is it going to make them feel to hear that He has responded to such trivial concerns?" Yet, I do think that God helped me find the painting. Despite my skepticism of such tales, I had the thought, "The painting is around here. Talk to someone else." Maybe God can't always solve all of our biggest problems (such as infertility or disease) because they are just part of the mortal experience and the test...but He can show His love for us by helping out with little things along the way--those "tender mercies" that let us know that He is listening and wants to help us in any way that He can.
Anyway, that was a long story!! I told you it might be boring!
My flight is now boarding, and I don't want to miss another one, so I better run. Thanks for listening, and I'll write later. :) I can't wait to finally see Ryan in just a few hours. This has been quite a week!