**Excerpt from a letter to the baby, written Saturday, March 19, 2011:
Dear Baby Boy,
Yup, it’s official: you’re a boy!! It was confirmed yesterday when we went to an ultrasound with your birth mom Katie. We saw you wiggling around on the screen (I think you waved at us :)), and we saw the profile of your little face for the first time. You are only ½ a pound right now, and already you are cute as can be.
I’ve heard people say that pregnant women “glow.” Well, I feel like I must be glowing today. I have this little burning excitement inside, and I can’t help myself from smiling and from thinking about you and your birth mom. We met her for the first time this weekend, and as I think about her, I am amazed by this experience that we are having. She is so generous to invite us into her life and to allow us to be a part of her pregnancy. I think she is beautiful, inside and out. I hope you have her almond-shaped blue eyes and her strength, wisdom, and spirit.
On Thursday night, we took Katie and Drew out to dinner at the Olive Garden. I was quite nervous. I just wanted them to like us, and I wanted it to be natural between us. I had been fretting about the perfect outfit for weeks, and I even video chatted with your Aunt Laura the night before to get her approval on what I had picked out. (For the record, it was dark jeans, a long gray sweater, a red shirt, and my favorite colorful scarf.) I also brainstormed a few discussion topics/questions, in case there were awkward silences. :)
Well, I think it went well. Of course there were a few awkward silences, but we managed to keep the conversation going. We all asked each other questions, and I told lots of stories. (I hope they didn’t think that was annoying.) I told them about when I took a massive spill on the ski hill the first time that I met the Nielsons, when Ryan got mugged near our apartment in Buffalo, when a woman at our church banged her shoe on the pulpit during testimony meeting, when another woman at our church said my dad would “look good in some shorts,” and when Ryan disappeared in El Salvador until some nuns and I went looking for him in the middle of the night.
Although the main purpose of our “double date” was just to get to know each other, we did talk a little bit about you. I asked Katie how she is feeling, and she said pretty good. (She looks great…you can barely tell she’s pregnant, and she is almost 20 weeks along.) I asked Drew what he thought about adoption, and he gave me a big thumbs up. He said something like, “Adoption is awesome!” They said that they knew from the beginning that adoption was the best option for you and for them.
Your birth dad is really cool. He has a distinctive style, kinda like a skateboarder/snowboarder but with his own flair. He was pretty quiet around us, but he seemed smart, funny, and kind. He has a mischievous sparkle in his eye and a cute dimple when he smiles (I wouldn’t mind if you ended up with those traits!).
I also loved that we got to spend a lot of time with your birth grandparents this weekend. We spent time with Katie’s mom on our way to and from the ultrasound, and that evening, they hosted a barbeque for everyone at their home. Drew and his mom came, and I was amazed by how natural the conversation and humor was between all of us. Ryan and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Baby, you come from a heritage of awesome people.
My favorite part of the weekend by far was getting to know Katie. I really really love her. She and I went out to lunch after the ultrasound, and at first it was a little quiet, but then we got talking, and we couldn’t stop. (One of the restaurant workers eventually asked us if he should set up a tent. J We talked for about two hours!) I think Katie and I are kindred spirits. Though our life experiences are very different, I think our hearts are similar. I love reading her emails and her perspectives on life. This weekend, she let me and your dad read a letter that she wrote to you, and it was my favorite thing to read yet. We were sitting in her living room—everyone around us was talking—and yet their conversation became muted as I read her sweet words to you. I felt something run through me—love? the Spirit? humility? awe?—and I looked at her across the room, and she never looked more beautiful. She is so selfless.
Baby, if there is anyone deserving of your love, it’s Katie. She is going through the difficulty of pregnancy to give you life. And then, after all of the morning sickness, weight gain, uncomfortable nights, and judgmental stares from others, she is going to place you in our arms so that we can give you the life that she thinks you deserve.
I really have no doubt that you will love her. We will teach you about adoption as soon as you start walking and talking. Katie and I are going to write a story book for you about our lives and how they intersected and how you came into the world already loved by four families: your birth dad’s, your birth mom’s, your dad’s, and mine. I hope you will never doubt how very loved you are, and I hope you will always feel nothing but respect for your birth parents.
Baby Boy, I am so happy. I can’t believe how this experience has come together so perfectly. God works in mysterious ways. A year ago, I had just suffered an ectopic pregnancy after years of wanting a baby and months of fertility treatments. Six months ago, we were in the middle of our first adoption heartbreak with a birth family stringing us along and then changing its mind. During those dark days, there were moments when I wondered if I would ever be excited about a baby again. Would my heart become numb and guarded? Would I eventually lose faith that I would ever be a mother?
This year, I’ve read and re-read scripture verses about “waiting on the Lord.” There are 47 verses that mention a variation of that phrase, and tonight, one seems especially fitting: “And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you.” (Isaiah 30:18)
God knew best. He waited to bless us until the situation was perfect and right. He knew that you were on your way.
The wait was worth it.
I love you, Little Man.