We were at a stand still. All attempts at pregnancy had failed, either in miscarriage or just not achieving a positive result. We were frustrated beyond frustrated! Everything we did revolved around the possibility of achieving or not achieving pregnancy. I couldn’t stand it any more. I began to finally listen to those who were suggesting adoption.
One day, our phone rang. My friend Lois Ann was on the other end. “Are you considering adoption?”
“If you are, I know of a girl here in the states that wants to give her baby up for adoption. If you’re interested, I’ll get you connected.” This was my friend who had adopted two boys from another country. She was always open for more children to be added and so people were constantly making her aware of those she knew were going to give a child up for adoption.
We agreed to let her connect us with this girl.
*Maggie (not her real name) called us and we had a lovely conversation. She was a junior in college and had made a “mistake” that resulted in pregnancy. She wasn’t ready to be a mother yet as she hoped to do some mission work in Africa. She asked a few questions of us and we discussed meeting at some point. She wasn’t excited about meeting immediately, she wanted to meet closer to the time of the birth. I was so excited! She was 20 weeks along and knew she was having a girl. I began making plans for the future. We wouldn’t need clothes, we had Katie’s old things. A name…what would the name be? I had spent a great deal of time picking out Katie’s name. I wanted a name that meant something. I poured over the meanings of names and came up with Katie Elaine. Katie means “pure” and Elaine means “light”. I didn’t know at the time how much her name would become significant to us.
As I began to pour over possible names, I decided (but never shared with Dave) that this little girl’s name would be Hannah Grace, which ultimately means “grace grace”. “What a fitting name,” I thought. Surely it was God’s grace that would bring this little girl to us.
I looked forward to the weekly phone call I would receive from Maggie as she kept us up-to-date on her progress. She was a music student and loved writing. We had something in common! She even had red hair like me! Certainly, this little girl would perhaps even look like she was mine! Time was going quickly and we wanted to start preparing for Hannah’s arrival.
Then, the phone calls stopped. I tried in vain to call Maggie, but could never get through. Nearly a month passed. Finally, the phone rang one evening. It was Maggie at the other end. “I lost my phone and just got another. Sorry, I haven’t called sooner.” I was upset that she hadn’t tried to call by any other means. I asked her how things were since she was just about 8 weeks away from potential delivery. “Fine,” was the only answer I got. This was not the usual bubbly responses that I recieved from Maggie. Something was different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I told her we were starting to get things together and the next thing we were going to do was graduate Katie from her crib to a toddler bed. “That’s nice,” she said. “Don’t rush it though, you still have eight weeks!”
I felt somewhat reassured by speaking with her, but yet was beginning to feel uneasy. Maggie had yet to speak with Dave directly and each time I asked was flatly turned down. “I don’t need to speak to him,” she’d say.
Another month went by without a phone call. I had left messages each week on the day we’d always converse with no response from Maggie. Finally, the phone rang one evening with Maggie at the other end.
“It’s me,” she said. I tried to remain calm. I was angry. How could she just leave me out of the loop?
“Hi, Maggie! How are things?”
“Just a month left now, right?”
“Can we soon meet face to face? After all, the baby will soon be here.”
I was not prepared for her reply. “Yeah, about that. There’s no need for us to meet.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, there’s no easy way to tell you this except to tell you. I’ve decided to give the baby to one of my college professers instead of you. Sorry,” and she hung up.
I stared in disbelief at the phone in my hand. Four weeks away from the arrival of Hannah and there would be no baby….again. I screamed! I threw the phone. Dave came running. “What’s going on?”
“She changed her mind! That’s what’s going on!! That little brat changed her mind!! How could she do this to us!” I screamed.
Dave came to me and put his arms around me as the sobs took over. I couldn’t take it any longer. Why was this happening? We couldn’t have a child of our own, and now even an adoption wasn’t going to work.
“We’re done with this,” said Dave. “Enough is enough. I can’t stand to see you go through this anymore. We’re done.” (That’s what he thought.)
At the time, we couldn’t fathom why God would allow yet another baby to slip from our grasp. A few years later, we realized why He didn’t allow this to happen.
Maggie had wanted an open adoption, one that would allow her to see the child once a year. We’d send frequent photos and letters. Hannah would always know that she was adopted and who her birth mother was. It was the least we could do for Maggie considering the sacrifice she was going to make. Looking back, I am so thankful that God did not allow this adoption to take place.
A couple of years ago, out of curiosity, I Googled Maggie’s name. I wanted to see if she had indeed graduated from college and went on her missions trips as she had hoped. What I discovered floored me. Certainly, this was not the Maggie I had come to know from phone calls and conversations we had had.
There it was in bold print. Maggie had gotten pregnant again, and while on a missions trip to minister to homeless people in the inner-city of a large city here in the US, gave birth in the bathroom of the church where they were staying, drowned her baby in the sink and placed it in the dumpster outside for disposal! It was a boy. She had gotten caught and sent to prison for manslaughter. I couldn’t believe it! I shared this discovery with my friend Lois Ann, who confirmed it with the ones who had connected her with Maggie initially.
God’s hand of protection was on us! In an open adoption such as she had wanted, how in the world would we tell a then 3-year-old Hannah that her mom was in prison for killing her baby brother? I was relieved, though it was three years later, to know that we wouldn’t ever have to deal with that. I felt sorry for Maggie’s college professor and his wife. How were they dealing with this? I prayed for them and for Maggie that she would get back on track with God.
We thought we were finished wanting a baby, but this was a terminal case of baby envy that I had. It wasn’t over yet.
(To be continued….)