Rebekah is far more than Nina's first mom to us, she is indeed part of our family, and we love her dearly. I am honored that she is willing to share her story with us her. Without further ado, here is the rest of the story....
I am a very private person by nature. I have never shared this story in written form and most of my friends and family only know parts of it; however, when Barb posted a blog recently, I felt prompted to share. This is by no means a complete account of my thoughts, actions, and the happenings surrounding my experience.
Barb’s blog post the other day was a story about loss and a gift. She posted the link to her Facebook and commented that the blog was really about two stories. I agreed with her and commented the same thing when I shared her post on my Facebook. Since then, I’ve thought about it a lot…this story is the second of two stories, but they’re part of one plan – God’s plan.
I turned 19 years old in the summer of 1995. I was arguing with God about the happenings in my life thus far. I say arguing, but it was more like war. I was angry and I refused to obey Him (although I wanted to sometimes). I absolutely would not give up control of my life. I knew God and I was a believer.
I made a promise to God in December of 1995 and I broke that promise at my first opportunity –the end of January 1996. I was a couple months along when I realized that I was pregnant. It was scary and strange and miraculous and amazing. I couldn’t believe it! The only thing that I knew for sure at that time was that God’s plan for my child was to be adopted. It wasn’t a decision that I came to by weighing the pros and cons and so on and so forth. It was a sure thing; I just knew it. I can justify my decision by giving you my circumstances: I was in a relationship that would not last, I worked at minimum wage and my child would be raised on welfare, I had so many issues to work through, etc., I really could go on. But the point is that my child would not have been raised in the way that I would want my child/ren to be raised.
I quickly had to figure out what I wanted in a family. In some ways it was like trying to look into my future to decide how I wanted my life to eventually turn out. What did I prefer? What did I value? What thing was more important than another thing? Those were some very difficult questions for me. I was completely self-centered and hadn’t thought much about how my life would affect anyone else’s life, yet God was giving me a life to take care of. I didn’t care much about my own life and was fine staying in an angry relationship with God, but I wasn’t going to mess up someone else’s life! I always say that I wasn’t ready to raise a child and a child was not ready to be raised by me.
I was nearing the end of my pregnancy when I went to a private adoption agency. I filled out some paperwork and met a woman caseworker. I don’t remember all of the details of our meeting but I do remember discussing what I preferred in a family. I was pretty focused on what I was looking for and since this decision mattered forever, I wasn’t going to settle. I flipped through several files of families, but none were my child’s family. I was a bit disappointed because my expectation was that I was going to find the family for my soon-to-be-born little girl immediately upon my arrival in their office. Our appointment time was almost over and I must have looked disappointed because the caseworker started asking more detailed questions about my criteria for the family. Then she asked, “Can you wait for a minute? I think I might have the family for you. Their approval process isn’t quite finished yet, but I can give you their profile.” I said yes, of course. I don’t remember if I brought any other profiles home with me that day, but theirs is the only one that mattered.
My daughter was born seven weeks before she was due. The doctors couldn’t give me a real reason why, only speculations. She wasn’t breathing when she was born and then she stayed in the NICU for three weeks and one day after her birth. I never worried about whether she would be alright. I trusted God and His plan for my daughter.
The day that my little girl went home with the family God chose for her was certainly the hardest day of my life. I tried to be strong and not cry. That didn’t work out at all. I cried constantly for the entire two weeks afterward. I took comfort in knowing that this was God’s plan and He was the one who was taking care of my child. Otherwise, I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through it. I didn’t know Barb's family, but they had the one person who I loved more than myself. The loss was painful and difficult, although it was for the best.
Almost 18 years have gone by since my daughter went home with her family. I wanted a family that would be open to updating me on my daughter’s life by sending pictures and letters. Over the years, they have done that and more, and I can easily say now that they are more than my daughter’s family; they are my family, too. They are a blessing in my life that would not be here, had it not been for my loss. This experience has continued to give me peace and comfort in knowing that even when we aren’t obeying Him or are wondering why we have had to suffer through something, God always has His plan, and it’s a better one than ours.