December 30, 2013


It was 10:38 pm on December 23rd when I saw the number pop up on my phone.  I had a feeling it was her but I wasn't ready to answer.  I had no idea what she wanted and how the conversation would flow, so I screened the call.  We've all been there, screening our calls, but this was really different.  I just happen to be laying next the biggest gift the caller had ever given me - a child.  She left a message and I did what any normal person would do, I listened to it over and over and over.  It was such a shock that she had chosen to call me.  I had an idea of what she wanted but I wasn't sure.  I wanted to talk to Craig before I called her back and he had been asleep for at least an hour. I sent a text to a friend that I had been texting earlier in the day and told her that I was "freaking out."  She kept encouraging me to call but I couldn't make myself push the keys.  I was nervous, scared, excited, and overwhelmed.  I listened to the message again.  "Hi, Becca, this is Bri.  This is my number xxx-xxxx.  Can you give me a call when you can?  Love you guys. Bye."  It was her.  It was the one girl that I think of everyday when I look into Madeline's eyes.  Its the one that I am forever grateful to for giving me a life to care for, to love, to protect, to teach.  Its the one girl that I miss so much because I felt like a part of me walked out of that hospital room on April 10, 2008.  I couldn't sleep that night and kept replaying the message over in my head.  I prayed for her as I lay with my eyes wide open looking at the moon as it peered through my blinds.  What was she thinking?  Did she want an update?  Was it bad news?  The thoughts played over in my head until morning.

I knew she wouldn't be up as early as me so I sent a text rather than calling.  "Hi Bri, it is so good to hear your voice. Call me when you wake up.  Love you!"  That was at 9:00 am and I waited.  And, I waited.  And, I waited.  I kept checking my  phone throughout the day.  After hours of no phone call, I wondered if I had missed my chance.  I had not spoken to her or heard her voice since December 2010 when she called collect to wish us a "Merry Christmas."  Oh, how I have missed her.  I missed the sweetness in her voice and I missed the relationship that we had prior to Madeline's birth.
Then, at 3:07, I could hear my phone ringing.  My home was filled with friends of my girls as they baked Christmas cookies.  I had a feeling it was her so I ran to my bedroom to take the call.  Oh, the sound of her voice made my heart melt.  I really had missed her voice.  Its almost like a small child's voice with a hint of innocence.  A voice that longs for Truth, a voice that longs for acceptance, a voice that longs for healing, a voice that longs for redemption.  We spoke for 27 minutes and it was some of the best conversation and much more than I had expected from her. 

I started off by asking her if she wanted to know about Madeline.  She agreed to listen.  I was a bit hesitant at first to tell her but I wanted her to know that she was in a good place, where she was loved and taken care of.  I could almost hearing her grinning on the other end of the phone as I told her about Madeline's humor, her beautiful heart and the things that reminded me of her "first" mommy.  I told her that we have always told Madeline from early on that she was brought to us by the miracle of adoption.  I reminded her that she had given us the greatest gift and that we would always be forever grateful for the selfless act of placing her child up for adoption.  She couldn't believe that we spoke so highly of her to Madeline and she was thankful that her daughter would grow up knowing how much she loved her.  I could almost sense tears on the other end of the phone and then she began to talk.  It was hard to hear at first but she wanted to share her heart.  She started with telling me that I had the voice of an angel and that she has longed to talk to me for years.  Now, my tears were falling.  Me?  An angel?  Not likely, not even close!

She went on to tell me that the best decision she had ever made in her life was to place Madeline with us.  She explained why she had not been in touch and it wasn't because she didn't love her, she didn't want to ever come in between what Craig and I have with Madeline.  She reassured me that we were her parents and she would never want to put Madeline in a position of having to choose or to be confused of her identity.  I respect that and I felt like Briana had matured into a responsible young adult. She voiced that she did have a hard heart towards Madeline and that was difficult to hear but understand.  It was those words that I played over and over in my head for the next couple of days.  Having to give up a child is one of the hardest things anyone could ever do.  I've been there in a way and I can understand to some extent.  Its there, when we have hit what we feel is rock bottom and can only look up.  Its there, in the pit, where we long for redemption, for healing, for truth.

So, I have begun to pray harder than I ever have for Briana.  I pray for complete and total healing.  I pray that one day she can think of her daughter without shame, regret or a hard heart.  I pray that she can find healing in knowing that adoption IS redemption.  I pray that God would turn her heart of stone into a heart of flesh.  I pray that one day she can look into our daughter's eyes and know that she was instrumental in bringing redemption to Madeline.  She had a choice and she chose wisely.  I pray that our reconnection would cause her to think about her life, her choices, her future, and her Creator.  I pray that 2014 will bring new life to her, to her soul.  I beg God to redeem this child and to adopt her into His loving family.

Psalm 107 reminds me of His redemptive power!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 
He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. 
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. 
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. 
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. 
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.
Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! 
Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. 
He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. 
And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. 
By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. 
When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.