When God opens a door and you don't walk through it…He just might open up every window in the house.
As most people know, we have a great relationship with Jude's birth mom. We have a fully open adoption there with direct and continuos communication amongst all parties. She was even involved with his first birthday party and it was a fabulous, comfortable, and perfect time.
Ari's adoption was setup as semi-open. We would send pictures and letters to the adoption agency and they would send them on to her. However, we were told she hadn't asked for any after he was about 6 months old, so that "relationship" pretty much stopped there. We have known that we live in the same town as her, so I'd always wondered if we might run into her, but it never happened.
Not until, that is, the day after Jude's birthday party. It was a Sunday afternoon and we headed to lunch with a group of people after church. As we got into the restaurant and settled, I immediately noticed her. B (what I call her on here) was there with her family, finishing up eating. I froze. Heart pounding in my chest. In 3 1/2 years I'd always imagined that I had seen her around town, but, of course, it was never her. But this time it actually was.
She looked at me. She looked at my mom. She looked at Ari. I just knew that she knew. And she seemed to look just as panicked as I felt. But then her and everyone she was with left within 5 minutes of us being there.
My heart was still pounding for quite awhile after the short "encounter". I just couldn't believe that I had actually seen her for the first time since Ari was born. And then I couldn't get out of my head the stark difference between the two days we'd just had…Saturday was a joyous celebration for Jude with his birth mom completely involved. Then the very next day we see Ari's birth mom and I just freeze. I started to hate that I didn't speak to her. I kept telling Mike that I just wanted to be able to say to her, "Look at him. Isn't he gorgeous??" I can't forget that brief moment and how I now longed to have spoken to her.
Now let's fast forward three months to last night. It's Tulsa Workshop time here, so we first had our annual meal time with some of our favorite people and one of the speakers in town, Josh Graves. At one point I had to step away to actually take a phone call with our attorney about Jude's adoption. While I was doing that, Mike began talking to Josh about adoption and actually told him the story I just told here. Later that night, after the assembly was over, Mike was talking to a friend of his who was curious about open/closed adoptions and again, told the same story to him.
Afterwards, a group of our, again, favorite people decided to go out for some pie. There was a big discussion about if we'd even do it, where to do it, etc. But everyone finally decided they were in, much against my will. I didn't want to go. I was tired, it was late, the kids were tired…blah, blah, blah. But still, we went.
There were about 14 of us total, so we were split up between two tables. I was sitting with two of my best friends and all the kids, and Mike was at a different table with most of the adults. After being there a few minutes Mike suddenly started walking towards me with his eyes as wide as could be. He then sat next to me and whispered in my ear, "I think Ari's birth mom is here. I think I see B." WHAT?!? I thought he was crazy. I waited a few minutes until I could see her from where I was and sure enough…oh.my.gosh. It was her. She was there.
I watched her for a few minutes. She scanned our big group a lot, but her eyes kept going back to Ari. She was watching him, smiling at him, laughing at him. Again, I just knew that she had to know. I decided I had to talk to her. I mean, in 3 1/2 years, we have lived in the same town as B and never seen her. But then, after developing a fabulous relationship with Jude's birth mom, we are in the same place as her twice within 3 months. I knew I had to talk to her. I knew God had orchestrated this moment for us to be exactly there.
So I did it. I walked up to her and simply said, "Hey, do you know me?" She just looked at me for a moment and I said, "You're B. And we adopted Ari."
Then she gasped. You guys, she outright gasped as tears filled her eyes. She said, "Oh my goodness, I was wondering! I was wondering why I felt so connected to him. I just couldn't take my eyes off of him."
And then I got to say it. I said, "Isn't he gorgeous??" I asked her if she wanted to meet him, which was, of course, a yes. So I called Ari over and got to introduce him to B. Oh my, what a special moment.
She was in so much shock that it really was him and us, just like she was imagining. She asked, "How did you know it was me??" I promised her that I've never forgotten her face. I told her that Ari knows he's adopted, that we talk about her in our house, and that she is very important and special to our family.
The rest of our time there was spent with her continuing to watch and smile at him, several of our friends and family speaking to B and hugging her, and us getting to talk to her some more. We exchanged information so that we could send pictures to her directly and had several more hugs.
She thanked us for saying something. Said it had made her night and that she had been really thinking about him lately. I don't think I have ever felt more strongly that I was in the exact place, at the exact time, that God wanted me to be.
I don't know where all of this goes from here. That may be it or it may be an opportunity for something more to grow. Please pray regardless that we are open to what God wants from us. And praise Him for putting together that night so perfectly and beautifully.