As soon as we got there, I lotion-ed Liam up (in the 5 seconds he stood still before racing to play in the water) and then I got settled in my chair.
Adoption and babies had been racing through my mind...I wish I could say it had just been that morning, but in all honestly, it felt consuming for most of the Summer.
I had been bringing it to God daily, sometimes hourly (can minute-ly be a word?...)
So I sat there, silently praying and asking God some hard questions.
And then, I saw it. The text from our adoption consultant, Katie:
"Hey, I have a situation I'd like to talk with you about. Can I call you in a bit?"
Instantly my heart started racing.
I immediately responded, "Yes!!" and eagerly awaited her call.
She filled me in about a baby that was apparently due any day now and needed a family.
There weren't a ton of details known, besides for the expectant-mom claiming it was a boy, but since there was no documentation of gender, we couldn't be sure.
We mainly knew that baby was coming soon and they were bringing this situation to us first.
If we were to say yes, she asked if we were willing to wait it out and see how things unfold, since there wasn't much information upfront.
I told Katie that I would call Will right away and then get back to her.
I don't know what it was, besides God, that led us to say yes to a very unknown set of circumstances, but He knew. He knew what was waiting for us on the other side of that yes.
So I called Katie back and told her "we're in".
Days passed and we waited.
Birth-mom's communication was on and off with the adoption attorney/agency, so we waited to hear from them. We would get bits and pieces of info that they had received, but it didn't tell us much, so we waited some more.
On Tuesday morning, August 30th, our adoption attorney emailed me saying she didn't have a ton of new information but to "give her a call and she would update me on what she knows".
I called her about an hour later, she answered the phone and said:
"You're not going to believe it, but in between the time I sent the email and you calling me, I found out the baby has been born. IT'S A GIRL!"
I could not believe what I was hearing - I was shocked!
She told me that was all she knew and to be patient while she finds out more information.
I immediately called Will at work and he came rushing home.
"Do we book a flight? Is birth-mom still following through with the adoption plan?
WHAT DO WE DO WHILE WE WAIT???"
We quickly started looking up flights - if this baby was ours we did not want her to sit in the hospital alone any longer than she had to. That, and there was a hurricane headed straight for where we needed to go, and we had to beat it.
We quickly got the call that baby's health was pretty stable and that birth-mom was going to sign consent papers. We were told to book a flight ASAP!
You guys, God was in this all. We found flights to Florida for $39! $39!!!! Unheard of.
As we prepared to leave we felt so many big emotions. A lot was happening at once.
But God met us in each nerve-racking moment.
We arrived in Orlando the following afternoon and were greeted by our amazing friend Sarah, who met us with blankets, diapers, wipes, water, snacks...basically everything we needed and more for the baby and our drive up to Tallahassee. We were so grateful.
That drive was surreal.
We made calls, reached out online for last minute fundraising, and talked about names!
When we finally arrived at the hospital that night, we were so eager to meet our baby girl.
I still remember the walk up to the NICU...it was late, the halls were so quiet, life was continuing on as "normal' for most, but here we were about to meet our miracle baby girl for the first time. I wanted to tell everyone that we passed by!
We walked into her room, and the first thing we saw was her beautiful black hair. She was laying so peacefully in her little glass crib. It makes me teary typing this, as I think of her laying there, so unaware of what had happened in the last 24 hours, waiting for a mommy and daddy to hold her.
But there she was, our beautiful little girl, Olivia Grace. It was such a sweet time between the 3 of us.
We chose the name Olivia because it means "symbol of peace" like the Olive tree in the Bible.
And Grace, because of God's grace to us, always, but specifically in our journey to her.
He covered us in so much grace, love and mercy throughout those months of waiting, fundraising, praying to grow our family and bring our baby home.
We were so thankful to be able to meet Livi's birth-mom briefly the next morning.
Our time was short but sweet and something we choose to keep pretty private.
We are so thankful for her choice to bring Olivia into this world, knowing she would not be the one to take her home from the hospital. The sacrifice and heartbreak in it all is never lost on us.
Livi's birthmom's story will always be a part of Livi's story, and it's not ours to tell.
Maybe one day Livi will choose to share details, but that is something we want to leave up to her.
I love to tell our story of how we got to our girl, Livi.
God's faithfulness is SO evident throughout.
Even while we were in Florida, in the midst of big emotions, little sleep, and a literal hurricane, He was there constantly reminding us of His presence.
One particularly hard night, I got a text from my cousin Shaina, and it read:
"As I'm praying for you, I sense the Lord saying, "Do not concentrate on or give attention to the anxiety. Focus on My love."
She was right. All I had to do was abide in that Love. Isn't that all He really asks of us?
"Focus on My love."
He cared for us the whole time.
He FULLY funded our adoption. What seemed impossible - HE made fully possible because He is always able.
When we felt those stirrings in our heart toward adoption years ago, it felt so out of reach. How could we afford to adopt? Let me just say, when the Lord calls you to something, He will equip you. No, it will not always be easy...but He is faithful to lead and provide. We are full proof of that.
I would love to sit down with each of you and tell you of every little detail Jesus was in on our journey, from special dates He used, people He put in our path, funding he provided - that always seemed to come at just the right moment, even the No's He gave us that lead us right to where we needed to be...He was there, in it all.
Will and I are just so in awe of how the Lord moved and worked, how He used SO many of you to help us, pray for us, finance our adoption, encourage us. We cannot thank you all enough.
As of March 3rd, 2017 -Olivia is offically a Wilberg(happy dance)!
We are a happy, grateful, (sometimes exhausted), family of 4 that will sing of His love and faithfulness always.
"Because your Love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." Psalm 63:3
If you have been thinking about adoption or have any questions for me, I would love to pray for you, go out to coffee with you, be any kind of encouragement or help I can be.Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." Psalm 66:12