Tuesday, April 12, 2016

We're adopting!

on our last date before baby — Five Guys! (We're so fancy.)

Our wild adoption story:
Thursday, April 7th: My mom called today with the craziest news. “J is making an adoption plan, and she’s offering the baby to you and Andy. It's a girl, and she's being delivered next Thursday, April 14th."

(I know. I KNOW. That is in two days! Crazy town!!)

Oh, the tears. I cried so hard and so loud that my dog fled from the room in fear. The best word to describe it is verklempt. I could barely speak. I managed to get out the words “I want her so bad."

I called Andy and asked how he felt. When he said, “I’m open to it,” I immediately burst into tears again. I’ve done a lot of crying over the last few months, but nothing compared to how much crying went down that day! The start of this year has been super emotional for me. This summer marks the third anniversary of our son John's death, and the second anniversary of the loss of our daughter Jane. (You can read more about them and my grieving process here.) My heart has been aching for my babies and I've wondered what the future held for us in terms of children.

It feels amazing to be weeping tears of joy.

It turns out Andy already knew about the baby. My parents had the wisdom to share with Andy first so he could pray about it before I found out. (I think everyone knew I would be all in!) He asked me to give him a little bit more time, which was absolute torture.

The next day I woke up smiling. I prayed for Andy to make a decision by the end of the day. Before he left for work he turned to me with a grin and said, "What are we waiting for? Do you want this baby? Let's have this baby!" It was the absolute BEST! I imagined the angels in heaven bursting into cheers and songs of praise.

I went back and forth between astonished laughter and fits of happy tears. We kept saying over and over, “How is this real life? What is happening? We are having a baby in a week!” 

I called the birth mother and she was so happy and relieved to hear our answer. J is a friend of my parents and both Andy and I met her last fall when she joined our family for Thanksgiving dinner. Funny enough, I joked with my family that I was going to ask J for her baby! God knew all along. :) 

Ever since Jane died I have prayed for God to bring a baby to our doorstep. I begged Him, "God, make it easy. We don't want to have to go through more pain." He heard my prayers! I've also been asking for God to restore my ability to hope and to show me His redemptive love through my pain. Through this crazy amazing experience I am learning that God wants us to dream big and pray even bigger!

Andy has been the most wonderful partner through all of this. Our shared grief brought us closer together in a sad but beautiful way. We have experienced seasons of being hermits and seasons of being social, and I'm grateful when I think of how much sweet together time we've enjoyed. (We celebrate eight years of marriage in a few weeks!) Andy has been especially helpful over the past few days as I have been an absolute wreck trying to tie up loose ends and pull things together to prepare for our daughter, who arrives in a matter of days!

Friends, we get to hold our living baby in our arms. (More tears!) God willing, we will leave the hospital with a baby instead of leaving empty-handed. We are in awe of this incredible gift!

What happens now:
Our baby will be delivered Thursday morning in a Virginia hospital. J has graciously invited me to join her in the operating room so that I will be able to hold the baby right away. We will be living in Virginia until the adoption is finalized, which may take a month or two (or longer). We cannot cross state lines with our girl during that time, but we will both be coming up to Frederick here and there for work and getting our home ready. We are working with an attorney and will receive a home study and follow-up visits in the coming weeks.

What we have:
We are so blessed to have already received some baby items in addition to a few things we had for John and Jane. If an item is not on one of our registries, we likely already have it. We will add things as we think of them or ask for anything someone might be able to give us secondhand. If you happen to leave something at our door or send something to our home in Frederick, it will be picked up by a neighbor and we will receive it the next time we are in town.

What we don't have: a name! We're working on it! :) We will joyfully share a birth announcement on Thursday or Friday.

How you can help:
Pray for this adoption to proceed smoothly and quickly. Pray for J as she recovers emotionally and physically. Pray for us to show one another grace as we navigate this new, exciting, sleep-less season! 

We have already received many requests on how people can help out. Here are a few ways:

Donate to the baby Rennie fund
Our Target registry
Our Amazon registry

Our church community will set up a meal train for when we move back to Maryland. If you'd like to be a part of that, you can either leave your e-mail in a comment or message me on Facebook.

While I love to share this news and tend to over-share in general, I want to protect J's privacy and our baby's story. We will not be sharing any more information about the birth parents publicly, and may choose not to share it privately, either. If you know J, please do not give her identity away. Thanks! If you're wondering, we are legally allowed to share pictures of our baby, and J has given us her blessing to do so.

A final note: hugs to anyone reading this who is bummed to hear this news via Facebook. These past few days have been a whirlwind — so much to do in so little time!

Your prayers for our hearts have carried us through such a long, dark time. Thank you! God is good and He is faithful always.

Psalm 145:3-21
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
 One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
 They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
 The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.


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  2. Rebecca HannerApril 12, 2016 at 2:34 PM
    Praise the lord from whom all blessings flow!!! I'm overjoyed for you!!! What I know of your past few years I know through your writings and I cry tears of joy with you now!!! I am so thrilled for you Laura and hope I always remember this testimony as an example of Gods loving answer to our prayers. I am overjoyed for you and will be praying for you and Andy!!


  3. I AM CRYING, TOO! I am so so happy for you guys. I wish Daily Fast Fuel was still posting because our readers would be so happy to share in this update of joy. I'm sharing this with my readers/friends on FB so they can enjoy and be encouraged by your news. ENORMOUS AND BOUNTIFUL HUGS TO BOTH OF YOU and to your wonderful Becker family.

    1. AND I don't know why this lists me as Anonymous... DEBBIE LEGG IS SHOUTING WITH JOY FROM THE ROOFTOPS!

  4. Laura this is so incredible!! I am in awe at God's kindness and provision. Sooo happy for you guys. Can't wait to see pics and hopefully one day even meet your new little one.

  5. As a woman who waited over a decade to become a Mom, and has now celebrated more than a decade as a Mom I can claim this for you; "The grief you've suffered now, will become part of the joy you have with your baby girl"...God reclaims everything in His time.

  6. Brooke would like to bring you a meal and meet your daughter when she comes home, so add me to the list! betitwe@comcast.net. We are so happy and excited for you! We will lift you up in prayer. Kelly Betit

  7. I'm so excited for you!!!!!!! I read last night and couldn't sleep. Can you send me your address? I am having trouble with the registry and want to make sure things are sent to you correctly!!! amy.b.marsh@gmail.com


thanks for reading!