In the beginning, on May 6th, there was an e-mail.
"Hi Spencer and Chelsi, We are Jade and Nate. I am expecting a baby girl in August. We're considering placing our baby for adoption. We saw your profile and thought you guys seemed interesting. We'd love to get to know you more! -Jade, Nate, and baby girl"
Then there were more emails, and on May 22, there was a date. We went to the Olive Garden at 7...except we got there at 7:45 because there was traffic. I was freaking out. FREAKING out. The plan was for me to take the train to meet Spencer in American Fork at 6:30. I spent the train ride reading and painting my nails across from this lady who was high as a kite. At 6:30 I got off the train to meet Spencer and he was stuck in traffic...like way stuck. So we decided it would be best for me to get back on the train to Provo...maybe if we met in Provo traffic would clear up. I got to Provo and he was still in Draper...I sat in the sun just freaking out while I waited for him and texted Jade. By the time we got there I was super sweaty, entirely anxious, with deflated curls and hope.
We had a good dinner and spoke about adoption, how things would be, etc. They seemed really sure. When I found out about Jonah I thought, "There's no way they will place. What's another kid." But to these kids, they know what another kid would mean. They get how hard it is to parent after Jonah. They get that they have another option and they have brave, strong hearts. Their firmness in their decision was reassuring and we left by meeting their little Jonah bug, as well Jade's mom, and setting up a time for a second date. We continued to go out about every other week. On our second date, I threw my back out a few days before (belly-dancing!) and I was in a lot of pain. I wanted to go out, so I decided to take a Loritab and stick it out. I got so sick and ended up in the bathroom at Chilli's throwing up, then faking like nothing was wrong. After it just got worse, not better, I decided to get real with them and tell them I was a hot mess and couldn't go to a movie without barfing everywhere. It was really disappointing, especially for Spencer, but we offered to pay for a movie for them, and while they watched Pitch Perfect, I was pitching my cookies at home.
In the middle, more dates ensued. Fun ones like Trafalga where they played mini golf for the first time, and the boys DRENCHED us in the boats, and where I forgot to wear a bra. Yeah, you read that right. We went to the duck pond and on a picnic, we went to the aquarium, we went to the splash pad and to fun cafes. Each time we hung out we fell more and more in love with these amazing kids. Nate is turning 18 this week. He's funny, bubbly, and sweet and excited. We have similar personalities I think. We're both a little goofy and will do ANYTHING for ice-cream. (We are also afraid of heights but walked across a tiki bridge at the aquarium!) He loves Jade and Jonah more than anything in the world. Jade is 18. She is level-headed and smart, and does so much to help her family. She's happy and has the sweetest little smile and beautiful big brown eyes. She is up for anything and has the biggest heart in the world.
Somewhere in the middle of these dates, they told us they were considering another couple. It was around our anniversary, June 30. We were heart-broken, but knew that it was the right thing, and something we would've done had we been in their position.
10 long days (it felt like so much longer!!!), and two dates later, they told us. We went to lunch and then met her family at the splash pad. We played with her nephews and niece (who I just want to eat up!) and Jonah, who is the best baby ever. The whole time Nate and Jade were acting really weird and I just kept thinking, "Just get it over with! Just tell us you picked the other couple!" So after a few hours, it was time to go home. I was prepping to put my game face on and accept the fact that it wasn't going to work out, but had no idea on how to do so. As we all walked to our cars, I looked up and saw a jeep decorated with pink ribbons and bows and balloons. I couldn't believe it.
"Is that our car..." I said. "That's our car," Spencer said. I just turned to Jade and started bawling and held her.
I don't think the birth mom/adoptive mom bond is really something that can be explained....When we hug it's like we are one person. I would walk through fire for her with no hesitation. I firmly believe that Jade is my sacred vessel. My sacred vessel that I needed in order to bring our little Avaya here. My vessel is broken, so Heavenly Father found me someone strong enough, brave enough, and loving enough to be my deliverer. How can you possibly explain the feelings that come with the magnitude of that? She's making me a mom, Spencer, a father. I'm not just gaining a daughter, I'm gaining Nate, Jade, and Jonah. All of us, no matter what, will be a family, always and forever.
And, so, in the end, there's a family. And a baby...but you'll have to wait for that post.
We love you, Family. Always and forever. See you soon!