I've wondered a million times about the best way to tell this story, but I think what's best is to just start and hope that the pieces fall into place along the way. I'm going to back up to about mid-July, when we were in process of waiting on a birth mother from California to decide if she indeed wanted us to adopt her baby. While that opportunity was still lingering we received a phone call from my mom one evening after she had returned home from work, and I could tell by the apprehension in her voice that she had some trepidation about what she was going to say. She had heard about another young girl who was pregnant and didn't plan to keep the baby. Would this be something we would at all be interested in pursuing? My response was not positive. It was more like, "Are you kidding me? I'm sick and tired of hearing about these girls, when none of them are actually serious about going through with it." I did not want to tell Lee. I remember looking over at him after I hung up with my mom, feeling this weight in my stomach thinking, 'Can I put him through this conversation again? How much can we take?'
"What now?" Lee asked me. ( I think he already knew what was up by the look on my face).
"You don't want to know," I replied.
So I began to tell him what my mom had told me. By the end of the story both of us were stinking MAD. We were trying not to lump every birth mother into a heaping pile of indecision, unstability, and mistrust but disappointment after disappointment can give every girl the same face, the same story, the same heart and we were done.
Our conversation was filled with comments like, "Something just doesn't seem right about this one," and, "Of all the options this one seems the LEAST likely to happen", and, "What's this girl's angle? What does she want?" We ranted, we did a little yelling, but as loud as we voiced our skepticism I could not shake this voice that said, "But what IF? What if this IS the one that works?"
"Quiet!" I remember thinking, "I don't want to wonder!" But it wouldn't go away, and quietly I whispered the 'what if' to Lee. I'd like to say that we came to a wonderful conclusion to trust God and venture once again into the uncertain realm of birth mother conversations, but we blew it off. Not completely, but we didn't entirely embrace the possibility either. We just didn't think about it. For weeks. We thought so little of it that I enrolled for classes through December and scheduled a roofing company to come replace our roof (turns out we had hail damage and only had to pay the deductible -praise God!). So when we got the call that the California situation was closed for us we threw this one out the window as well.
I had just finished the last day of my first week of classes, went out to the truck to head for home and noticed that my mom had tried to call my cell phone like 500 times. When I called her back she sounded a little excited. "I just met Marisol," she told me.
"Yeah, Cristina brought her into the clinic today and they're wondering whether or not we're going to do this adoption!"
"Marisol would like to meet you. I did pull up your blog site so she could at least see your picture, but how soon do you think you could come down to the cities to meet?"
"What?!?" ( I know, a bit redundant, but I was a little shocked. After all, hadn't this one seemed the LEAST likely to happen?)
After I stammered out a few unintelligible things we decided to try to meet on Monday, Labor Day. I didn't have classes, and most people (minus Lee) wouldn't be working. My mom confirmed with Cristina that it would indeed work for them and there we were, set to meet.
I drove down to the cities on Monday morning, but before I left had that great conversation with God (check my early September entry for details), and spent the afternoon at my parents' house making flash cards for my nursing class trying not to let the anxiety take over me. I remember standing at the kitchen window, the same one my mom has stood at for countless years waiting for countless people to arrive, watching as Marisol came walking up to the door. She didn't look obviously pregnant, and I had to fight the urge to doubt her situation. She was very sweet, but very timid and all the while I kept thinking, "One wrong move, Tiffany, and you'll have her running out to the car!"
While Cristina assisted my mom in the kitchen Marisol and I found ourselves sitting together in the living room. Me, with my extremely limited Spanish, and Marisol with her limited English managed to actually have a conversation. My sweet Dad caught a picture of us, and it turns out to be the only picture of Marisol we have, so I have to treasure that picture forever even if I do look like a horse in it.
At dinner she sat next to me and I kept shooting glances at her belly, wondering about the baby boy that was there. After dinner she excused herself and Cristina got a chance to fill me in on how they met. I'm sharing it, because I feel like I need to, like God wants it to be told. I do not however want it to communicate negatively in any way about Marisol. Here's my paraphrase of Cristina's story that she told to me that night:
I was working at Hennipen County Medical Center one day and was reaching the end of my shift. I had 15 minutes left before I was supposed to clock out. Now my job only pays in 4 or 8-hour increments, no partial hours or anything. So when a staff member came into the room asking for an interpretor I almost didn't take it, knowing I only had a few minutes left of my shift, but no one else offered, so I did. I didn't realize why I was supposed to be there until I started interpreting for this young girl. She was there to get a referral for an abortion. As the nurse took all her measurements I knew I was supposed to intervene. After the information was collected about how far along Marisol was in her pregnancy the nurse told her that she had one day left before it would no longer be legal to have an abortion in the state of Minnesota. After talking with Marisol the nurse left to go call the abortion clinic across the street to make an appointment for the following morning. I could not stay silent. 'Don't do it, Marisol. Don't kill your baby. God will bless you if you spare the life of your child. You cannot do this- I'll help you. There are lots of people who would love to adopt your baby- don't go through with this abortion.'
I convinced Marisol to come home with me, that we would talk it out and come up with a plan. She agreed to talk with me more about it. I realized that I could have lost my job for intervening like I did, but I knew that Jesus would protect me for doing His will. I told Marisol to meet me outside the front doors because I had to go into the employee area to clock out and get my purse. So I went and did that, grabbed my stuff and went outside, but Marisol was nowhere to be found. She was gone, like gone forever. At that moment everything completely drained out of me and I wept and said, 'God, I did my best to save that baby,' and I prayed for the impossible to happen. I grabbed my car keys and headed to where my car was parked. I was just about to get in when something caught my eye. It was Marisol and she was running.......running back to the front doors where we were supposed to meet! To this day I do not know what made her come back, but she got in the car with me, came to my house and made ME dinner. We talked for hours and I agreed to help her find a family for her baby.
A few days later I went to my chiropractor's appointment and there I overheard Jane talking about your situation to somebody else. Goosebumps went over my entire body and I went up and talked with your mom, saying 'You wouldn't believe this! I just agreed to help this young girl find a family to adopt her baby.........and here we are!