Redemption is for all, even me.
The hallway of the maternity ward was empty. My shoes were squeaking against the waxed tile. My sister-in-law was in one of the first rooms. Her belly was round and she was calmly sitting, watching the monitor as a heartbeat jumped across it. A few minutes later another monitor located the second heartbeat. The twins were happily content to sit quiet in their mama’s belly.
It was evening, over forty weeks into the pregnancy, and we were all more than ready for the baby girls to arrive. Little did we know that it would be just two short hours before they appeared.
Before I knew it, I stood in the hallway right outside the delivery room, arms wrapped tight around myself. When Aurora was born, I was ushered in to her and she wrapped a tiny pink hand around my finger. Her face was screwed up tight and her angry newborn cry echoed. A minute later her sister’s little kitten purr came from the other side of the room.
My brother held his daughters and bent near his wife and she touched their faces with shaking fingers and we all wiped burning hot tears from our cheeks.
It was beautiful and harsh and glorious.
That night I sat beside the babies until late, my heart tightening in my chest. I had work the next morning so I finally tore myself away from their perfect toes and rosebud lips. By the time I went home, my heart felt so hard it was splintering. The next morning I folded back the pages of my journal and the words bled right onto the page.
Lord, why not me? Why does it feel like everyone else receives what my heart screams for? Why can’t I have a husband and children alongside my best friends? Why do I have to be the one sitting alone afterward?
How can I be so blissfully happy with my precious little nieces, and so heart-wrenchingly miserable at my own state? I feel like I’ve given up what I want, over and over, I’ve trusted you, and still I sit here- alone.
It was past four o’clock the next afternoon by the time I finished work and managed to get my purple neon in gear and headed to the hospital. When I arrived, my brother was sitting in the room, both babies in his arms. I could hear the shower in the bathroom. “Oh, good,” he stood up, “would you mind staying? I have some stuff I want to get done at the shop.”
I nodded and sat down, holding my arms out for the pink bundles. Once they were safely transferred, he left and I just sat there. The room was quiet except the distant sound of water running. My scratched out prayers kept dancing through my head, along with the truth that I had written only the softest echo of what my heart wanted to say. The accusations I wanted to fling toward the heavens were scraping me raw.
I was full of bitterness and jealousy and I wanted to pound my fists and demand that God tell me why. What had I done so wrong that I couldn’t be holding my own babies? Why, oh, why, was I alone?
Giselle shifted and blinked open her eyes. They were dark and soft. Tears dripped off the end of my nose. She was so perfect. Fearfully and wonderfully made. His presence seemed to fill the room.
I thought of the Israelites, how they wandered 40 years, yet, still God moved. The wilderness did not last forever. I took deep gulping breaths. I may not stay in this place forever, but I was here today.
And I knew what He was asking, this God who freed His people from slavery, only to lead them into the desert. It wasn’t to harm them but to show them who He truly was. Not a genie-in-the-sky who brought about miraculous signs when they desired them, but a loving and just God who created them for relationship with Him. He led them into the wilderness so they could learn to trust His heart. To trust that He was doing good for them.
I choked, wiping tears on my shoulder. Giselle closed her eyes again, sleep claiming.
“Okay, God,” I whispered. “I give up. I surrender. You can have this life. I’ll do it your way, accept your plans. I will trust that you know my heart, my desires, my dreams. And I will trust that you know best.”
The pressure lifted for the first time in two days. Peace settled. He was trustworthy. He was.
I rocked the warm bundles of others’-dreams-come-true and decided that I would walk the road He had for me.
I had no idea that my journey was just beginning. I had no idea that even after my husband arrived a few years later, many more years of infertility would plague me. I had no idea that I would fight my way through a depression that would try to consume me. I had no idea that I would lose all hope and be left clinging to faith by the tips of my fingernails.
And I had no idea that on that very day, 3,331 miles away, in Guatemala City, my daughter was born.
When she was eight years old, we would get the phone call and we would do paperwork and wait for court systems and we would travel to pick her up and she would snuggle tight in the pick-up truck between us. The same truck we drove on our honeymoon and laughed because God had moved mountains to bring us together. The same God who never stopped working, who knew the future when we were stumbling in the dark.
And in all the phone calls and all the paperwork, I never noticed the day. I don’t know why I didn’t, except God wanted to snatch my breath away with His goodness. We were in the truck, driving home, when she mentioned her birthday. “What day is it again?” I asked. And she told us, and I laughed. It was loud and bright and she looked at me, confused, then smiled too. “It’s a good birthday,” I told her. She nodded. Of course it was.
I told my friend that night. I told her that I remembered the day. There are hundreds of dates that I could never remember, never be able to come up with what I was doing or where I was. But I remember the day my daughter was born.
It carries the fragrance of a God-Who-Sees. A God who carefully works to redeem the brokenness left by a hurting and sinful world.
I cried into my husband’s shirt that night. My head tucked tight against his solid chest. Adoption is beautiful, but it is also sad. It is redemption, but also the acknowledgement that something is broken that needs to be redeemed.
And I am in awe of the God who is carefully knitting together the ragged edges of our lives. Who knew about the empty upstairs bedroom where dreams have been born and then died, so many times. Who knew about the little girl who would move from place to place and never have a home for keeps. Until.
And He began working the details, swooping and swirling the edges together, years before I saw Him moving. Because He’s like that. He works redemption for all, even me.
And friend, He is working now for you, even if you can’t see it. Because He’s like that. And redemption is for all, even you.
I found your blog through Amateur Nester. My husband and are currently struggling to have our first child. This post is so encouraging! I love that God is in the details. Details full of faithfulness and grace. This is beautiful. Praying right now that the Lord will bless you also with a child of your womb.
Thank you, dear one!
beautiful. thank you for sharing. i am grateful I read this tonight, even if it did mean adding more tears to my tear stained face
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I love your writing, but more than that, your heart in it.
I am so thankful that when I have too much pain or fear to even pick up His word He still speaks to me through others. He will not be denied no matter how much I try. Sometimes it just takes a little reminder that He is. His timing, His plan, His way and I wish it didn’t have to hurt so much but I will have to be patient and wait and pray, hoping peace will decend. Thank you Natasha.
Amen and amen. So thrilled for you, friend. HE does all things well.
Yes, yes. <3
I read this with tears flowing and my heart aching. I’m so delighted for you and your family. Its amazing and wonderful and encouraging to read such a wonderful story of redemption. It has touched my soul deeply this morning. You don’t know me but it felt like you wrote this just for me, put your hand on my shoulder and spoke these words to my broken heart. Thank you.
I’m so, so thankful that you were blessed, Miriam. <3 May you see God's redemption in your own life.
Oh Tashie, as we used to call you in Alaska when you were young like your daughter, my tears are rolling. Thank you Jesus for giving you this precious girl and a good husband. So glad she has grandma and grandpa Siegrist, too!
Wow! Congratulations!! I have been following your blog for some time now and have read your book. It was SO exciting to read this post and it resonated deeply with me. We have been on our own journey through many years of infertility and also pursuing adoption — thank you for putting into words what many of us feel. Thank you for always pointing us to Jesus through the up and down of it all. Know that your story is having an impact and I pray God’s fullest blessings over you and your family during this time!
Miss Natasha –
Congratulations! It’s been a fair bit since I’ve stopped in – but the God-grande truth and beauty still reigns in the place. May He guide you and yours along this path.
I am SO incredibly happy for you. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that God is good & faithful. I have been so encouraged by your posts! Celebrating with you & the arrival of your little girl!
I am just speechless. I am so happy for you and in awe at God’s glory and faithfulness.
Congratulations!!!!!! I’m so happy for you and once again amazed by a God who is forever faithful and loves us with unimaginable love. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story with the rest of us. May God continue to be glorified! And may you find much joy and rich contentment as a mommy. Blessings!
Oh Natasha!!! I’m crying so hard right now! I could fill up the screen with words but instead I will just say “God is good”. I am so happy for you. Thank you for sharing your story.
God is so good!
So beautifully written, and such a wonderful testimonial of our great God. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with us. 🙂
Wow…just wow!! I’m blown away…the dates…the timing…you’re a MAMA!!! Wow! God is so good.
I know it. I am still in a bit of shock. Every time she calls me “Mommy” I want to cry. God is good.
Oh, Natasha!! This is gorgeous and my heart is ridiculously overjoyed for you and your daughter, though I’ve never met you in person! Your daughter has an amazing momma.
As a side note…just went to visit my own sister’s third baby in the hospital a few weeks ago…held my precious niece close and loved her dearly…but cried alone outside in my car. Thanks for the reminder that God redeems everything…in His way, in His time.
Hugs and love to you, my dear friend!
Thank you, sweet friend!
And I am continuing to pray that you will taste His redemption soon. <3
I absolutely love reading your posts, Natasha. You are a wonderful writer, but you write about what matters. You write about hope & pain. You write about God. You write so others see Him. I love that. Thank you.
Oh wow. I cried reading this. My husband and I are adopting a child right now and it IS both beautiful and sad. I’m so amazed that your daughter was born on the day you surrendered. 🙂 🙂
Isn’t it just incredible? Sometimes I think God is just up there smiling away and saying, “Hold tight, hold tight… I’ve got this.’
This is amazing! Every single word tells the story of your heart. So beautiful. Praise God for redemption!
Thank you so much for this, Natasha. Praise be to God! He makes beautiful things out of dust. And what a beautiful story for your little girl. He had a plan for her too and was calling her to Himself. Sweet glory.
No words, just tears. Hind sight really is 20-20, especially when it comes to our seeing the paths that God has woven in our hearts and our lives. I’m always in awe of how He works the details.
I’m so happy for you both! God is so good!! Blessings to you and your family!
Stunning, Tasha! Exhilarating! And thrilled for you! 🙂 Praise the Lord!
Praising God–oh glory indeed, Tasha! His love is ever present, His mercy ever abundant. His grace ever amazing!
Amen! Such a beautiful post.
Oh my, the glory….thank You Sweet Jesus…
It’s a crazy thing, Natasha. How we sometimes feel so confined and strapped with time…days…dates… but this date He’s given you….it’s as if your tether has broken. Just as He said He would do for you.
Redemption at its finest.
Thank you for letting us celebrate with you! So happy for you!!!
Isn’t that the truth! I forget, so often, that God is not confined to time or days or dates. He IS. End of story. And He is always working and moving.
Tears… again… of thankfulness, pain, happiness, sorrow… Rejoicing with you Tasha!!! I’m excited to welcome you to this glorious, gritty Adoption Momma Journey!!! 🙂
Thank you! I’m happy to join in with the many incredible adoptive mommies I know.
Beautiful! It made my heart so happy to read this! Blessings friend.
I love that the dates matter. I have so many dates of big days swirling in my head and love when God does something awesome to redeem some of the harder ones.
I’m still a little stunned that this story is MY story. I’ve looked at her birth certificate a dozen times to make sure that it’s actually the day I thought. So crazy-beautiful. I pray that you taste the redemption of your days soon, friend. <3
Beautiful! His ways are best! Thank you.
Beautiful and thrilling. He indeed does all things well. <3
Oh, yes. He does.