On August 24, 2009 I was at church as usual, and Heather was at her desk in Nashville. When my phone rang, our adoption counselor greeted me by saying Heather was on the line, too, and she needed to talk with us. “Last night, there was a baby born in Nashville. This morning, the mother called Miriam’s Promise adoption agency. We just left her hospital room from showing her waiting parent profiles. How soon can you be at the hospital to meet your son?”
Obviously, that conversation forever changed our lives. A baby changes everything. I left immediately to pick up Heather and we rushed to the hospital. We had no legal claim to this child, yet nurses ushered us to him through the hospital to a room that does not exist on the schematic. They knew that the sooner he was in our arms, the better for bonding to occur. They had been doting on him and praying over him and telling him how special he was. We had been worried he was all alone; now it was clear he had never been alone.
When we checked out from the hospital the next day, the nurses all came to say goodbye, bringing gifts better than gold, frankincense, and myrrh; they brought diapers, formula, and onesies!
When we met Tyler, we saw a prayer shawl draped over his crib. We later learned it was made by the United Methodist Church in which Heather’s maid of honor had grown up, and that her mom had made it. It was the first prayer shawl she had ever made, and she remarked when we showed it to her, “how awful the corners were.” We thought it was perfect. It reminded us that God had this from the beginning.
On the day we were to bring Tyler home, we stopped at the Tennessee Highway Patrol looking for someone to help us install a car seat. A lieutenant finally came out to help, and she thought Heather looked remarkable for having just given birth! We shared our story. She began crying. She, too, had been adopted. She talked about her parents and how much she loved them. It made us feel good in the midst of our new parent anxiety.
We still affirm that a baby does change everything; from that point forward, our lives have never been the same. The same is true of the birth of Jesus. His birth transformed the entire world and still does so today. In the midst of his story, we see sign after sign that God’s got this. We are not alone. God is with us no matter what life throws at us. For this we are truly thankful.