The vision came in a flash, and left as quick as it had come. And then I just sat there and stared at her big eyes, in total disbelief. And I shed a few extra tears over her that night as I wondered what in the WORLD that had all been about. I remember telling my closest friend about it the next day and asking her what it was supposed to mean. Had God finally given me the promise that I had been waiting for. Searching for. Hoping for. That Isobel was going to be our forever daughter?
I still wasn't sure.
And so yesterday. As I sat fidgeting in the waiting room of the Fingerprint Board, anxiously awaiting my final hearing that would determine if my clearance would be granted. I wondered for the trillionth time what God had up His sleeve and where all of this was going and what all of these tiny thoughts and visions I'd been having for the past 6 months were really all about. And I knew there could be a miracle, but I was so careful not to expect one. And so as I was prepared for another long drawn out session of questioning, explanation, tears, and candid conversation about my less-than-perfect-past, I gripped Jesse's hand maybe tighter than I ever had before and followed the board member into the hearing room. No sooner had we sat down and stated our names for the record than one of the board members read the motion to grant my clearance, when two other members seconded the motion simultaneously, and the remaining three members agreed. "Congratulations. Your clearance has been granted. Have a nice day." I choked back tears and tried to get out a "thank you" as my head and my heart just swam with total confusion and disbelief. And as we made our way out into the hallway, I burst into tears on Jesse's shoulder. I know there are just so many of you who may be reading this wondering what in the world all of these extra legal steps and this special need for a Fingerprint Clearance appeal are all about-- and I also know there are many of you who were there eight years ago and you watched as I crashed and burned and you also watched as God worked His huge, crazy, miraculous power to redeem my life and bring me back to Him. For those who don't know-- please. Ask me to coffee sometime. I would LOVE to tell you more. It's not a simple story but it's an encouraging and miraculous one about how God can take the ugliest of ugly and turn it into something powerful and beautiful. And for those who do know? I know that you know what all of this means to me. We were told weeks ago that I didn't need the clearance for state certification. That having it would be a good thing, but wasn't necessary. But to sit in front of a legal panel and literally receive a pardon. Eight years later. I have a really hard time explaining with words what that does for my heart and for the enormous emotional price that my past mistakes and now embarking on this adoption journey has cost me. There were two nights in the last 6 months that I remember in particular-- where it almost did me in. I almost quit. I almost called Jesse and told him that I simply could not do this. That going back to that time and digging up all of the old wounds that I had worked so very hard to allow the Lord to heal, that it was all too much. Nothing could be worth this pain. But if you were there those years ago, and you remember? Then you will know. And just like me-- you will be in total and complete awe of our God.
We spent our late morning and early afternoon eating doughnuts and doting on Isobel. The outcome of the morning had given us hope, but still a cautious hope nonetheless. And so when I was out running a couple of errands in the late afternoon and saw a number pop up on my phone that I didn't recognize, I let it go to voicemail. I RARELY do that, given our current situation, but if it was something important, I wanted to be out of public and at least in my car. Plus, I knew that our social worker was out sick so I was pretty sure it wasn't anyone from the agency. And so a couple of hours later on my way home I decided to check my voicemail. Well. My mom will be the first to tell you that I NEVER check my voicemails (c'mon people, that's what texts are for!!!!!) and so it took me a few miles driving to remember what my voicemail pin number was. By the time I'd figured out what it was, I was sitting in my driveway at home. I knew Izzie might be sleeping so I decided to go ahead and listen to the message before I pressed the garage door and released the hounds. As I scrolled through the six old voicemails that were on there (sorry mom and Rachel!!!), I finally got to the one that I had come through at three.
"Hi Becky, this is Terri from Christian Family Care Agency. If you could go ahead and call me back that would be great. This is my office number and this is my cell if you get this after four o'clock. thanks, bye."
And my heart. it STOPPED.
We weren't expecting a decision on certification until early May at the EARLIEST. Something had to be terribly wrong. And this was it. This was the agency calling and saying that our certification was being held up, that something had been questioned or denied, and we needed to surrender Isobel to the agency.
I felt. I felt like. I don't know what I felt like. Like everything had stopped, like the ground was pulled out from beneath me, like I was going to throw up....
And I should have opened the garage door and gone in the house and called her back, but with trembling hands and breathing that was pretty close to hyperventilating, I dialed her cell number and called her back.
"Hi, Terri, this is Becky Brimhall. "
"Hi, Becky, how are you!?"
"Um, well, I don't know Terri, is everything okay??"
"Well, we wanted to send you into the weekend with some good news. Our whole office wanted to be a part of this call, but we wanted to let you know your certification came through from the state today!"
"We feel the exact same way, Becky!"
And so I THINK I remembered to turn off the car as she hung up with me and I whammed my head into the garage door which hadn't quite finished coming up yet and I burst in the door and said
And Jesse quickly stood up from where he was feeding Isobel and he asked what was wrong. He wondered if I had run over someone's dog or what in the world had happened.
And so when I finally choked out what had just happened, and then repeated myself when he looked at me blankly and said "what????" He came to me and the three of us stood in the most ridiculous of embraces with my mascara going EVERYWHERE. In fact. I'm pretty sure Isobel was grunting from all of the squeezing that was going on.
And Jesse just said, "she's ours? she's ours? she's OURS."
I can't. I just. even now. I can't really put into words what happened in my heart during these moments.
I've heard the question asked about if there were any days. any moments. That you could go back and re-live, do again...what would they be?
Friends. THIS. would be mine.
It's been just over 24 hours and I'm still sitting here and feel like my brain and my heart are outside of my body. Everytime I've looked at Isobel today, I've burst into tears.
It's like I'm seeing her for the first time.
For three years, God had called us to a season of grief. To a season of great loss, despair, and seemingly neverending tears and pain. And we have failed to walk that perfectly but we have tried so very hard to honor God in the midst of it all.
but this? This is our season to dance. To rejoice.
I am 100% here to tell you right here and now that there is absolutely no way that any of this could have happened without the divine hand of God.
6 months ago we got a call. That there was a girl. Who had just told her mother the night before that she was pregnant. And due in 8 short weeks. And that she wanted to place her baby for adoption with a Christian family but had not looked into it or talked to anyone about how to do it yet. And her mom made a call to a friend. And that friend made a call to her daughter-in-law. And her daughter-in-law made a call to me. And she didn't even know that one week prior Jesse and I had printed our initial adoption application paperwork. And we met the next day with our mentors and parents and asked if we were crazy. And we prayed. And we expected nothing. And this gal hadn't even talked to us. Or met us. And her boyfriend was a little unsure. And we weren't certified. And the agency didn't even know if given my past, we could even be certified. And we did NOT have a spare ten thousand dollars saved up for immediate adoption fees. And we didn't have a clue. And we didn't have a plan. And we sure as heck didn't have a crib or a car seat or a single piece of baby paraphenelia to our names. But the meetings happened. And we filled out a mountain of paperwork. And we talked to the birth mom. And waited. And she told us she wanted to place her baby with us. And we told her of these huge giant impossible legal hurdles we were facing. And we almost walked away. And we waited some more. And then we got a call. And we went to a hospital two hours away. And we had none of our people or our family member with us. And we met the most incredible, perfect, tiny, baby girl. And we waited some more . And then. We brought her home. And we filled our more paperwork. And we had four home visits over two weeks with our social worker. and we waited some more. And i worked on months and months worth of paperwork. And we started to fall in love. And we settled in. And we waited some more. And some more. And we borrowed any baby things anyone would give us. And people brought gifts. Swings and clothes and bathtubs and blankets. and we settled in. And then. 6 months later. we find ourselves here.
three years. three babies born into heaven. a lot of money paid into failed fertility treatments.
And God. He dropped us a daughter. from the sky. Into our laps. like it was nothing.
Immeasurably more than we could ever in our wildest, craziest dreams, ask for or make up from our most creative imaginations.
Today, we rejoice. Join us, please.
Our God moves mountains.
3 months and wearing the outfit her birth mom gave her <3
Jesse, giving Izzie her 7 am bottle...
Our Rainbow after the storm
Taken give minutes after we got the call...makeup is gone and Isobel is a little tired of being SQUEEZED. <3