The idea was preposterous. A baby. How would that happen? Branch was supposed to be my one and only chance to parent an infant. That didn’t work out. Though he should have come to me early on, it was two years before it happened. I wanted to accept the impossibility. Realistically, my chance was gone.
“You won’t be childfree,” something inside of me whispered whenever anyone encouraged me to look forward to my four kids all being in school. “By then you’ll have a baby.”
All winter long I tried to silence that voice. It was a ship that had sailed. I needed to be content with the four children God had given me. Beyond being impossible, adding an infant to our family felt irresponsible. Things aren’t always easy or perfect, especially since I’m parenting alone.
“Some people might think so,” my mother said when I shared my concerns about the absolute impossibility, “but having seen you with the kids, I know you can do it.”
Even if I could, it remained impossible. How could I have a baby? Birthing my own was out of the question. Adopting one just couldn’t happen.
I love my children. Each of them came to me miraculously. I appreciate the journey that brought us together. I regret the time we spent apart in their early lives but don’t dwell on the parts of our story that can’t be changed. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything. Yet…..this lingering longing has remained for a baby straight from the hospital. Just once, I’ve wanted to experience it.
“This is a dream that needs to die,” I told the Lord time and again this past year.
I was certain my own discontent was keeping it alive. Yet, despite my best efforts to shake off the idea, it persisted.
Then there came a text message at the end of April that changed everything. The woman who carried Raine and Athena into the world was pregnant again. A few weeks later, I accompanied her to the first ultra sound. We talked over lunch. Sadly, life had not improved for her. Recognizing her own limitations, she asked me to raise the baby.
This is what God was preparing me for.
I ought to have listened instead of working so hard to silence Him.
After many adventures, Cora was born on August 3rd. I met her the very next day. There was a private custody arrangement being worked out. But in the end, Children’s Aid became involved. After meeting with the social worker, it was agreed that Cora ought to be with her biological sisters. Toronto CAS and Kingston FACS jumped through hoops to ensure the baby could come to me. The hospital agreed to extend her stay until everything was in place.
One week after she arrived in the world, Cora was handed over to me. A newborn baby straight from the hospital. Completely impossible.
Holding her, my heart breaks for the circumstances that brought her to me.
My dream is for her, but I wish it could’ve come about without the sorrow. As I rejoice over her, there’s a woman mourning a devestating loss.
“I wish things were different for you,” I told that woman many times as we sat together in the hospital waiting for decisions to be made that would shape both our lives. She relented to the inevitable. Cora couldn’t stay with her. She had to let her go. With courage, she advocated for her child to become mine. With consideration, she let me pick the name. Cora. It came to me in a dream two months before she entered the world. We didn’t know if the child would be a boy or girl. When I fell asleep after praying for the baby one night, she appeared to me in a dream. “My name is Cora,” she said. Looking it up the next morning, I discovered the meaning is “full heart”. I could see her, full of love and confidence. Secure. Content. Having a happy heart. I could see her running and laughing.
Now here she is, asleep in the crib beside my bed. Here she is, moving through the day with me. Here she is smiling and cooing. Frowning when I put her down in the basinet, so I can do dishes.
Here she is. The one I dreamed of. The idea that wouldn’t leave me. The child God was preparing my heart for. The impossibility.