Sitting in the hospital waiting room I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I'm not able to separate the tears of joy from those of grief.
Her name will be Angela. She was delivered only a few hours earlier by her teenage mother. Julie looked at her and said; “she’s beautiful, she deserves more, I deserve more, I want to give us both a chance.” She asked for our Pastor. He’d been counseling her throughout her pregnancy and had assured her the church would stand beside her no matter what she decided. She told him she wanted more for her baby than she could possibly give. “I’ve decided I want to sign adoption papers” Julie told the Pastor. Gina and Dan were called and told to come right away. As they drove to the hospital they tried to grasp what was happening. Two attempts at adoption had ended in crushing disappointment, and now unexpectedly they were told they could bring their new daughter home today. I watch the nurse place Angela in Gina’s arms. They are dear friends and my tears of joy are flowing freely.
In the next moment I look down another hallway into the Children’s Ward and see my friend Jill collapse into her husband Gary’s arms. The two of them, sobbing, slide slowly down the wall to the floor, clinging to each other and desperately trying to understand what has happened. Only a few hours earlier their curly topped bundle of energy had been playing out front with her two brothers. “Watch your sister boys” Jill had instructed as she walked into the house with her mother. She was helping her carry a load of groceries they needed for the family reunion that weekend. Having both hands full they had left the truck door open and the boys jumped in. As boys will, Johnny, the older of the two, grabbed the gearshift and began to pretend to drive. He had no way of knowing their two year old sister was behind the truck. The driveway being steep, the truck rolled over her without stopping. They are dear friends and my tears of grief are flowing freely.
From my vantage point I can see the Maternity Ward and the nursery to my left, where Dan and Gina are cooing lovingly to their new bundle of joy. Our Pastor is standing with them but his countenance shows that he is carrying a burden that they don’t know about yet. Looking straight ahead I can see the hallway of the Children’s Ward where Jill and Gary are still crumpled on the floor, holding each other, completely consumed by their grief.
Slowly I rise and walk down the hallway to the Nursery. I join the circle of three admiring Angela, and silently nod to our Pastor in the direction of the other hallway. Excusing himself he leaves, understanding that something has changed and he is needed elsewhere.
Gina asks if I would like to hold Angela and I gladly take her. While sobbing I cling to the infant and gently tell them what has happened to Jill and Gary. Their faces drop, Gina turns to Dan and says; “we need to go to them.”
We find Jill, Gary, our Pastor and one of the nurses praying. Joining them we all pray about the days to come for Jill and Gary. We pray for their boys.
The Lord seems to answer our prayers and gives them the strength they need for that moment.
I see Jill look over at Gina and notice for the first time that she is holding a baby. A puzzled look crosses Jill’s face and I can tell Gina doesn’t know how to react. Gina explains what has happened and Jill gives her a huge heartfelt hug. “That’s wonderful Gina, I’m very happy for you” Jill says sincerely, as tears continue to flow down her cheeks. “We’ll both always remember today, the day our daughters both arrived. Yours into to your arms, and mine into the arms of Jesus.”
As they share their tears of grief and joy I leave them there and head back towards the Maternity Ward.
I crack open the door to her room and see her lying there staring out the window. “Julie?” I ask softly; “may I come in?”
She holds out her arms to me and as we cry together she asks; “Did I do the right thing Mom?”
“Yes honey, and I’m so proud of you” was all I could manage to say.
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