Hi my friends!
Back at the hotel in small-town Kansas, I was so desperate for sleep. Definitely didn’t get it. Combination of a…we’ll just leave it at interesting… hotel experience, and a boy who’s suddenly started developing asthma symptoms. We were up most of the night.
So instead of all of us accompanying “Amber” to the ultrasound yesterday morning, I dropped Stan and Isaac off at an urgent care place, then drove over to meet Amber at her doctor’s office.
[Let me insert quickly the fact that Isaac WAS okay after a breathing treatment. Urgh. Poor buddy.]
Amber brought her son “Luke” to her doctor’s appointment with her. He and I talked about his Cars (the Disney movie) video game. And talked. And talked.
Then came the moment. I videoed the sonogram for Stan and Isaac to watch later.
Oh you guys, it was so incredibly cool. We saw our girl move, saw her little lips and nose and chinny chin and oh my GOODNESS SHE IS CUTE!!
Be still my heart.
OH! And she has hair. HAIR! You could see it on the sono! So, so awesome.
Luke and I sat in the waiting room during the doctor visit portion of the appointment. Commence “Cars” talk again. I was glad to engage him. His precious little heart seems pretty open to Stan and I, which I love. He’s an incredibly sweet kid.
I told you last night that Amber’s doing a good job helping him process the fact that his baby sister is going to be brought up in another family. She is. But this is so hard, for both of them. If you think of Luke, please pray for him, that he’ll grieve and process well. That the adults in his life (including his own father, at whose house he will spend 2 weeks starting Monday-ish) will extend grace to him and help him to process like he needs to.
More Big News
Okay, before I get to the “big reveal,” gotta share some other incredible news with you guys.
Enter: BIRTH DAD.
The man who we thought was totally uninvolved and checked out. The one we were a bit nervous might give us a hard time. The one who probably wouldn’t actually contest the adoption, but might not cooperate with us either. Yeah, that guy.
Our attorney finally got a hold of him a couple days ago.
Y’all, he is GREAT. (!?!?!) Our attorney said she BAWLED after she got off the phone with him because she was so relieved. In her words to us (after getting herself together post birth-dad-convo), “He just wants you guys to adopt his baby girl and for her to have an awesome life.”
Shock. And awe. What’s that old song? God will make a way where there seems to be no way? Yeah… He SO DOES THAT.
God is over and over again making flat, straight paths for our feet on this journey. Just leveling the mountains. We are so blown away by His provision and faithfulness.
More than words.
Anyway, birth dad wants to meet us, which we’ll gladly do when we’re out there again for our baby girl’s birth. He wants to have our profile book – also a definite yes from us. I’ll be mailing it to him in the next couple of days. And he’s on board with allowing his daughter to be ours. Even willing to do a DNA test, which we all seriously doubted would happen.
Man. We’re just in awe.
And NOW: A Name Story
Since Amber had thought for the first 3/4 of her pregnancy that she might be able to find a way to be able to parent this baby girl, she had chosen a name for her. We went into our first meeting with her last week knowing this.
(Amber was aware that we would be naming the baby now that she was placing her for adoption.)
We were open to the possibility of using the name Amber had chosen as a second middle name for our baby girl. We felt that this would be a deeply meaningful way to honor Amber, as well as a beautiful way to give our daughter a piece of her birth mom’s heart for her.
All-in-all, we loved the idea.
That said, we did still want to make sure we were okay with the name she’d chosen. Okay with its meaning, etc.
And oh my goodness, are we ever. When there was a break in that first conversation, I kind of tenderly, hesitantly asked her to share the name with us. She did, and y’all, I was so relieved and overjoyed at the name she’d chosen.
Sofia. Beautiful. Just beautiful.
And check this out: Sofia means WISDOM.
Over the last year or two, God has absolutely WRECKED my heart with the goodness of the Gospel. The utter undeserved-ness of our salvation. The fact that we absolutely canNOT earn right standing before God. That our confidence before Him was purchased for us by Jesus on the cross and by nothing we can accomplish on our own.
That the cross was enough. It is FINISHED. The way has been made.
I’ve been struck over and over again by how my heart needs to “trust fall” backwards into the goodness of the Gospel every. single. day. How without consciously choosing this, I default to striving, trying to perform in order to earn right standing and confidence before God.
Confidence to come in close to His heart.
He’s already purchased it ALL for me. I who once was far away have been brought near – near to God’s heart – by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13). By the finished work of the cross. The unfathomable richness of what we’ve been given. Of the Gospel. Of God’s heart toward us.
In His extravagant grace, the Father has made the way for us to come confidently before His throne.
2 weeks and one day ago, we learned that Amber was interested in our family. Then, that very night, she officially “selected” us. Wanted to meet us. We were finally matching. After a year and a half (since we’d started our process).
I think I had begun to wonder if it’d ever happen.
I was so, SO beyond excited that night. Thus began my “new life” of being too excited to sleep. Pretty much every. single. night.
Stan and I had not previously selected boy’s and girl’s names for our future adopted child. We wanted to wait till we were matched and then pray over names for that specific baby.
So that first night, I lay awake staring at my iPhone. I was looking at baby girl names and their meanings.
I would come across a name I liked, kind of nudge Stan (who was also excited but has the supernatural ability to SLEEP when he’s excited), and ask him what he thought about it. We’d pray, talk name meaning and significance and all of that. Then he’d go to sleep till I found the next one. Oh, my hubby is such a trooper.
After seriously considering a number of names, we still didn’t feel like we’d landed on the exact right name for this little girl. It was nearly 1 am, and I was about ready to quit trying for the night, when I found it.
Maia. Hebrew. “Close to God.”
STAN, WAKE UP!! I THINK THIS IS IT!
He agreed. And not just to get me to let him sleep, either. Ha.
He loved it as much as did.
Maia. Pronounced like “Maya,” but with an i instead of the y.
This was it. Maia. Our girl.
If I could pray one prayer for our daughter, it’d be that she’d continually draw close to the heart of God.
Over the next couple of days, we settled on her middle name.
Close to God. Brought near to His heart – by God’s extravagant grace.
Oh Father, that this little girl would grow up confident in her position of nearness to Your heart, because of your wild grace that has made the way, drawn her in close.
So, we’d arrived at Maia Grace.
Then we had our first meeting with birth mom and learned that she’d chosen Sofia.
It clicked instantly in our hearts: Maia Sofia Grace.
I so love the way it flows together. Maia Sofia Grace.
Close to God, by God’s wisdom – and the extravagant grace of the Gospel.
Sheesh. It’s overflowing with meaning and I keep realizing over and over the significance of the way these names fit together.
Annnnd here she is – Maia Sofia Grace Butler:
In this last pic, she has her hand on her face. Oh, I just love her! On our drive back home today, I put these pictures in my Bible in some “random” spot, just to keep them from getting wrinkled. Later on, it occurred to me to look and see where I had put them. Check this out:
Oh, how this couldn’t be more appropriate.
Father, thank you that we are seeing Your goodness in the land of the living. Thank you for our sweet girl and our incredible birth mom. Thank you for your hand of kindness that’s woven throughout this journey. You are faithful and good and You make ways where there seem to be none. You craft hope in hidden places, and we are just overwhelmed by the extravagance of your heart toward us.
What else can I say? He’s just so. good.
I’ll update again soon, friends. Thanks for being so with us in this. You are a manifestation of God’s goodness to us.
Be so blessed this day.