If you are reading this then by now you are already aware that we now have a son, Cruz Thomas Hagensen! He is perfect to us in every way and we could not be more proud of the little stud-muffin God has chosen for our family. He was born on April 13th, 2011 and officially became our son one month later on May 13th, 2011. Many of you have been understandably perplexed at how our loss and grief dramatically turned from tears of sadness to those of joy. "How? When? Huh?" Brittany and my desire is to fill in those blanks...at least as best we can while operating on very little sleep and even less emotional energy.
As a quick side-note: I would encourage those of you unaware of what has happened over the past month to read our last few blog posts and then come back to read this one. I am writing under the assumption that you know the background leading up to now.
Shanae text Brittany on Wednesday night, May 11th, to ask "How you doing?". This was the first time that we had heard from her since she had a change of heart and decided to parent. We were both predictably anxious simply at the sight of her name on Brittany's phone. It wasn't that we harbored any feelings of anger towards her, but hearing her text was a swift reminder of the hurt we had experienced through her relationship. After a couple minutes passed with no response, she text again. This time her text said, "If this is still Brittany's phone please call or text me as soon as possible." At this point I instantly thought that she was having second thoughts (or third, or fourth, or... well is anyone even counting at this point?).
We had hundreds of text message conversations with Shanae over the months, but never once had we spoken over the phone, and that is what made this seemingly normal request so note-worthy. After a quick discussion we decided that allowing her to call us seemed like the right thing to do as she obviously needed us at that moment. Shanae called and explained that she "couldn't do it anymore." That as much as she loved her boy, she knew why she wanted an adoption plan in the first place. She said that the reality had set in, and that she wasn't capable at this time of properly caring for four children on her own.
Because this conversation happened relatively late in the evening, the agency was closed and we told her that everything would have to coordinate through them. We hung up the phone and truly thought the possibility was remote of us actually adopting the very same little boy we had taken home from the hospital almost exactly one month earlier. We were guarded, emotionally numb, and adamantly set on not letting ourselves "go there." We decided that we would not discuss this conversation/possibility with friends and family because we didn't want to put all of you through the emotional ups and downs once more. In hindsight, I believe it was also a defense mechanism for ourselves: the less people who knew, the less "real" it would seem to us, and as a result we would experience less pain "when" it ended in heartache.
The next morning our agency concluded that it would be in everyone's best interest for Shanae to think her decision through for a 24 hour period. After all, signing relinquishment papers is an irrevocable act that carries lifelong implications, and certainly not one that should be made out of emotion. On Friday morning, after having time to process, Shanae contacted us to meet her at our agency in downtown Phoenix. After a couple hours and a thousand tears she had signed papers and we were taking our little man home forever!
Quantifying or measuring our excitement at that moment would be impossible, but what I can say is that we both felt very mixed emotions. Although we rest assured that God's plan is perfect and we whole-heartedly trust that Cruz was born to be a part of our family, it was difficult to take satisfaction in what was simultaneously breaking the heart of another.
Shanae's grief was intense and raw, but what was even more overwhelming was the hovering existence and presence of the Lord. He had orchestrated a beautiful and perfect ending to His story, and I am confident that he is pleased. God's hand was at work long before Brittany and I ever met. We were merely pieces on his chess board, or characters in his book, being used for his perfect purposes. We feel so blessed that He chose to use us in such a beautiful way, in such a life-changing way.
When we embarked on this journey Brittany and I had a prayer of one: that no matter what we encountered God would be glorified through this adoption. Now, one year later His perfect plan has been revealed and we can rest confident that the Lord's will was in fact done.
Thank you for your love and support! We cannot wait to introduce Cruz to each and every one of you. He is our miracle; a constant reminder of God's faithfulness in our lives. We couldn't be more blessed!
Until our next adoption...
Britt & John