For several months I have wanted to tell you about a miraculous event in my family's life, but I haven't been able to. Now that I can, I'm not sure I can do it justice.
On October 11, we legally and forever gained a new niece, Ivey Elise.
My husband's sister, Mandy, and her husband, Chad, adopted the most beautiful baby girl, a child whose story grabbed our hearts and whose presence has changed our lives.
Mandy and Chad had gone through all of the paperwork and preparation for adoption, having their home inspected, fingerprints run, and lives dissected. Their names were placed on the list, and just four months later, they received the call. Both teachers, Mandy and Chad were at work when the call came saying, "There is a baby girl - if you want her, come to the hospital."
You have to hear Chad's story of running through the halls and parking lot - I picture it like the scenes of expectant dads in movies. Of course they wanted her. They were going to have a daughter.
Sweet Ivey had been dropped off at an upstate South Carolina hospital under what is known as Daniel's law. Under this special provision, parents may relinquish their babies, 30 days old or younger, at specified locations without fear of prosecution. Her mother gave no information, just handing over the tiny girl wrapped in a towel. Her birth mother gave her up so she could have a better life. I'm crying as I type this because I cannot, as a mother, imagine facing that decision.
There are people who ask, "How could someone do that?" I ask the same question, but with a tone of admiration - "How could someone do that?"
The story of Ivey is a story of grace in so many ways. Her birth mother showed Ivey grace by gifting her with a life that could have turned out so very differently. We shudder to think of what might have been for her - the options that were not chosen. God showed Mandy and Chad grace in bringing them a child that they, of course, would not have in their lives without His intervention. He has graced my in-laws with a granddaughter who lights up their lives. Grace at every turn. Grace in many ways.
What I love about grace, true God-given grace, is that it is so unexpected and unplanned. When God shows His great love, it is so rarely in the ways that we humans would have imagined it to be. It is often illogical, rarely on our schedule, but always a reminder of His nature.
Ivey-boo, we love you so much. We cannot wait to see you grow and learn, cannot wait for the first time you tell your parents "no," cannot wait to see the woman you will become. God sees something extraordinarily special for your life, and I know this because His plan for you has already been extraordinarily special. Every time we see you, we see God. Bear that image well, sweet girl. Your story will draw people to His love, as it already has, and He has entrusted that privilege to you. Make Him proud. We are so honored to be part of your forever family.