There were times when we were waiting on Jackson to make his arrival that I really wanted to get the call in the middle of the night! To grab our bags, jump in the car and rush to the hospital. I am super glad it didn't happen that way, because if it had, John and I might have missed out on some really awesome moments.
We got to the hospital at the same time that our birth mom checked in and were with her each and every step of the way. The night we arrived the nurses asked me what the game plan was for the delivery room. Previously our birth mom had said she wanted to see the baby, but not hold him. I sat down with her and asked her how she wanted things to play out the next day during the birth. She requested that I be in the room with her, get to hold Jackson first and get to cut his umbilical cord. Then she told me that she did want to hold him. For a moment my heart stopped. The thought flashed through my mind that she would hold him and then decide she couldn't give him up for adoption. But just as quick as that thought entered my mind, a peace (that only God can give) flooded my heart. I believed that this baby boy was our child. I was confident that our birth mom knew without a doubt that she could not take care of him.
That night I stayed in the room with our birth mom, listening to Jackson's heartbeat throughout the early morning hours and silently praying that everything would work out. That God would calm my nerves and remove the huge knot in my stomach. There were times I wanted to just burst into tears, but I couldn't do that in front of our birth mom. I didn't know how in the world I could listen to his little heart beat all night long and not be his mommy. John was sleeping in a hospital room down the hall and he said he prayed all night long too - we were both a nervous wreck - not sure how things would go or how she would feel once she saw the baby and held him.
The next morning, I went to our hospital room to freshen up and I burst into tears. My emotions were off the charts! I was excited, scared, nervous, sleepy (we got very little sleep the first night because Jackson was so awake that they couldn't keep the heart monitor on him).
Wednesday was a long day. They induced about 6 a.m. and our birth mom made very slow progress. We watched her contractions on the monitor, hung out with her and tried to patiently await the arrival of our son. My parents and sister got to the hospital about noon and boy was I glad.
John and I struggled at first with whether or not to have anyone at the hospital (since it was a unique situation) but I am very glad my parents just told us they would be there. We needed that support. I am so glad they were there the moment he entered this world -that they got to share that moment with us.
Each hour passed by and I was prepared for it to be a long, long day. Friends kept texting asking for updates, letting us know they were praying. About 3 p.m. my parents left to go check in to their hotel, my sister curled up to take a nap (she works nights as a nurse and had worked the previous 2 nights) and John had gone to Sonic to get me a Dr Pepper.
I went to check on our birth mom and the doctor announced that she had gone from a 6 to ready to push! Holy Moly! I rushed down and woke my sister up. It went something like this:
"Myka, Myka (in somewhat of a whisper). It's time, it's time!" She fumbled around and called my parents who rushed back without checking in to their hotel. I called John and before I knew it I was in the delivery room and our birth mom was about to push.
I prayed and prayed that I wouldn't pass out! I am very squeamish when it comes to blood and doctors, etc. (This could be the #1 reason that I didn't have biological children).
Our birth mom was a rock star! In about 3-4 pushes, little Jackson made his grand arrival! My first thought when they brought him out was "He's huge!" The night before our birth mom and I had been guessing how much we thought he would weigh. We both thought he would weigh around 7 lbs 8 oz. One look at him and I wasn't sure the newborn clothes I had brought would fit!
I got to cut his umbilical cord AND I didn't pass out! The nurses grabbed my camera and took photos of me doing it. John, my parents and sister, were all outside the door and could hear Jackson's first cries.
Once they got him cleaned up and weighed and measured, they bundled him up and handed him to me. I was overcome with emotion! I got to take him to the doorway for John and my family to see. There was not a dry eye! Tears of joy all the way around! I will never forget the looks on my families faces! We were literally witnessing God's plan unfold - a miracle that none of us could have ever imagined!
After a little bit I took Jackson over to his birth mom and handed him to her. In that moment, I had complete peace - I knew that this little boy was my son! I knew God had written this story and was in total control. She only held him for a few minutes and then told him he needed to go back to his mom. I have photos of the three of us that I will always cherish - that I will one day get to show Jackson. The one thing his birth mom did say as she was holding him was "I hope that the next time I have a baby, I am in a place where I can take care of it and not have to give it up for adoption." As I choked back tears, I told her I hoped the same thing.
She handed Jackson back to me and I got to wheel him to our hospital room. From that moment on he was in our care.
When we first found out that our birth mom would be delivering the baby 2 hours from Oklahoma City, I was a little hesitant. However, God had some big reasons for Jackson to be born in small town Oklahoma. From the moment we got to the hospital, the nurses and staff treated our birth mom with respect and were sensitive to the fact she was giving the baby up for adoption WHILE celebrating the joyous time John and I were experiencing.
Words can't describe how smooth everything went. I had tried to play the birth out in my mind so many times and never dreamed it would go as smooth as it did.
It wasn't until the morning after Jackson's birth, that I discovered just how much God's hand was all over the delivery.
The nurse who took care of our birth mom the first night was amazing! She stopped by the morning after Jackson was born to meet him and share a really cool story with us. She said she was really glad she was our nurse because she could relate to all sides of our adoption story. She was adopted (so was our birth mom) and she ran away from home at 15 and ended up pregnant. She said she had every intention of giving her baby up for adoption, but when she held him she couldn't do it. She said because of her story, she understood every emotion that our birth mom was feeling, every emotion that John and I were feeling. Only God! He placed that sweet lady in our hospital room because He knew we would need someone who truly understood the complicated and emotional journey we were on. It was a time of great joy, but also great sadness.
The stories about adoption don't stop there. One of Jackson's nurses shared with us that they had adopted a little girl and another one of his nurses had a brother and sister-in-law who were in the process of adopting.
God placed just the right people in our lives those first 2 days - it is not a coincidence that Jackson was born in Elk City, Oklahoma. God knew!
Another incredible story that my mom shared with me was about the preacher's wife (from the church our birth mom attends). The preacher's wife was adopted. She was outside the hospital room after Jackson's birth and witnessed my families reaction to his arrival. She told my mom that seeing our joy gave her a glimpse at what it must have been like for her family when they adopted her. I have to choke back tears writing that!
Although we were not planning for my parents and sister to meet our birth mom, they did. She asked to hold Jackson one last time before she was released from the hospital, so John and I took him to her room and let her say good-bye. She never cried (that I saw) and walked out of the hospital completely confident with her decision. I guess God had answered her prayers - she told us that she prayed throughout her pregnancy that she wouldn't form any kind of attachment or bonds with him because she knew she couldn't take care of him.
I am completely blown away at the story God wrote for us! The way He weaved together two lives at City Rescue Mission so that a baby boy could have a family. Tears. Falling. Now!
Here are a few photos from Jackson's birth. It is truly my hope and prayer that everyone who hears our story, or reads our story would see God's glory! It's really ALL about Him! I am humbled that God would choose John and I - we definitely didn't deserve such an amazing story! He is SO good. I pray that people who don't know God, who need to know Him, would read our story and see that He is real! That He is powerful. That He answers prayers and that He will take you on the ride of a lifetime if you will just surrender to Him.
Jackson Henry Linck
John's first glimpse of our little man
Holding him for the first time
Joy! Meeting Lolli and Aunt Myka for the first time
I will always cherish this photo. See the tear hanging from the tip of my nose? See my sister's ugly cry in the background! :)
Two mom's who love him!
He has already stolen Pop and Lolli's heart!