Real Love Series: Sarea’s Story, Part 1
If you haven’t read the Introduction to this series, I recommend that you do. We are sharing Real Love stories. Stories that have hurt, pain but maturity and ultimately, JOY. In a culture that is so fast paced, self-focused and all about the falling in love part of our story with no concept of afterwards, we here at the Busy Nothings are striving to sit back and share from our own experiences what we feel true, pure, sacrificial love is. When you choose it even though it hurts or is hard work. The beauty, PASSION and true love that comes from this are better than any fairy tale. ~Heidi
*Note, today’s post contains some mature themes. As Gracie said in her eloquent post, this isn’t about shocking you, it’s about inviting you into a non-judgmental place of healing and growth. Not all love stories are the same and Sarea takes us down a different path today as we dig deeper into our theme of the month. Love is unselfish, putting others ahead of ourselves first and Sarea’s story is one that fits that perfectly and needs to be heard by today’s “me-first” culture.
This is a personal story and I am sharing this for several reasons. First, to get it down and have it ’on record’. Second, to share with all of you a different side of me. Third, I want to share just how good God has been to me even though I do NOT deserve it. Feel free to ask any questions or make any kind of comments you want. I am pretty much an open book. May God bless you.
October 1994: I made an appointment at age 19 for my first yearly checkup with the “yucky” doctor. The soonest I could get in was December 20th, so I had plenty of time to think about it. I had been so vocal about never going, but several of my more mature friends had told me, “As bad as you want to have a family, it would be smart to get checked out and make sure everything is in ‘working order’.” It made sense and so I did. I had been dating a guy named Mark, but we had broken up for numerous reasons, and I had started seeing this other guy Robert.
A little background on me: I was born into an awesome Christian home where my parents lived out their faith in a real way that is rare. My dad was a part of the Navigators (a Christian outreach organization that focused on life on life discipleship) and I accepted Christ as my personal Savior at age 5. Although I was young, it was a real thing. I was walking with the Lord and was on fire during junior high! In high school, something changed. We had moved a few times, finally settling in a small town in Northwest Arkansas and somewhere along the way, I decided to be a missionary dater. . . I felt as if I was strong enough to influence these guys and not let them influence me. Not so.
Robert and I dated for about 2 months and we had sex once. I remember on the drive home that night thinking “I know you are going to punish me for this God, I am pregnant.” Sure enough, two weeks later and right before my appointment with the yucky doctor, I peed positive. I called Mark first (before Robert), because he had never stopped calling me, and I told him.
“I love you, marry me and the baby can be ours, but I support you in whatever you do,” Mark responded. I thought of several obvious options and quickly decided that adoption was the right choice.
Picture me, 19 years old, sitting in the living room surrounded by the lovely Christmas decorations having to tell my parents that I was pregnant and I was going to give the baby up for adoption.
First they were quiet, then they flipped out . . .my mom didn’t talk to me for almost a week and every other hour it seemed my dad was suggesting something else ridiculous: ” Let Harmony (my YOUNGER sister who was recently engaged) and her boyfriend adopt the baby.” “Let your Aunt and Uncle adopt the baby.” ”I need to step down from the ministry.” and ”Your mom and I can raise the baby.” . . .After the initial ‘shock phase’, they became my biggest support team and kept me strong. I have always been able to go to them with anything and I pray that my kids will feel the same way about me and their dad!
Robert and I broke up (long story short, he showed up at my house at 2 AM drunk and bloody from getting into a fight), and Mark and I started dating again. He was the first one I told and said “I love you, let’s get married, it will be OUR baby.” I just didn’t feel right about starting a marriage with a child (especially one who had a different father). I knew marriage was going to be hard work, and it wouldn’t need the extra stress of a newborn. I told him I was wanting to give the baby up for adoption and he said whatever I chose he would be supportive!
The doctor got so excited when I told them that I wanted to give the baby up for adoption, and he set me in his office with a notebook full of facts on people that wanted to adopt. After flipping passed 20-30 ‘profiles’, he stepped back in and asked if I had made a decision so he could call the lucky couple. I said “When could I meet them?” His jaw hit the floor. “Meet them?”, “Oh no, you can’t meet them.” I told him, “I may be turning this child over to someone else to raise and love, but I have no intention of handing this baby over to someone I have never met. Anyone can look good on paper.” He was very upset with me and treated me very rudely the rest of the pregnancy.
But, God is good. One of my friends’ mom heard about my situation and called me. She had a wonderful Christian guy that worked with her and him and his wife had been trying to have kids for 12 years, with no luck. I agreed to meet with them.
On the way to their house I told her I had three things I was looking for:
1) They needed to be believers (She said they were, but I wanted to see how they acted).
2) I wanted them to have a sense of humor- I felt strongly about having a sense of humor then and still do, especially after having my own!
3) I didn’t want them to try and impress me with the best china and such. I wanted a glimpse into their real life without a show.
When we arrived for dinner, we sat in the living room and they gave me a little bit of their background, how they met at JBU, their struggle with trying to have children, and then just “giving it over to the Lord”. I gave them some of my background, and then it was time to eat. The wife said “Just grab a plate, dish up and then we will sit at the table”. Buffet style food on the counter top and we ate off regular plates! I was so excited. The husband prayed before we ate. We talked more during dinner, asked and answered a lot of questions, and then it was time to go. When we got ready to leave the husband asked if we could pray together. The four of us held hands in the foyer of their home and prayed. It had been awhile since I had done that myself, and he said some wonderful things, praying for me, the baby and the future parents, whoever they would be.
After he said “Amen”, I just mentioned that they were the first couple that I had met so far, and told them my list of three things: The husband was quiet for a moment and then said “If I would have known that I would have told more jokes”. He cracked me up.
In the car on the way home, Donna asked me what I thought and I replied, “They are the ones.” I never had any doubt, and God made sure about that as the days, weeks, and months went by. We met with an attorney that handled open adoptions and she took care of all the legal work.
PART ONE: (originally posted on my xanga blog) Stay tuned for Part Two and Three!