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Nine Months in My Heart

In this sweet personal domestic adoption story, an elementary school teacher shares the joy of the day she learned her baby was born, after nine months of anticipation.

By Rhonda Lane Phillips, from Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul

We walked out of the office, misty-eyed. After seven years of marriage, another phase in our lives peeked on the horizon. Soon, my husband and I would stop our adult chatter just to hear our baby coo. Our hardwood-floored hallways would become the runway for Tonka trucks or the pathway of a baby doll in its stroller. Our evenings would soon be filled with basketball practices - or would it be ballet recitals?

We marked our calendar days. We ended each day with prayer and praise.

Soon, the plain white, junked-up, spare bedroom became a pristine, pastel nursery. Months zoomed by while we dreamed of the sweet smell of our soft baby. We anticipated the baby's burps. We stacked diapers in the corner of the closet, waiting for the blessing of changing our baby's gooey diaper. The quiet nights of our waiting would have been traded gladly for a night of holding our crying baby in the folds of our arms.

One hot September afternoon, I stood before my fourth-grade classroom. I had my back to the class, writing math equations on the board. It was a normal afternoon, quite routine. The hot sun beat through the tall windows while the fan in the corner circulated the hot air.

But the normalcy was about to end. My principal opened the classroom door and peered in. The students and I stopped our work to see what he needed. "Mrs. Phillips, I have some news for you," he announced. All ears perked. His eyes sparkled. I grasped my desk.

He walked into the classroom toward me. "Mrs. Phillips, we just received a phone call."

On, no, something had happed to my husband, my parents. But he was smiling. Maybe a good report from a parent?

"We just talked with a nice lady from an adoption agency. They wanted me to let you know that you are now in labor." Twenty mouths dropped open. I'm glad I had a desk to steady myself. That day would be the day, perhaps. That day, the baby of my heart would become the baby of my life. My students and I never did get back to our mathematics.

Ashley was born shortly before I arrived home from work. The adoption agent gave me a dramatic report of the details of her birth. The birth mother had held our daughter in her arms. She lovingly kissed her and patted her face with her young hands. But she knew her decision was final. It was for the best, she still felt in her heart. Ashley would be afforded a happier life with the family she'd already handpicked - my husband and me. Ashley became ours.

It has been nine months almost to the day since we'd walked out of the adoption agency. No, I did not carry her physically in my body, but for nine months she grew and was fertilized in me, emotionally and mentally. For nine months, the dream of having her as my daughter was sometimes larger than life itself. Nine months. Just like a normal pregnancy.

That September day, she jumped right out of my swollen heart and straight into my life.

This lovely story by Rhonda Lane Phillips is excerpted with permission from the inspiring book, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul. Read more touching stories like this when you order Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, or read our book review.
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