We may not hold the record for the quickest placement of an adopted child but to go from a family of two, without even a onesie to our name, to being up to our ears in diapers and formulas within a week is no small feat.
Writing is an outlet for me...resulting in this blog. Whether to document and share about our journey as an adoptive family or to blab and be opinionated on certain subjects, I hope you find something to either laugh at, identify with or maybe challenge you. This motherhood journey is a learning process - as a first time mom and as an adoptive mom.
[UPDATE 1/31/13: We are now parents of a 2nd amazing boy! Read about our new addition here!]
[UPDATE 2/1/15: We're officially a family of five! Read about meeting our baby girl here!]
Here's our story:
Christmas 2011 will forever be remembered as the most incredible and most celebrated Christmas of our lives. My husband and I were in the "waiting" process of adopting our first child, our parent profile had been completed for a few months and was currently being shown to birth mothers. Altogether we had spent nearly three years with Gladney Center for Adoption in the hope of adopting a child. We had started in the international program but switched to a domestic program in January 2011 so we were used to waiting and biding our time. (Read about our experience with Gladney here)
Christmas Eve morning, I received a call from a local number - a phone call I almost did not pick up because of the unknown caller. I was happily surprised to hear from our caseworker. It was my assumption that she might be calling to wish all of her families a Merry Christmas however this was not the case and her call turned out to be the one we'll never forget. As she began to tell me about a specific birth family, I ran upstairs with the phone on speaker so my husband could listen in to the conversation. Unbeknownst to me, he was secretly wrapping my Christmas presents and subsequently was annoyed and tried to push me back out of the room - a memory we can laugh about now.
The caseworker shared about a baby boy who had been born only a few days prior and he was currently in transitional care. My husband gave a big thumbs up and as in the past we agreed to have our profile shown to the family. I'll never forget what our caseworker said next, "I figured you would say that. So I already showed them your profile and they picked you!"
We were in shock! It's one thing to process the fact that a birth family has selected you, it's another to realize that your son is already born and waiting for you somewhere only miles away. The only thing standing in the way of meeting our son was to finish our online education courses and complete a CPR class. I don't think we've ever been as proactive as we were that week. Since it was the holidays, a CPR class was nearly impossible to locate, but we succeeded in finding one and six days after receiving that call Christmas Eve, we met our son.
The Gladney facility was nearly void of people due to the holiday weekend so I think the peace and quiet helped to calm the butterflies as we waited for our caseworker to arrive. With our newly purchased infant car seat and a bag of baby supplies we anxiously paced around the Gladney lobby area soaking in the history and stories of those that had walked this path years before us. The caseworker arrived and we began the task of completing paperwork trying our best to focus. Forty-five minutes later, all papers signed and already a distance memory, we moved into a small nursery-type waiting room where we would officially become a mom and dad.
A transitional care mom came into the room with him. We'd purposely chosen not to see a picture of him prior to placement so to lay eyes on this baby boy who was then handed to me so freely only seconds later was the most surreal, joyful and miraculous moment I have ever experienced. There were no tears, which surprised me because I cry at everything, only complete joy. Together we gazed at him in my arms and when I think about that moment it's as if time stood still. We took turns holding him oblivious to the caseworkers snapping photos left and right. My husband was adamant to be the first to change his clothes, change his diaper and get him settled in his car seat. After 30-45 minutes, that was it. We were headed home as a family of three.