Any adoption can be very stressful, particularly when balancing your desire to adopt and the birthmother’s willingness to sign over her parental rights before going home from the hospital. How will this process go for us?
July 25, 2008
I am so tired and really want to go to bed, but I could not think about sleeping without posting about the events of today! It was by far the most emotional day of all!!! Starting last night, I suddenly became so nervous about this morning. I couldn’t sleep, felt like I was going to throw up, feeling so anxious about our birth mom signing the papers today.
My hubby, who is normally the anxious one, was calm as could be. It was a weird switch to our normal personalities. On the way to the hospital, I began crying. I was thinking about our birthmom and what she was facing at that very moment. I simply could not help but feel bad for her. We received a phone call from the caseworker while we were on the way to the hospital… my heart jumped into my throat. Our birthmom did not want to see us today! It is the day she was supposed to sign over her rights, so things were not starting out as we had hoped. Was this the beginning of the end? We became more concerned than ever before. The caseworker felt of our uneasiness and tried to reassure us that our birthmom simply felt like it would be too hard to see us. She did not want to see us with the baby. What did this mean???
So we sat in the waiting room and waited. The social workers checked in with us and said that they felt she would sign. They said that she was in good spirits, but that she was feeling sad for the inevitable moment. We had brought her copies of all the pictures from the last two days as well as a burned copy of all video taken at the hospital. We put it all on an iPod for her so she could watch them whenever she liked. My husband gave her a suitcase (since she never owned one) with these items, other gifts, and a handwritten note letting her know how much we love her. Then we waited some more.
After about 20-25 minutes, the caseworkers came into the waiting room. They looked quite concerned! Oh… no! Their faces were so sullen and sad that I thought for sure they were going to tell us she hadn’t signed the papers. But once we were in the other room they told us we needed to sign our paperwork since SHE HAD SIGNED! What??? I think we all breathed a huge sigh of relief!!! (Note: All caseworkers should go through a mandatory training course on poker face sensitivity and ‘facial expressions’ prior to becoming certified… because we literally thought the worst!)
I almost immediately asked how our birthmom was doing. The caseworker said that it was hard, but that she knew without a doubt that he was our son and that we would care for him, love him. She did say that they thought if our birthmom hadn’t loved us so much she wouldn’t have signed the papers. That morning our birthmom seriously thought about keeping him. She relayed to them that she felt very well treated and loved by us and that made the signing easier. He is where he needs to be. The social worker and I both cried for our birthmom as we signed our papers. The signature likely looked nothing like my normal signature, since I was signing with flooding eyes! Our birthmom had asked to be alone with our son for a few more minutes, to which we promptly agreed. That crying was nothing compared to when the nurse finally brought our son into the room to us. That symbolic cutting of the umbilical cord the other day had even more significance as we all recognized that she had just had a very emotional good-bye moment with this beautiful baby boy seconds earlier! No doubt he had received an enveloping love, and final kiss, from his birth mother in that very tearful last few moments. Now he is ours, and I am grateful and humbled.
As ecstatic as we were, our thoughts quickly came to empathize with the birthmom. Even on the way home, I cried yet again as I thought about her driving off to catch her plane home, alone… and we had her baby in our car headed in the opposite direction. This is such a surreal, unbelievable, emotional roller coaster! This is supposed to be all about happiness, right? I can’t even begin to do the experience justice. I have thought about her several times today and I am sure I will continue to do so for another few weeks. Our birthmom is truly an amazing person, to be able to see past what her heart wants to do and recognize that the best life for her baby was with someone else. I can’t even begin to imagine what courage it took for her to do this at just 18-years old!
So at the end of it all, the papers are signed… he… is… OURS!!! We have our son home with us, and we are just enjoying it all!
My hubby is loving having a son in this house full of girls! My parents put up the “It’s a Boy!” sign in the yard so neighbors would begin to figure it out.
People are coming to visit, most did not even know we were adopting. We are loving the snuggles and the girls can’t get enough of him.
August 4, 2008
I don’t claim to be a professional photographer, but just for fun I took a few shots tonight of the little guy. My hubby keeps sending me messages and pictures of Switzerland (where he is), which is particularly mean since it is the trip I had to give up when our son arrived (although it was a good trade). My hubby is working, but it is Switzerland so I thought I would take some pictures of our little guy to send back to him and make him jealous!
To read more click Our Adoption Story: Part 7