There is one thing I know definitively; you are pregnant for 9 months for a reason. For those of you who have been pregnant, consider all the thoughts that began to go through your mind the moment that pregnancy was confirmed. Eventually that bubble of pure joy is popped with thoughts of all there is to do to prepare! Baby proofing your home, getting a room ready, buying a crib that has not been known to kill children, getting the safest possible car seat, bottle feed or breast feed, blankets, clothes, binkies, its unending. Thankfully you have time to ponder these things, and if you’re like me, to research every single thing. Now, try to imagine doing all this in 48 hours! This is unheard of in the world of adoption, and yet…
My husband and I had been trying to start our family for almost 10 years at this point. My husband is in the military so our infertility journey spanned 3 states, numerous procedures, and years of disappointments. We were mentally and emotionally exhausted from it all. During my husbands 2nd deployment we decided to look into adoption and our journey began. I found an agency and we began the mountains of paperwork and inspections.
All through out this process we were careful not to get our hopes up. It could be years before we were selected, if at all. As such, we didn’t do much as far as readying ourselves for a baby’s arrival. I couldn’t bare the thought of an empty nursery in my home, which might never be filled. In the spirit of carrying on with no expectations, when I was offered my dream job, I jumped on it. The same day I started my husband left on a 3-week training mission. At this point, our adoption profile had been live for 3 months.
Two weeks later I am sitting in my car, having just pulled into the Barnes and Noble parking lot for an after work coffee when my phone rang. I answered and my world changed forever. It was my social worker, a baby girl had just been born and the birth parents wanted to meet us. Thus began my 48-hour pregnancy.
I sent my husband a text and asked him to call me because I had heard from the social worker. I about gave him a stroke. After we spoke he began the task of trying to get home. The birth parents wanted to meet us before they decided for sure. It was decided that I would go to the hospital to meet them the next day, and Erik would get there as soon as humanly possible. I lie awake all night trying not to get my hopes up and get prepared at the same time.
I didn’t want to tell any of my family or friends, I didn’t want to get their hopes up! So I sat in my house ALL DAY waiting for the phone to ring beckoning me to the hospital. That call did not come until 6pm. By this point I was a complete wreak, but I pulled myself together as best as possible to meet the parents of my future daughter. What do you wear to such an event? There is no documented literature on this so I had to wing it. It was a small local hospital, and when I arrived the lobby was deserted. I waited there in the silence of that creepy lobby for my social worker to come and get me. What in the world was I going to say to them? My anxiety was at an all time high. When my social worker arrived she took one look at me and just smiled. She knew I was a hot mess of crazy. She sat with me and told me a little about what was going to happen, the kind of questions they might ask, and the best way to try and answer. One last thing before we went up, the birth parents wanted us to considering the name that they had chosen. Ok, I needed to at least hear it before I rejected it. Please, please, please let me love it! When she told me the name I burst into tears. It was awful! There was no way they were going to give me their baby now! Sharon told me not to worry, to say I would think about it and leave it there. Ok, deep breathe, I’m ready.
I wont go into too much detail about the meeting. Sufficed to say, it was the most challenging, uncomfortable 20 minutes of my like. I didn’t know how to feel. I wanted to be excited at the prospect of becoming a mother, but that is almost impossible when you are sitting with a mother who is about to give up her baby. It was heart wrenching. They brought the baby in and her birth mother let me hold her. When they put that beautiful blue eyed baby girl into my arms I filled….with pure terror! Where had my 9 months gone? I had nothing ready! No decision had been made when I left. My husband wasn’t yet there, so they were going to decide without meeting him.
I left the hospital in a complete fog. I didn’t know if we were getting the baby, but if I waited any longer I would have nothing if we did. I called some friends and asked them to meet me at Target for some late night baby shopping. I remember very little about the hours we spent shopping. My friends tell me I was like the walking dead, wondering from aisle to aisle, dropping items in my cart. (I’m fairly sure I didn’t need twenty-four month onsies, but I sure ended up with some.) In the meantime, my husband called his mother and asked her to come help me since he didn’t know when he would be there. In true army fashion, the higher ups were taking their sweet time deciding whether or not to send my husband home early.
My mother in law arrived the next morning and we spent all day shopping and getting the house ready, just in case. The birth parents wanted us, but nothing was certain until the papers were signed. In our state, the birth parents are not allowed to sign away their rights until 48 hours after the birth. At 9pm that night, I received the call to come and pick up my new baby daughter.
Thankfully, my husband was allowed to come home and arrived the next morning. He did not leave a pregnant wife, but he came home to a baby. The whole experience was completely surreal. Things fell into place after that. Our family and friends were amazing and made sure we had everything we could need. With no preparation at all, we were parents, and we were blissfully thrilled with that fact! Overwhelmed, exhausted, a little crazy, but blissfully happy!
~Our first family picture~