First of all, thank you to all of you who have loved and supported us through these past few years during this crazy journey. We truly appreciate you and could not do this without you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything from prayers, to sending sweet gifts and cards, to donations, to showing us love and care during a time when it’s easy to feel forgotten.
Music pouring out the speakers, windows down with Oliver’s head hanging out, bags packed and loaded in the back, I was driving and Jon was sitting in the passenger seat, catching up on a few work emails. Jon and I were so excited for the weekend-we were driving to Orange County to drop off our pup Oliver with our brother and sister in law so we could go out of town with friends for a few nights, our “babymoon.” We rarely go on vacation, so we were really looking forward to a weekend away from schedules, busyness, and work.
We drove into their neighborhood and pulled to a stop, deep in conversation. I have no idea what we were talking about now, I just know I pulled out my phone and took a quick glance. A voicemail from an unknown number popped up on my phone. (Anyone who is in the adoption process knows that whenever and unknown number leaves a voicemail, you listen to it right away thinking it could be THE call.) I tried to listen to what Jon was saying to me in that moment, but I could not get it out of my head; I NEEDED to listen to the voicemail just in case. As soon as the conversation slowed, I tried as calmly as I could to tell him that I had a voicemail from a weird number on my phone and that I should listen to it really quickly. As soon as I heard “…Bethany Christian Services” I pressed the speaker phone button, my heart racing. 17 seconds later Jon and I were completely in shock. A birth mom wanted to MEET US.
It felt as if time stood still: we looked at each other, took a deep breath and decided to call our social worker back. Hands shaking, heart racing, adrenaline pumping I pressed the call back button, phone still on speaker so Jon could hear. I honestly cannot remember a word she said during that short 8 minute conversation, except that we needed to be at the hospital the next morning with a car seat just in case. (I do remember yelling at Jon to open his notes app and start writing this down because I knew that I would not remember this conversation at all.) In a split second our schedule was completely flip flopped and we went from dreaming of vacation to dreaming of a baby, possibly OUR baby.
With absolutely ZERO sleep, adrenaline coursing through our veins, we rolled out of bed much earlier than we needed to. We silently sipped our coffee, no words to say, full of anticipation, wanting to run out of the doors and race to the hospital but trying to act calm and collected on the biggest day of our lives. Jon finally said “maybe we should get going?” and I jumped on the opportunity with a big YES. We were ready to jump all in and meet our birth mom.
We stopped by Jon’s best friend’s house on the way, the one we were supposed to go on vacation with, and he prayed over us. I cannot begin to describe how amazing it was to have close friends nearby knowing that no matter what happened that day, they would be there waiting for us with food, kind words, and support. After the quick stop, we headed over to the hospital. Walking through the hospital doors I remember thinking, I want to remember this feeling forever, that this could be it, all of the hope and anticipation and excitement, knowing that the next time we walk through those doors our lives could be forever changed in the best way.
We waited for what felt like forever in a tiny, cramped waiting room full of anxious families. My mind raced-if we get this baby, if this is our baby, are we ready? We need to go to Target to buy all the things! We need to set up a nursery and a registry! We need to know what name! Jon kept reminding me over and over let’s not get ahead of ourselves, just take one step at a time and that no matter what happened that day good or bad, we would make it through together.
After waiting, waiting, and more waiting, we finally walked into our birth mom’s hospital room. I was overwhelmed with emotion. We could see and feel the deep grief that she was feeling as well as the overwhelming excitement of getting to meet her, our potential baby’s birth mom. After talking to her for a quick maybe 10 minutes, she had made the decision that we were to parent her baby.
It seemed throughout the day that parts took forever while other parts flew by so fast it’s hard to take it all in and remember. After more waiting and trying to nervously make small talk to keep each other distracted, a hospital social worker took us to the nursery. Walking around the corner and peering through the nursery window, there she was: a tiny baby girl swaddled and wearing a hat with a big bow sleeping in the nursery. She looked so peaceful and sweet. We still weren’t sure if she would be ours, as paperwork still needed to be signed, processed, and approved, (which can take weeks), but from when we first saw her we felt so much love for her. We were given our own private room where I held her tiny wiggly body for the first time, where Jon and I cried tears of joy, and where the pain of the wait fell away and I knew that it was all completely worth it.
Adeline born July 21, 2016
5lbs. 15 oz. 18 inches long
For more pictures, visit: https://goo.gl/photos/kxnoXRv8jwZF38Kn7