Once guests pack up, goodbyes are said they’re on their way home, the first thing i always do is get everything back to “us”-sheets washed, floors vacuumed, house picked up and organized. It’s how I cope with time with people I love coming to an end. On a slow Tuesday in April, an hour after my sister and her boyfriend had left after their spring break spent with a two year old, I was getting things back to us while Adeline was playing. I heard the sound of liquid hitting the floor, louder than my running vacuum. I quickly realized the house had become quiet- the universal sound of trouble with a two year old. Adeline was pouring cup fulls of water from the bathroom sink onto the floor. Just then, the perfect time, I got a phone call from a number I knew was our agency. I turned off the water, left Adeline in a puddle, picked up the phone and ran to find some quiet. That’s when I heard what I’ve been longing to hear for the past 15 months….
“Hi, this is your social worker from Bethany Christian Services and I was calling to let you know that a birth mother viewed your profile and has chosen you.” I honestly don’t remember much of the conversation after, only that I burst into Jon’s office while he was in the middle of a meeting with his boss and I could barely talk, trying not to cry telling him that he had to get off the computer NOW. I shakily put my phone on speaker and ran out to turn on “Daniel Tiger” so as to avoid any more water on the floor.
With each adoption our motto has always been take things one step at a time and just do the next right thing. Wednesday, we dropped Adeline off with some of our best friends who know this journey well, and made the 45 minute drive to the hospital for the first time. We waited in the lobby for what felt like forever- about an hour-praying, trying not to get ahead of ourselves, trying to take things one step at a time. First step- get to the hospital. Check. Step two-meet the social worker. We had two hours to make our decision whether or not this baby was going to be OUR baby. Step 3- eat. We went out to lunch, just the two of us to take time to talk, eat and pray together. Final step, we called our social worker and said YES.
Thursday, with Adeline in tow, we made the 45 minute drive to the hospital not knowing what to expect. We walked in, went to the second floor waiting room, and Jon and I each took a turn going into the NICU to meet our sweet, sweet daughter for the first time. Yes, another GIRL! I walked in and was immediately overwhelmed, alarms going off, nurses everywhere, having to learn all the NICU rules on the spot: wash hands for one minute, put everything in a plastic bag, keep it quiet. I washed up and walked over to the first isolette where my sweet girl lay and just stared at her. So tiny, all 4 and-a-half pounds of her. That’s when a nurse asked if I wanted to hold her and from the that moment, my life has been changed forever.
One step at a time, do the next right thing. Eleven days later on a Monday morning, I woke up too early to take our car seat in for the car seat test. I ended up getting there too late to feed her, so I stayed for the test and rounds since rounds were in an hour and I wanted to meet one of her many doctors. Once we made it through the car seat test and the doctor was in, I was asked to join the team. When we first said yes, we were told it could be 8 weeks of NICU time. After twelve days in the NICU, fourteen days since THE CALL, I heard, “Well, she’s medically ready for discharge, are you ready to bring her home today?” To say I was shocked is an understatement. We were hoping she would be discharged within the next few days, or week.
Twelve days of me driving back and forth nearly every day, sometimes taking an hour and a half each way to and from the NICU, Jon coming along when he could take time off work or on weekends. Twelve days of meeting new nurses, learning from Occupational Therapists how to feed her, and eating alone in the hospital cafeteria. Twelve days of learning her schedule and trying to get there on time for a feeding only to miss it by 15 minutes because of traffic or a schedule change, twelve days of wires and feeding tubes, Twelve days of NICU life leading to the rest of our lives.
Bringing her home that Tuesday evening to her excited big sister Adeline is a moment I will remember forever. We are now adjusting to life as a family of FOUR and are just so so incredibly happy that she’s finally ours and HOME.
We are beyond thrilled to introduce you to:
Charlotte James 4lbs, 5oz. 16.5” born March 26, 2019
To see photos, click here: Charlottejames