So, 365 days ago I never could have imagined that now I would be holding a newborn. My son. This story, as the rest of my life has shown evident, is not typical. No, our little man is not biologically ours. That dream left with my ovaries. But he is ours, and I have promised you his story.
It all started in April. See I have these friends, Jon calls them the Mom Squad, and they are pretty stellar. One of the Mom Squad members is the adoption queen. She also struggled with infertility and has adopted two babes, all through her own hard work and savvy. Another member has adopted one child from foster care and has biological kiddos as well. The third member binds us. Had I not met her, I wouldn’t have any of these ladies in my life. I am blessed to call each of them friend. So, my two adoption buddies knew some one who knew some one who was pregnant. This mom has a few other kiddos, and CPS had made it clear that she would not be take this baby home from the hospital. In the midst of a custody battle for another child, she also knew that she wouldn’t be able to provide for this babe. So my Mom Squad girls tracked me down and asked if we still wanted a baby. After thinking about it for about a nano second we said “Um, heck ya!”. So they explained to us the situation and I attempted to make contact with the mom. After a couple unsuccessful attempts we finally met via texting. Over the next couple of weeks we communicated via cell phone and attempted to meet. Our first planned get together she didn’t show. But we committed to trying again and on round two she made the date. We met the first time the end of April, and she was very pregnant. Sans prenatal care, she guessed she was due the end of June. We chatted for a couple of hours and each of us set our expectations for what we envisioned this adoption to look like. I begged her to get prenatal care and promised to go with her, supporting her through the rest of the pregnancy and delivery. After a couple hours we said goodbye and promised to get together soon.
Now the real work started. I had already contacted a lawyer as well as an adoption advocacy agency to get the legal papers rolling and check into renewing our home study. Unfortunately we couldn’t just renew what we already had, so we set up a date to start the whole home study process over again. We quickly learned that private adoption home studies are a cakewalk compared to foster care. With FC we had to have maps for ever emergency exit, a ridiculous amount of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, specific square footage, multiple visits and interviews, and the list goes on. This go around we had a nice chat with the social worker and the only thing she wanted to see was where the baby would sleep. That was it. When she walked out the door Hubbs and I looked at each other dumfounded and said “That’s it?”. One step done. Next I met with the lawyer and started gathering what info about birth parents that I could. This would be a bit more of a task. Initially she didn’t want to disclose the bio dad, and we were worried we would have to run an ad in the newspaper. Our concern wasn’t that he would come forward and say he wanted custody, he knew about the babe and knew he wasn’t in a place to parent. But running the ad would add on an additional 3 weeks before we could finalize and another expense, both of which we hoped to avoid.
The first week of May she texted me that she had a doctors appointment for the 10th. I was elated. I couldn’t wait to hear the heart beat of my soon to be babe. That day I dropped a grand on the home study, sent a retainer to the lawyer, and waited in anticipation for the appointment. And I waited. And waited. She didn’t show. Part of me was crushed, the other part said to brush it off and try and get another appointment.
Within a couple of days I had the necessary papers from our lawyer, now we just all needed to sign in front of a notary. That meant meeting again. We had been texting regularly and my Mom Squad buddy had promised to be a resource for her as well. On the 13th, the day before my birthday, she agreed to meet us in the parking lot of one our gas stations and sign the papers. I know, sketchy as hell. That night was nothing short of a comedy of errors. My Mom Squad girl was with us, we drug a nine month prego notary out of bed, and my baby mamma showed up! We pulled out papers, signed, stamped and chatted for awhile. When my baby mamma left we realized that while she had signed one paper, in the excitement we had missed the most vital document! Then when I returned to my car, my batter was dead. In the thrill of getting things done I had left my keys in the ignition and drained a life from my engine. By this time it was nearing 10:30, we didn’t have all the papers signed, it was raining, and there was not a jumper cable to be found. So my friend ran to her shop, grabbed some cables, shot life into my car, and I went home kicking myself. Our snafoo meant we would have to get her to commit to another meeting with a notary. I texted her the next day and explained our issue, and she agreed to meet with the notary the next day. Wonder of wonders, we got them signed! Best birthday present ever! In the meantime we left papers for the birth dad with the notary, and he promised to sign them on Friday. Miracle number two came through when he too signed. To round out that wonder struck week, we had another prenatal appointment and this time I got to hear my sweet babe’s heartbeat and see him on the ultrasound. It was amazing. We had the paperwork, we had a due date (June 24) now we just needed the baby!
The next few weeks were a combo of excitement and torture. It was so fun sharing our news and experiencing so many firsts that we never thought would happen. But we couldn’t wait to meet our babe!
On June 17 she texted me “this might be the day” and the Mom Squad (minus one member) and I met her at the hospital at 10 a.m. We spent the day waiting, and about midnight, hard labor kicked in. We held her hand, counted her breathing, and were as encouraging as we could be. At 2:06 my beautiful boy was born. In a rush of tears and awe I cut his umbilical cord and ushered my hubby in to meet his son. We marveled at his beauty, and as soon as I could I placed him against chest, skin to skin, his little heart a hummingbird against mine. We spent the night like that, between feedings and nursing assessments. It was amazing.
The next morning Jon brought the older kids in and they met their brother for the first time. The love bug had bit, and no one was missed. It is amazing how much such a tiny little thing can change so much. Our life is forever altered.
What a difference a year makes.