This is a story in multiple parts. If you are just joining me, start at the beginning.
November 29, 2018. Joe and I are in two different vehicles driving from two different cities to meet at a private dance lesson. My phone rings and I answer. It’s the adoption agency. Do I want them to conference Joe into the call? Yes I do. They try, but he doesn’t pick up. I try, and he picks up. It must be important, or they wouldn’t need both of us. By now we aren’t even thinking of the baby that was due Thanksgiving week. And yet.
That conversation was surreal. We completed it sitting in separate cars, parked next to each other outside our dance teacher’s house, being late to our lesson. The agency waited until the parents had signed the papers severing their rights and committing to the adoption. The executive director and our contact stayed after hours, waiting for that call, so that they could call us together.
They tell us that there is a little girl, 2 hours from us, and she is two days old. And she is ours if we want her.
Our hearts are pounding and we say yes, we want this baby! But we will have to wait to receive the social-medical background before we can actually sign anything. It will take a couple of hours for the social worker to prepare the paperwork, so we will have it that evening and can make our decision in the morning. More waiting.
So we do the only reasonable thing…we go to our dance lesson!
I admit to being very distracted during that lesson, but it was the best way to spend the time. We burnt off some energy and danced our joy and enjoyed what was our last dance class for a while before our lives changed completely (spoiler alert- we still haven’t been back to a private lesson).
The next few hours are a blur- we got the papers, read everything over, could not believe our luck. A totally healthy baby from a family with no concerning medical background and no exposure to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. Not at all what we were expecting, and such welcome news.
We needed supplies, and it takes a village, so we called around ours. By the next day we were stocked up on borrowed and hand-me-down baby supplies and the only thing we really needed was a carseat.
On the way to work- yes, Joe and I both went to work the next day- Aunt Sarah (who was living with us and working with me) and I bought a car seat and had to figure out how to install it. Joe and I had been preparing to be on leave for our previous match that fell through, so we weren’t in bad shape to go on leave, but we hadn’t expected it to start until December. This call moved the timeline up …immediately! We both worked a half-day so that we could leave instructions and info for those brave souls covering for us.
Early in the afternoon we met at home, wrote an enormous check, and headed to the adoption agency’s local office. We filled out A LOT of paperwork. I didn’t know there could possibly be so much more to do after we’d already been buried alive in piles of paper. I remember NONE of it. I have no idea what I signed that day. I do know they asked us who our pediatrician was and told us the baby couldn’t be discharged from the hospital without a pediatrician’s appointment on the books for Monday. As we were being told this it was already 4:30pm. On a Friday. Thankfully we had good recs from friends and the pediatrician’s office was very helpful making it work.
And everyone wanted to know what our daughter’s name was. The agency. The doctor’s office. We had to decide. We were parents now, surprise! So we decided (we had a favorite we’d been leaning towards anyway).
And then we signed the last document, handed them the check and got in our car.
Our daughter’s city of birth is only a two hour drive from us but in rush hour traffic it took us FOREVER. Kiddo had been discharged already, so the social worker there took her back to the agency’s office to hang out until we arrived. It was around 9pm when we finally made it.I can’t possibly describe how I felt as we parked, rode up the elevator, and knocked on that office door. I was handed a tiny baby girl, so red and squishy looking. I’d been staring at pictures of her the whole drive down, but I was not prepared to hold her. I never wanted to let her go. But I did pass her over to Joe, and I’ve never seen anything more perfect than the sight of my husband holding our daughter.
I rode home in the backseat of the car, staring at our new baby girl. We Facetimed family and friends to share the news and invited people over to see her that weekend if they could get their shots. I booked an appointment with my lactation consultant for two days later. We stopped for drive-through dinner and my first-ever diaper change on the car back seat. Fun!
When we finally pulled into the driveway with our daughter, it was 12:01am on 12-01-2018. We felt exhilarated and exhausted. We brought kiddo into the house to meet her Aunt Sarah, and then bundled her into her bassinet in our bedroom and attempted to sleep. We had our girl, our dreams had come true.
That’s not quite the end of the story though.
We still had to make it legal.
Next- Part 6- The Finalization
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