this journey begins here
Every night we went to sleep anticipating a phone call. Every morning we woke up without one.
Monday morning rolled around and we had an appointment with our attorney. If you remember, we retained an attorney and an adoption agency in South Carolina in addition to the attorney and agency we had in California. Our attorney was quite the character. I wish I could use his real name because it was a classic Southern Gentleman's name. For the sake of this story, we will refer to him as Colonel Sanders, because that is exactly who he resembled. I am sure our jaws hit the floor the first time we saw him.
Colonel Sanders had never facilitated an out of state adoption, before ours. The birthfather was not cooperating, at all. In fact he was being difficult, to say the least. This created quite a dilemma for us and it had the potential to be a disaster. The birthfather was ignoring all correspondence and refused to sign any papers. He thought we were paying L and he wanted his fair share. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Sanders was retained in order to circumvent a disaster. His southern hospitality and warm demeanor soon put our fears to rest.
Day after day passed without any signs of labor. I was able to be present at a doctor's appointment with L. I was hoping he would have a crystal ball, or a magic wand to let us know when labor would start. Unfortunately he did not. We would have loved to do some sightseeing, but we were afraid to venture too far from L. We did spend a day in downtown Columbia, and were able to forget, for just a short while, our anxiety. We love old graveyards and found quite a few in the old churches...looking in the past helped us forget our present.
We also spent quite a bit of time with L and her family. We became even closer during this time. We were called to South Carolina early for this reason. In having these days with L before the birth, our bond and love for each other was cemented and made stronger. We also had the opportunity to form a bond with her extended family. The bonds of love were being woven and our families now are intricately tied to one another. I am not sure this would have happened so freely and easily without these days and moments. Looking back now I can see this and appreciate...it was very difficult to see in the moment, if not impossible.
In the moment my heart was breaking being separated from our sweet angel daughter Cassie. Our daily letters and cards graduated to little gifts. Daily we sent a package to her and daily these packages grew in size. Everywhere we went, we saw a reminder of her. These reminders were savored and purchased and sent. A shirt that said "love bug" on it brought tears to my eyes. This was our nickname for her. It was quickly purchased and sent off. I would hold a stuffed animal and wish I was holding her...another purchase, another package.
"Is my baby brother here yet Mommy?"
"Not yet, my love, not yet."
"I prayed last night Mommy and asked God when he was coming. He said soon. When is soon Mommy?"
"I don't know love, I don't know."
L and her mother knew of our anguish. Unfortunately there was nothing any could do....or was there? Isn't there an old wives tale that stated that Castor oil would bring on labor?
Apparently there was, according to L's mother and grandmother. Off Dave and I went looking for Castor oil. Voila, mission accomplished.
Castor oil. A noxious substance. Putrid smell and taste, or so I am told. Desperate times call for desperate measures. One look and whiff of the stuff and we could not force it down L....but her mother and grandmother could, and they did. Poor girl, she barely choked it down before it was coming back up. We felt horrible. We felt worse than horrible. We wanted to run out of that house and hide. Poor L was 40 weeks pregnant and violently ill from the Castor oil and no closer to labor than she was earlier in the day.
This was Saturday, February 12, 2000. We had been in South Carolina for exactly a week now and L was still pregnant, even after the Castor oil.
Maybe the Castor oil had a delayed reaction after all...the next day became very interesting....
to be continued.....