this journey begins here
We walked into Laura's room. Her mother was with her. We were still on our emotional high from the birth and were marveling over how perfect this little boy was. I looked at Laura and said, "I don't think we can adopt this baby." She looked at me in shock and was speechless. Her mother asked me what I was talking about. I told them, "I saw the way you looked at him and I saw the love in your eyes. I can't take him away from you, you love him too much." Laura and her mom both said to us, "That is why we want you to have him...we love him that much. Because of our love for him, we are doing this." We all had tears rolling down our faces and were hugging each other. I still felt pain in my heart for Laura, but I also felt joy in our new son. This is the paradox of adoption, immense pain coupled with immense love and immense joy.
Michael Patrick was born on February 14. He shares his birthday with his Grandmother (Dave's mom) and his Birth Great Grandmother (Laura's grandmother). He could not have been born on a more perfect day. All those days spent waiting for his birth, all those hours spent crying and waiting. It was all meant to be. We formed a special bond with Laura and her family in those days. We now call them our Family in South Carolina...not only Laura, but her mother and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmother....all of them we keep in contact with to this day.
We left the hospital mid morning to get some rest. We had been up for well over 24 hours, and as excited as we were, we were also exhausted. We called Cassie and told her that her little brother was here. She was very excited and asked when we would be coming home. Soon, we told her, very soon, as soon as the paperwork was complete. Her 4 year old mind could not comprehend paperwork and state regulations, she wanted us home now, her brother was here and she wanted to meet him. I cried again when I hung up the phone.
We also called our attorney and our social worker. The paperwork process was started. The birth father was still not cooperating. We were reassured numerous times not to worry about this, he would not be a problem.
Before Michael's birth, before we arrived in South Carolina we were contacted by a journalist who was writing an article on Internet adoptions for Parenting Magazine. We agreed to be interviewed for her article, and Laura gave her permission also. We put her on our email loop so she could stayed updated on our adoption process. We were very surprised to receive a phone call from her on the day of Michael's birth. She asked permission to come to South Carolina and meet us and Laura in order to include Michael's birth in the article. We gave her our permission and she arranged a photographer locally. Her story ran in Parenting Magazine and also ran in Adoptive Families Magazine.
As you can probably guess, we did not get much rest. We made and received numerous phone calls. Our adrenaline was working overtime. Our excitement level was astronomical. We had a son!! He was finally here!! He was perfect!! Everything was falling into place....finally....we could ease our minds and enjoy our expanding family.
We might have had a quick cat nap...but we wanted to get back to the hospital and admire our new son. A quick shower for both of us and back to the hospital we went. Laura was in great spirits. She was amazing through this whole experience. She always had a positive outlook and she kept her sense of humor. She never lost her spirit, I was humbled by her. We spent her hospital visit with her and Michael, in her room. I attempted to breastfeed Michael with her and her mom helping me. They loved the idea and were very supportive to me. We spent hours staring at Michael and oohing and aahing over him. It was beautiful.
Midday, Michael's birth father arrived at the hospital. This was the first time we had met him. He was very subdued and didn't say much. We did get a picture of him and Laura with Michael. His visit was very short. He was non confrontational, but he still did not sign any papers or agree to the adoption.
We spent the day in Laura's room. We visited with each other and Laura's visitors. We took care of Michael and took turns holding him. It was a beautiful, relaxing day. No tears were shed this afternoon, only laughter and love.
We went back to our hotel that night with smiles on our faces and love and peace in our hearts. Laura and Michael would be discharged the following day. If all went well, we would be on a plane by the weekend....going home to our beautiful daughter and the completion of our family.
We woke up the next day and went to hospital in the morning. So began a day full of chaos....
to be continued....
Monday, April 14, 2008
this journey begins here