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Monday, April 14, 2008

Footprints of a Family, our second adoption journey, part 13

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....


Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Oh, thank you! I LOOK for these stories.

ChrisB said...

Oh dear I just knew this was the calm before the storm.... when do we get the next installment!

karisma said...

The suspense is killing me.....just kidding but it is getting exciting!

Stella said...

I've never adopted. We're considering it for the future. You make such an incredible point that I think anyone can understand about the paradox of adoption. I cannot imagine the strength that you and Dave and Laura's family must have had. She sounds like an incredible person to be so mature and realize that the immense love that she has for that little boy is exactly what is motivating her to give him to you. This is such an incredible story.

The birthfather makes me nervous....don't keep us waiting too long! :)

Irene Latham said...

Dear Alison - I am trying to think of the most flippy twisty turny rollercoaster I can think of to compare with your experience. Trouble is, I don't do many rollercoaters. But obviously Michael's story had you going for a LONG time.
Thanks for checking on me. Doing okay. My heart goes out to the birthfather also. xxoo

Dana said...

What an awesome pic with the footprints.. I love it!!

Makes me want to leave work early and hit the beach!

Debra w said...

Oh Alison,

Something tells me that "labor" is just about to begin for you and Dave! What an adventure.


Heather said...

This was so heartwarming to read. Laura sounds like an amazing woman - like you!

I am anticipating hearing what happens next, even though I know it isn't going to be easy!

Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

bermudabluez said...

What an amazing story! I can't wait for the rest of the story!! You are one terrific storyteller!

Tera said...

...and then, just below, I see a picture of your son, your Michael, and I realize just what a beautiful story this has truly become.

Beccy said...

I'm catching up with your story and have been in tears, looking forward to the next part.

Jennifer said...

grrrrrr.....So close to fulfillment and yet so far.....I can't wait to get to the part where you put the kung foo moves on the father to get him to sign the papers!!!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

(You have a present at my site!)

Pamela said...

again.... not disappointed in your story telling. Always leaving us with a question and wanting more.