this journey begins here
Our first night with Michael was wonderful. It felt so great to hold him and love him and care for him. He took to the breastfeeding like a champ, unfortunately the supplemental feeding device was not as user friendly as I had hoped....but we persevered, and were very glad we had bottles also!!
Wednesday morning we awoke and called Laura. I was worried about her and her mother. I imagined their night was not as magical as ours was. We decided to go to their house for a visit.
When we had left the hospital the previous night, we did not make plans to see each other again until right before we left for home. Funny how you make plans you think are right, and what actually happens is the complete opposite, but is so right!
We spent Wednesday and every day until we left at Laura's house. Those days were wonderful for everyone. All of us cared for Michael, feeding him, burping him, changing his diapers...we all did it, and it was the best thing for us. It was magical to see the smile on Laura's face when she held Michael. To see Laura's mom talking to him like only a grandmother could was breath taking. Time stood still those days while we basked in the love of a new life.
We were also in constant contact with our attorney and social worker. Apparently the birthfather decided to contest the adoption. The was a major bump in our journey and this bump was keeping us in South Carolina while we longed to be home in California. Day after day went by....waiting for the okay to leave.
Our days were spent at Laura's house, our nights were spent in our hotel room with our son. Our hearts were torn between our new son and our daughter we missed horribly. Each time we snuggled our newborn son and kissed his sweet smelling head was a reprieve from the terrible ache in our hearts missing our daughter's sweet hugs and cuddles.
Tuesday.....Wednesday......Thursday....waiting....always the interminable waiting.
Thursday we speak to our attorney and our social worker. The consensus everyone has is that the birthfather is only contesting the adoption because he thinks Laura has been compensated monetarily for the adoption and he wants his share of the profits. He has no desire to parent Michael. We get the okay to leave the state. If the birthfather is serious about contesting the adoption he will have to fight it in California. We can finally go home!!
Thursday night we go out to dinner with Laura and her mom. It is a goodbye dinner. We are all lost in a fog of fatigue and emotions. Our plans are set to drive to Atlanta on Friday and fly home on Saturday. Our time with Laura has come to a close. She has given us a most precious gift, how can we ever thank her for it.....the reality is we can't. Over dinner Laura and her mom offer to take Michael home for the night so we can get a good night's sleep before we go home. It is a generous offer and very tempting....we are very tired. As much as I wanted to say yes, I couldn't. A part of me felt very selfish...I had his whole life, why couldn't I give her one night? I couldn't though, I just couldn't. They were very understanding, if they were disappointed, it didn't show. Their level of generosity was unimaginable.
Friday morning arrived and we were ready to leave. We stopped at Laura's house to say our final goodbyes. Her mom and her grandmother were there. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, saying goodbye to the three women who I came to love, who I admired greatly, who had a place in my heart. The three women who gave us a gift of life.
We received a phone call while we were there from our social worker. She told us we could not leave yet. We did not understand...we were told we could....we were packed....don't you understand, we have to get home...our daughter...our son.
We called our attorney. He said we could go. He would take care of it. Everything would be okay. Don't worry.
What do we do?
We leave as planned. We say goodbye to Laura, we say goodbye to her mom, we say goodbye to her grandmother. Her grandmother holds Laura as she sobs, as we leave. I cry as we get in the car. Adoption....such joy amidst such pain....a paradox.
Atlanta is a 2 hour car ride and I promptly fall asleep from exhaustion. I wake up and ask Dave, "Are we in Georgia yet?"
"Yes", he replies.
My heart is at ease. We have crossed the state line with our son. The son we may have to fight for when we get home. The son we have known for only 5 days, but we have known for a lifetime. The son we would give our life for. We are taking him home to meet his sister. The daughter we would give our life for. Our family is complete. Our journey is coming to a close. Another journey awaits us....the journey of parenthood....the journey that never ends.
This is the conclusion to this series. I will post an epilogue shortly and a journey in pictures of Michael's life. Some wonderful questions have been asked in the comments and I would like to answer any questions you might have when I write the epilogue. Please feel free to ask your questions in your comments. Thank you for embarking on this journey with me.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
this journey begins here