I left work early on Friday. I knew the call would come soon and we had so much crap to do -- I had to pack up stuff from the back bedroom, move out a bookshelf, take the bed out, etc. The plan was to work all day Saturday.
But then came a phone call at about 9:30 pm. I was getting ready for bed. It was the attorney's office and she asked if my bags were packed. CC (the expectant mom) was in labor. She was 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced, so we knew it would be soon.
Of course I wasn't packed, so I worked on that. I yelled downstairs to my husband. We needed plane tickets. His office will buy flights for people to pick up their adoptive children as a benefit. He got on the phone right away to book. Then he got put on hold. For 45 minutes. He called one number. They told him to call another number. At that number they told him to call the first number. He sent emails and left voice mails. Nothing.
While he was working on flights, O. (the expectant Dad) called us. He just said "Listen," and held the phone to the air. I heard a baby crying. Then I started crying. Then I ran over to T and had him listen. Then T started crying. There we all were, listening to the first cries of our soon-to-be son and we were crying too. I will forever be grateful to O. for making that phone call.
With many trials and tribulations that I will not go into here, we made it to FL and to the hospital. We went right into the room. We met CC and O. and I gave them both a hug. Then the nurse wheeled the baby in. I cried again. I held him.
The five of us spent the next day and a half together. We took pictures and took turns holding the baby. We talked about names and all sorts of other things. We explained to them how we chose his name. We laughed and we talked about how we would communicate after T and I took the baby home.
When CC was due to be discharged, the paperwork had to be done. We decided to have CC and O. spend the last half hour before the paperwork started with the baby. We left the room. We asked the nurse what CC and O. wanted to do regarding leaving the hospital. We knew the lawyers were in there with them at some point. We waited and waited and waited and waited. I almost started to get nervous even though I knew CC and O. were committed to this adoption.
Finally the lawyers came into the room. CC and O. had finished their part of the paperwork and it was time for ours. We did that piece and went over to CC's nurse. The lawyer's representative wanted to leave, but CC and O. weren't ready yet. The nurse figured out a way to let the lawyer go and let us stay for a little while longer. (CC's nurse was AWESOME! I can't thank her enough for being so understanding.) We spent more time together with the baby in the hospital room. We ate some lunch and talked some more. CC took a shower. We took more pictures.
We talked about naming the baby. They had some ideas of their own, but in the end decided to give him the name we had chosen for him.
Finally, it was time to leave the hospital. CC helped me work the car seat and we made sure that Henry fit into it. CC got into the wheelchair and a nurse took the baby. We took the elevator down. O. and T went to get the cars. I put Henry into his car seat. O. pulled up. The tech pushing her wheelchair seemed to almost give Henry to her to put in the car. My heart skipped a beat. T pulled up. I put Henry in the car. I hugged both CC and O. again. T went to say his goodbyes to CC and O. We got into the car, crying. We watched CC and O. pull away with tears in their eyes. We cried harder. Our hearts broke. This is the moment that has forever changed me.
We pulled ourselves together and drove back to the hotel with our son.
Written for the Open Adoption Round Table.