Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Open Adoption: Birth Story

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.
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Written for the Open Adoption Round Table.

20 comments:

ultimatejourney said...

Wow. Incredible. I am humbled by the expectant parents' selflessness. And by the strength all four of you have shown in doing everything you can to make this arrangement amazing for yourselves and for Henry.

There was never any question in my mind that you'd be a fantastic mother but I am still in awe.

My Reality said...

Such a beautiful story. It is so bittersweet to read. You and T have the most precious gift in the world thanks to CC & O. Your journey is just beginning and they will be working on healing. In all of this, you caring and compassion for CC & O have really moved me.

E said...

Wow, that is a very emotional story. I am so proud of the them for being strong and knowing what was best and once again I am happy for you.

Dr. Michelle Fagen said...

beautiful. i'm verklempt!

Robin said...

Awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

RB said...

What an incredible story.

Meg said...

Wow. What a journey! I am so happy it went as smoothly as it did for all of you. Henry is very fortunate on all fronts.

Sara said...

That is an incredible story. Henry is beautiful. I am so happy for you (and sad for his birth parents).

AshPash said...

We did not meet our birthmother right away but have several times since our first adoption. We were at the hospital the day our daughter was born and took our her home from there. It was magical. The rest is history. Beautiful perfection.

Natalie said...

So beautiful, so bittersweet. How hard it must be for them, but how wonderful the gift they are giving him - and you and T.

astral said...

That is a beautiful and touching story. I'm so happy for you! I am so touched that I'm sitting here crying reading your story. I look forward to hearing all about your new adventures and journeys as a Mom ;-)

Delenn said...

Wow. I have never read an account of Open Adoption. It was so incredibly moving and all four of you acted so generously to each other. I especially liked the phone call with his first crys.

I also like that your husband's company has that benefit.

Congratulations once again on the start of your family!

emilythehopeless said...

{tears}

Sue said...

How wonderful to know that this baby was brought into the world and given to his new family with so much love. Thanks for sharing your open adoption birth story.

hope548 said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I remember leaving the hospital with our son. As soon as we walked out of the hospital room I started crying and cried all the way down the elevator. It was so hard to know their hearts were breaking.

Deborah said...

Beautiful. Tears in my eyes. And it really speaks to the merits of open adoption. How nice that CC and O were able to meet you and feel more secure that their biological son would be well cared-for by his parents.

Nearlydawn said...

Wow. That is an amazing story - thank you so much for sharing it with us.

I feel quite humbled by the lengths the four of you had to go to make this all work out. Everyone was so brave and determined to see this through - it is just amazing.

Your family is amazing too, for coming over and putting together Henry's room while you were away. That must have wowed your socks off!

I'm so happy for you guys - best wishes.

niobe said...

The part about you listening to Henry crying over the phone? Wow. Just wow.

Michelle said...

beautiful and powerful

Kelly said...

Wow. Such a beautiful story for you to share with your son someday.