Friday, January 29, 2016

Three Years Ago My Life Changed, part 3

As J's birthday approached I had been thinking of everything that happened in order for him to join our family.  I am overwhelmed every time I think of the gift we were given.

He was a gift.  Just as our L was a gift.

I have never placed a child into the arms of another mother to raise and be that child's mom.  I will not pretend to understand the grief that must bring and how I am sure that baby will be thought of each and every day for the rest of their life.

I didn't sleep very well the night we waited to have our son legally signed over to us.

We got dressed and headed over to the hospital.  I wasn't sure what to wear...something not too dressy to make me look stuffy and not too casual so She knew this was important.   My heart was full of love and panic.

Every move I made seemed crucial.  

I didn't want to do ANYTHING to cause her to change her mind.  

I knew she loved Flavio, he was the father she couldn't give him.  She beamed each time she looked at him.  J would have an amazing father and She knew it.

But I was replacing Her.  I was the one She would make sure would be the perfect fit, the perfect friend, cheerleader, teacher, helper, snuggler, and ultimately, the perfect mom for Her baby boy.

He was Hers.  And in Her mind and heart.....he always will be.

As things like this tend to go, we had to wait longer than expected.  Each tic of the clock brought more and more excitement and more and more fear.  She held him tight.  She cuddled him and spoke to him.  She had allowed us to name him and continued to call him her little Jared.

Tears were flowing from my eyes.  How could anyone do this for someone they hardly know?  How could she trust us to be the kind of parents this precious little soul deserved?

I will never know such courage.

The lawyers finally got the papers needed from the state and then it began.  

I sat on the edge of the little couch in Her room, watching as She went over the papers with the lawyer, who was so kind and gentle with her.



The process was very business-like, like She was selling us her car.  However, at the same time as I watched her sign each paper and answer every question my heart grew more and more in love with this woman.  She didn't look at me until the end and then she simply smiled.

With one signature he was ours.  Just like that.  He was no longer Hers.  Not legally, anyway. 

My face was covered in tears.  Again, I had no words.  All I could utter was, "Thank you."



We all hugged.  Grandma held him one last time.  We place him gently into his new carseat.

They walked with us out of the hospital, we hugged one more time, She blew a kiss to J and watched us get into the car....and stood there as we drove away with Her heart.

She had given us the gift we could not give ourselves....our son.  




“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." 
-An ancient Chinese belief




Lots of love,
Niki



















Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three Years Ago My Life Changed, part 2

I still remember walking into the hospital room about five hours after J was born.  I had never met J's birth-mom (although we had talked on the phone twice).

The room was bright and I could see a tiny baby laying in the hospital bassinet. 

He was so small.

I wasn't sure what to do next as he wasn't mine.  He was Hers.

I decided to first hug Her...and then I met Her mother.

Her mother was crying.

I thought quickly of how hard this all must be for this grandmother.

She did nothing wrong, she had only loved Her......and now him.

It made me worry a little as I wasn't sure if she would be able to let go.  I wanted to cry for her...but I pulled myself together and made my way over to him.

There he was.  Perfect all over.  I loved him from the moment I saw him.....and yet, I held back.

Do I pick him up?  Would She be okay with that?  I looked at Her and she asked if I would like to hold him.



I nodded, yes.

Flavio hadn't arrived yet.  We couldn't get on the same flight and so I spent several hours alone, thinking and praying.  We all waited in the room.  I held him, She held him, and grandma held him.  

I felt so out of place.

She was very nice to me.  We talked about random things, I don't remember what.  All the while inside I was pleading that this precious baby wouldn't stay with Her.  He was Hers but she had promised me that he would be mine.   I felt so selfish.  I wanted to love on him and cuddle him.  But She was there, watching.  She smiled at me a lot.  She called him Jared. 

 I held him gently and stroked his fuzzy head.  

I was falling deeply in love.



Flavio finally arrived and he met him.  I could tell Flavio was holding back but I could also see that he too, had fallen in love.  

Time passed slowly as we all sat in the room.  She took a lot of smoking breaks...so did her mom. 

Flavio and I just sat huddled together...not sure what to do or say most of the time.

We would have to wait another 24 hours to pass in order for him to be ours.

We went back to our hotel empty handed and we prayed all night that She wouldn't change her mind. 


Lots of love,
Niki


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Three Years Ago My Life Changed Forever...








Three years ago, today, I was sitting in a meeting for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when I received a call that our birth-mother, who had chosen our family, had gone into labor.

Our journey to receive the gift of our son was nothing short of a miracle.

We had decided we were done having children after our E was born.

Parenting our L had become one of the hardest trials of our lives and I knew I was at the end of my rope.

Why in the world would we bring another little soul into what I considered a big, fat, chaotic mess?

I hated most days here on earth and felt like the world was coming in on me.  No one understood what we were dealing with and worst off, not many believed us.......not even our therapists.

But one day as I was sitting in church, listening to an amazing lesson about how we can better help our sons in this difficult world, I had an overwhelming feeling that I too had a son.

I literally laughed out loud.

See, for my husband and me to bring another soul into our family, we either have to go through the awful process of IVF (which is no guarantee of a baby and I had already done that 5 times) or adoption (in which I was TERRIFIED of at that point because I thought I was ruining our L).

So either way, I was not interested.

I pretty much said, it would have to be an act of God and left it at that.

However, not too long after, I felt it again and both my husband and I knew we needed to go for it.

And I will say...God truly has a sense of humor...as we both knew pretty quick that we needed to adopt this precious spirit.

Without getting into the detail, as so much of it is sacred to us...we followed that prompting.  And only three weeks after we were accepted by the adoption agency, miraculously, we were receiving the call that our birthmother was going into labor.

The emotions that went through me ranged from paralyzing fear to complete and total bliss.  We had prayed that our son would be healthy both in spirit and in body. His birthmother had done meth the first 5 months of her pregnancy, partied hard, lived in a garage with other meth users, had a horrible diet, and had chain smoked the entire pregnancy.

I squirmed in terror that he would be like just our L, but something inside said that he wouldn't but instead of listening to that comfort.....I continued with good deal of fear.

Fear of his physical and mental health and fear of whether or not we would be bringing him home.

I was all too painfully aware that his birth-mom could change her mind at any time during the adoption process.  I tried with all my heart NOT to get too excited...but of course, that was impossible.

I prayed CONSTANTLY that if she were to change her mind, she would change it before I could ever hold him.  I had known without a doubt that he was supposed to come to us as soon as I read the email about him, but I still questioned my feelings out of total protection of a broken heart.  See, I had lost three babies before we received our L and knew it was an honest and painful truth of the adoption process.

However, deep down I knew I was already in love.  A love that goes deeper than most loves.  A mother's love.  I already cared for his future.  I already knew I wanted to him to be mine.

Three years ago my life changed.  I didn't know at the time that the amazingly beautiful little boy that would grace our lives would truly be ours forever...but my heart was full and overflowing with hope.

Lots of love,
Niki