I really can’t believe how long it has taken me to write-up this whole story. I truly didn’t anticipate how adding a second child to our family would turn our lives into a whirlwind. Otis will be 8 weeks old in two days! Time for Mama to stop slacking.
Things were quite different with this adoption, as I had mentioned. It was at the same hospital, the same agency, even the same birth mom, yet everything had changed. When we adopted Muppet the hospital was extremely accommodating to adoptive parents. I received a wrist band to the nursery and we were given our own room so that we could stay in the hospital with our daughter and have her with us at all times. But due to an unusual circumstance involving adoptive parents about a year ago, the hospital now does not allow any of this. Meaning we were only allowed in the nursery (and hospital) during visiting hours (7am – 8pm) and we weren’t even allowed to wheel Otis from the nursery to A’s room without an escort. We were constantly watched when with the baby. Even in the nursery, they gave us a room to hang out in for “privacy” but it had a big window right in sight of the nurses station and they constantly checked on us.
We were a bit shocked by all this. The agency didn’t tell us any of this before hand, so we came prepared for an overnight stay. Once they told us all this I couldn’t help but feel upset. I was expected to leave my brand new baby, who technically wasn’t even mine yet, in the nursery all night. In my head I knew there was no safer place for him, surrounded by nurses, but it still hurt. A was pretty understanding about all of it. She let us stay with the baby in her room till about 10:30 that first night and would have let us stay longer, but we finally decided it was best to go home and let everyone rest up for the next day. I had a hard time sleeping that night, wishing I could hold my baby. We set our alarms for early and got to the hospital right as visiting hours started. We hung out in the nursery till A called us around 8:30 and invited us back into her room. The whole thing was a bit awkward. We just kinda sat around watching TV and holding the baby. A seemed to put up a huge wall regarding Otis. To this day she has never even held him.
Finally it was time for the signing. I’d like to say I wasn’t nervous this time around, but I think it is impossible not to be in that situation. But it went as smoothly as that kind of thing could go. It was over pretty quickly and A’s parental rights were terminated. We weren’t sure if she would want to see us afterwards but we were immediately invited back in. She was in a bit of pain since she was not allowed to take any pain killers for 6 hours prior to the signing. We gave her a small gift, a necklace with an infinity charm and both kids birth stones. This was the first moment that I saw emotion out of her and she broke down crying. We decided to give her some space and took the baby to the nursery and the private room. Another thing that was frustrating about the hospital’s new policies, our families were not allowed to come visit. Even though the papers were signed since we were not patients we could not have visitors and they would not allow us to take the baby home until A was discharged.
After a few hours in our nursery solitude my parents brought Muppet and took us out for a quick dinner. They were disappointed they couldn’t come in, as was I since I had a whole vision of Muppet meeting her brother in my mind, but were in good spirits. It was so good to see my girl. I hugged her tight and told her all about her new brother. She proudly wore her “Big Sister” shirt and looked at all the pictures I had of him on my phone. While we were at dinner we received some awful news, A had developed some kind of infection and developed a fever, meaning she would not be discharged the following day as planned. We would not get to bring the baby home. I blame the emotional rollercoaster of adoption for how I reacted but I completely broke down. As horrible as I felt for A I wanted to bring my baby home. He needed to be with his family not in a nursery, and I also needed to be with my daughter whom I was missing terribly. I felt so torn between my two babies. But they were adamant that they would not release Otis till A was released. That was a hard night. We made a decision on how we would handle the rest of the hospital stay by breaking up shifts with each of the kids. I would go to the hospital in the morning while J stayed with Muppet, then I’d come home for lunch and we’d switch. I left the hospital when visiting hours were over feeling so deflated.
I again rose early and got right to the hospital to be with my baby. I had the nurses let A know I was there in case she wanted to see me but decided to give her as much privacy as I could so she could hopefully heal. After a few hours she requested to see me – just me. She didn’t want to see the baby. I was determined to be optimistic when I saw her, after all she was in pain and none of this was her fault. I told her our plan for splitting up time at the hospital and with the kids. I wanted to make sure she knew we were not neglecting Muppet during all this craziness. She was very understanding and told me something that gave me a lot of hope, that she was possibly going to request that we take the baby home before she was released. I didn’t push her, but tried to let her know how much we would appreciate that. I stayed with her about 45 min. before heading back to be with Otis.
By lunch time I still hadn’t heard anything so I was preparing to go home and switch shifts with J. As I was starting to get ready my case worker called me, A had indeed requested that we take the baby home. I was overjoyed but quickly found that it wasn’t that simple. This was literally never done. Everyone was baffled when they found out we would be taking Otis home before A was released. What followed was a long few hours and getting approvals between the hospital , adoption agency, and the doctors. But at last…it was time. I packed my bitty boy into his car seat and went to bid A farewell. She was surprisingly calm during everything. I thanked her profusely and made sure she knew we weren’t abandoning her and that we could come back to visit if she wished. We hugged and I was finally able to bring my boy home.
It wasn’t exactly what I planned…I got home and there was no one else there. My mom, J and Muppet were out getting diapers. My dad was still at work. So Otis and I arrived to an empty house. But soon we heard the garage door open and I knew it was time to introduce Muppet to her new brother. It was a sweet moment, even if it wasn’t how I wanted it to be. She immediately wanted to hold him and kept calling him “Baby Brother”. Seeing my two babies together was so incredible. I found it hard to believe that all of this was real.
Settling with a newborn is challenging, doing it with a 2-year-old is even more difficult. Not to mention we were still dealing with A being in the hospital and making sure we were still communicating with her. The day after we went home she asked if we could bring her dinner – and bring the kids with us. This was so scary for us. It would be the first time A had seen Muppet since we left the hospital almost 2 years ago. We had no idea how this was going to go. But we agreed and headed out.
Walking down the hall to her room I felt sick. I was just so incredibly nervous. I went in first to make sure she was ready and then J came in with Muppet and Otis. A immediately lit up upon seeing Muppet. She was clearly enchanted by her. Muppet was very hesitant to enter the room. At 21 months there was no way to prepare her for this, she is too young to understand. But gradually we got her to warm up by giving her snacks and playing games. She paraded around the room singing songs and showing off her baby sign language. She wouldn’t go to A, which I was worried would upset her, but A seemed to understand. She told me she was glad that she was hesitant around strangers and so connected to us. I was also worried about Muppet openly calling me “Mommy” but again A took it in stride. She told us over and over how amazed she was by Muppet. She said she was so smart and that she never could have given Muppet what we were obviously giving her. We stayed for about an hour and it was probably my favorite part of this whole adoption. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders. Seeing how happy it made A to see Muppet reassured us that our relationship with her would remain positive. As we left we all gave A a big hug, I held Muppet and brought her to A so she could kiss her head. We left knowing it would be a very long time before we saw each other again.
I spoke to A a few days later and she told me how much it meant to her to see all of us together. She said she had also been concerned about how seeing Muppet again would make her feel, but it actually made her feel better about her decisions. She said she knew she had done the right thing for both Muppet and Otis and that our family was beautiful. A is beautiful. She is a wonderful person who has ended up in some crappy situations. But she is a wonderful mother who knows when she isn’t enough for her children. That takes more strength than most people have.
We are a family of 4 now. It has been an incredibly crazy journey, but little Otis has competed us. We feel so grateful to have him in our lives as well as Muppet. We are truly blessed.
I know I said I’d post pictures but right now I just don’t feel like it is something I should do. However I am a crazy Instagrammer. So if you would like to see pictures of Otis and Muppet feel free to follow me @a.trisha. It is a private account so I just request that you send me a direct message saying you follow my blog so I can approve you. Thank you all so much for all the support you’ve given me over the years. I love this community and feel so grateful to have been apart of it.