By the time Baby Girl was all done in the nursery, A had decided that she wanted to see her. So we dutifully rolled her down the hall to A’s room. I really didn’t know what to expect. When we went in there was immediate joy cast upon A’s face. We lifted our girl out of her rolling crib and placed her into her birth mother’s arms.
I won’t lie, this was hard for me. I was already falling hard for this little girl and I was very aware of the fact that we had no claim on her yet. She was all A’s for the next 20 hours or so. But A was wonderful. I’m sure she was trying to protect herself as much as possible. So she held the baby for about 20 min, marveled at how beautiful she was, and then asked me to take her. We spent most of the evening in that room with A. J left the hospital to grab us all dinner and we ate with her, just talking about everything and nothing. She didn’t hold the baby any more that evening.
The first night with Baby Girl was…surreal. We kept her with us that whole night even though we were told she could go to the nursery if we needed to sleep. Well sleep we did not do. She is a very good, docile baby who rarely cries but at every little sound both J and I were up checking to make sure she was okay. It has been so amazing to watch J transform into a daddy. He is CRAZY about her. He can’t stop looking at her, kissing her, and saying that he loves her. I can’t get over how sweet he is with her. She is going to be a daddy’s girl for sure.
The next day we were very cautious with how we went about things. I for one wanted to make sure that when we went over to visit with A (she had mentioned the night before that she wanted to see us before the signing) that a case worker would be present. We had been alone with her the night before, but because it was signing day I didn’t want to but either ourselves or her in a difficult situation. We headed over about noon and the signing was scheduled for 3:00. J ran out to get us lunch and we spent most of our time taking pictures of the baby. I dressed her up and we had a photo shoot both for us and A.
At 2:30 we had to get ready for the signing. A would sign first, in her room then the notary would come to our room where we would sign. Before we left the case worker asked A if she wanted to baby with her or with us. This is how it worked at the hospital, A got to make all the calls about where the baby would be. I held my breath as I waited for her answer. I couldn’t imagine looking into this gorgeous little girl’s face and being able to sign a paper giving her up. But I didn’t need to worry. A firmly stated that we should take her.
When we got back to our room our case worker started going over the paper work with us. She said the notary would text her as soon as A had signed and then head over so we could sign. As she explained exactly what we were signing I couldn’t help but watch the clock. 15 min had passed and still no text. My stomach started to clench as our worker checked her phone to see if she had missed the text. She hadn’t. Things were starting to get tense as more min passed. Then all of a sudden the door swung open and in walked the notary. I’m assuming we had looks of horror on our faces because she immediately said “Oh! I forgot to text you!”. Our case worker asked if A had signed and the notary said yes. With that one little word a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. J and I looked at each other while each letting out a huge sign of relief.
The rest of the signing was uneventful. The explained how things would work, what we had to do next, and that we would be the baby’s guardians until the finalization in 6 months. None of that mattered. We had our baby girl. She was officially ours.
That evening we were finally allowed to invite some family members over to meet our daughter. My 2 brothers and sister-in-law came first, followed by my mom and dad. It was really special to be able to walk my mom and dad down the hall and introduce them to A. They liked her just as much as we do. I think it was good for her to see how loved this baby already is too. She was so wonderful as she asked them what it was like to finally be grandparents. It is one of those moments I can’t wait to share with Baby Girl when she gets older.
The next day was discharge day, and we were so ready for it. We just wanted to get our girl home and into a normal routine. Of course we knew this meant saying goodbye to A but we knew it wouldn’t be goodbye forever. The nurse surprised us when they gave us the go ahead to leave at 9:30am, much earlier than we expected. So we got our stuff together and prepared to go visit A’s room for the last time.
Unfortunately they didn’t tell us till we got there that we were not allowed to leave until A was discharged as well, and the doctor was not even at the hospital yet. We sat in A’s room for what felt like an eternity. Everyone, including A, was frustrated and anxious to leave. A decided she wanted to hold the baby for a while so I handed her over. I’m not sure why this was so hard for me on this day. I had seen A hold her before and never felt threatened, but for some reason it was so difficult to watch her kiss my baby girl and tell her that she loved her. I WANT Baby Girl to know that her birth mom loves her, that the reason for her adoption was not because she wasn’t wanted. And the papers were signed…at this point A couldn’t change her mind even if she wanted to. But it was still hard. I tried to keep my emotions and face passive but, J sensed my jealousy.
At long last A was given the go ahead to check out. We hugged her, told her that we loved her and thanked her profusely for what she had done for us. She made us promise that we would tell baby girl that she loves her all the time and that we would take care of her always. “I’m putting my trust in you” she said. What a powerful statement. This woman, who we had only known a short time was trusting us completely to raise her daughter as our own. I didn’t fully understand the power of that word until that moment.
I’m sure it was difficult for her to say goodbye. She kissed the baby, told her that she loved her so much and we left. Just like that. I’m pretty sure she hurried out quickly so she wouldn’t have to see us carrying the baby in her car seat, ready to take her home forever.
I’ll never be able to understand it. I know she is still struggling a lot. She was in a lot of pain emotionally leaving the hospital without a baby. But she is one of the strongest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She has given us something that no amount of medicine or doctors could. She gave us a daughter. For that she will always have a special place in my heart. And I will always let my girl know how much she was loved.
We’ve been home for 3 days now. 3 magical days. J and I fall more and more in love with her every hour. I know we couldn’t have loved her more if she was biologically our child, because really…it doesn’t matter. I look at her and even though she will never look like us I know that she is our baby. She was always supposed to be our baby.