Otis turned 2 weeks old today. 2 weeks have passed since this little human came into our lives and I already feel as if he has always been here. The stories I have to tell about his birth are broken into 3 parts. Here is the first.
Considering how we found out about Otis, we should have known how completely different this process would be from Muppet’s adoption. Looking back I think that both parties (us and birth mom) went into Muppet’s adoption naively. None of us were prepared for how heavy the emotional aspect would be. This time, we were all hyper aware of it.
Once our home study and adoption paper work went through, I just assumed that the rest of the process would follow pretty much the same course as last time. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. We arrived in the state where our son would be born 6 days before the induction. I wanted to be there early just in case she went into labor early. It was so important to me that we be present for the birth, I needed to be there for him. We had plans to take A out to dinner the night before the induction. We had also already discussed the birth plan with her, and she said she wanted us in the room just like last time. A few days after we arrived everything changed.
All of the sudden contact became strained. A has always been pretty reliant on us and throughout the pregnancy she had been keeping us up to date. I knew she had a doctor’s appointment, but I never heard how it went. When I asked my case worker, she didn’t know either. Suddenly she had become silent. The next day another bomb dropped when she cancelled our dinner. Her reasoning was that she had needed the dinner before Muppet’s adoption because she didn’t know us then. But this time she knew us and was comfortable with us so she didn’t feel like we needed to go to dinner. I started feeling uneasy but was told that this wasn’t a red flag by the agency.
A few days later we were told that she no longer wanted us in the room for the birth and I felt my heart sink. All of this seemed so out of character for her. I sent her a few emails just asking how she was but got little to no response back. 2 days before the birth she requested a phone date. We set up a time and I waited and waited, but the call never came. I finally got a call from my case worker explaining that she had changed her mind and didn’t want to talk to us. It was in that moment I realized how serious this all had become. I sobbed on the phone with my case manager, not just out of fear but also for the pain that A was obviously going through. I wanted her to know that we cared about her, not just the baby. They promised to pass along our words but I was filled with dread. That night J and I sat out on the porch and had a conversation that every adoptive couple tries to avoid having: how we would handle the situation if A changed her mind about the adoption.
That night was an awful night. With Muppet, everything happened so fast that we really didn’t have any reason to have that talk. We just assumed that it would all work out. But because we knew how different she was acting this time we knew we had a reason to be fearful. I didn’t sleep much that night, instead different scenarios ran around in my mind. Luckily A must have known how we were feeling. I woke up the next day to an email from her that eased all our fears. She explained why she had been pushing us aside and it wasn’t because she was questioning her decision, in fact she assured us that she was 100% certain about the placement, she just needed to handle things differently from last time in order to protect herself.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing that the following day our son would be born and placed into our arms.
Birth story to follow soon!