Saturday, February 14, 2015

Flowers In The Snow (An Adoption Birth Story) - Part 2

If you would like to read the first part of this story, you can find it here.

For Joah.

I looked out the bedroom window and watched as the sun rose slowly over the cedars at the edge of our backyard.  Not a cloud was in the sky and the morning held the promise of a perfect day.  The grass blushed with just a hint of green and a warm southerly breeze brought with it the promise of spring. I cracked the window just enough to let the fresh air sweep into the room, and I breathed deeply. I was holding your brother on my hip, and we watched the bluebirds as they played hopscotch along the barb wire fence.  Soon, they'll have babies to feed, I thought, but for the moment, they seemed to have no other concern beyond relishing the gift of a day that was unseasonably warm and a harbinger of things to come. 

It will be a good day to hang out diapers, I said to myself, and I stepped away from the window and my daydreams to face the business of the day.  As I sat your brother on the floor and reached for the laundry basket, the phone rang.  It was still early, not quite eight in the morning, and I guessed it was my office calling, as they had not yet become accustomed to my part-time schedule.  I answered and heard only three words:

She's in labor.

It had begun on St. Valentine's Day, in the evening hours. You were coming earlier than had been expected, and I couldn't help but wonder if your great-grandfather, who's name had been Valentine, might have had something to do with it. Now, many hours later, she knew you would be arriving at any time and she had asked the agency to call us. 

I had spent the previous week after that meeting wondering if she would change her mind. Your father and I had already experienced one failed adoption the year before, albeit under very different circumstances.  Would this one be different?   In my heart, I felt it would be, because she had been different. There was a connection with her that I could not describe, and I believed she felt it to.  It transcended all the questions, all the unknowns, all the insecurities, and the only other time I had ever experienced it was when I met your father.  Now, as the unexpected news of your pending arrival triggered a flurry of activity, I faced it with a feeling of great peace inside, somehow knowing that this two-and-a-half year journey towards you was finally about to end.

I called your father immediately; he would drive from his office and meet us near the hospital and, in the meantime, call your grandparents and make reservations for us at a nearby hotel.  Be sure to find a hotel that takes pets, I told him, for we had no time to spare to even find someone to watch our dog, Sage. And for some silly reason, I wanted Sage with us, too.  I wanted my family together for this moment and that included her.  She had been with us through it all.

I put your brother down in his crib and began to hurriedly throw things into a suitcase as my mind raced through my mental checklist...diapers, formula, breast pump, dog food, water, baby clothes, blankets, bottles, stroller, snacks...the list seemed endless.

The phone rang again.  You were here, a baby boy, 7 pounds 6 ounces and doing well.  I asked, "and how is she doing?"  They said only that she had asked that you be taken directly to the nursery where you would be waiting for us.

I had only one thought now... I must get to you...and I was focused on nothing else but that single objective.  My thoughts went into overdrive and with a sense of purpose like none I'd ever experienced before, I loaded the car, fed your brother, rounded up Sage, and headed north.

Your father met me and his face showed the same emotions that I had been feeling.  Feelings of excitement, anxiety, stress, joy, all combined to form one expression and we both knew the look all too well.   We stood in the parking lot and gave each other a long hug, then jumped back into our cars. Now together, we caravanned to the hospital and prepared our hearts to meet you.

(To be concluded tomorrow).

No comments:

Post a Comment