Monday, November 23, 2009

Thought I'd Share Our Adoption Story!

November is Adoption Awareness month, so with that in mind I wanted to share our adoption adventure with you. I recently shared our adoption story on another blog, and this is what I wrote.

My husband and I were excited to find out we were pregnant with our first baby. Then, at 25 weeks along, I became sick with severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. I was hospitalized, the baby was given steroids to help develop her lungs, and I delivered my baby at 26 weeks. Severely premature, she weighed 1lb, 12oz and was 13 ¼ inches long. She was beautiful. Angel Baby broke all the rules in the hospital for premature babies, breathing on her own so early, not needing blood transfusions. My husband and I got to hold her three different times by the time she was eight days old! Then on her 9th day of life, she contracted an infection from the bacteria in the air, and she passed away on her tenth day of life. We were devastated, heartbroken and so empty. We have a blessed knowledge of where she is and that there is a special plan for her, but our arms were extremely empty, and our hearts were shattered.

As soon as my doctor gave me the ok six months later, we tried to get pregnant again, but there was a bit of a wait; it took eight months but we were excited to be pregnant again! We went into this new pregnancy with hopes that things would go better this time. However, after our daughter passed away, we learned that I have three different blood clotting disorders that make it inevitable that I would have pre-eclampsia again. At 11 ½ weeks along, I miscarried. We were so confused. Why should anyone have to suffer so much? All we wanted was to raise a child, to cuddle them in our arms, to teach them to tie their shoe, to help them with their homework, teach them to play baseball, teach them to drive a car and watch them get married and have their own children. Doctors told me that it was not a good thing for me to be pregnant. I was completely hopeless.

My thoughts turned to adoption, which had been in our minds from years before. Growing up, I always believed being adopted would be cool. A few times, I even asked my mom if I was adopted! When my husband and I were first married, we often talked about adoption and how neat it would be to adopt a child; though we didn't plan to adopt until we were done having children of our own. After much thought, my husband and I talked about our dream to adopt, and after prayer we knew that the time had come for us to proceed with adoption. We received the paperwork two days after my miscarriage, on October 17, 2003, and I was feeling hope once again. I just knew that we would be blessed with a beautiful child that would be just right for our family.

In February 2004, we became certified through the state to adopt. Wahoo!!!!! We posted our profile and were so excited at the idea of adoption finally becoming real. I happened to meet a young woman in Florida who was expecting. We became friends through communicating online, and she asked me if I could send her my profile, and that she and her boyfriend wanted to place their child for adoption. “I’d rather wait until I can afford to buy my baby Nike’s, and not worry about where we are going to live and how we will survive,” she told me.

On Mothers' Day 2004, the young woman and her boyfriend contacted our family and asked us to raise their child. We were overjoyed! Of course we would! The baby was due at the end of July 2004. Then, one month before he was born, the birth mom changed her mind and chose to raise him herself. I expected to be devastated once again. I expected to be heartbroken. And while my husband and I were upset over this, we also felt a peace about it. We had faith that there was a baby who needed us.

Two weeks later (July 2004), our case worker called and told us that he had a letter for us from a birth mom. We rushed over to his office and opened up a sweet letter from a birth mom. “Congratulations, you’re having a boy!” the letter said. Oh wow! The birth mom had found our profile and felt like we were the family her son needed. Things just felt so right. Our birth mom also included her picture. She was so pretty! My husband and I were overwhelmed with gratitude for her. We couldn’t wait to meet her. We were so lucky, our birth mom lived in our state, 45 minutes away from us, and we shared the same case worker. Our meeting day came. I had butterflies in my stomach. Would she like us in person? Would she still want to place her baby after he was born? She brought her parents, her sister and her niece with her to our meeting, and after introductions, both my husband and I felt such a love for each member of her family and to our birth mom. Not only did we feel love, but we felt like we were a part of each others' heart.

MJ(our birth mom) and I communicated daily through emails, getting to know each other and sharing our days with each other. As an adoptive mom, I cherished this as it was a way that I could get to know her, so someday I could share things about her with my soon-to-be son. MJ was very open with us and welcomed us right into her life. We are so blessed to have her in our lives. Before MJ gave birth, we met for dinner one more time. It was so much fun to see her again, to laugh with her and truly enjoy her and her family.

The day my husband I had been waiting for finally came. Kermit was born on a Saturday evening October 2004, one year and two weeks after receiving our initial paperwork. I remember his birthday day so clearly. We bought a dresser for his room and had our car seat checked to make sure it was installed properly. Kermit was born at 8:08 p.m., and we received a phone call around 8:30 p.m. from our case worker. “All, I know is that the baby is here, MJ is asking for you to come, but she’s in tears.” We hurried--I’m not sure if hurried is the right word, rather, we raced to the hospital. We entered MJ’s room and I just wanted to cry for her. I imagined she’d been through so much. As it turned out, MJ was in tears because Kermit couldn’t be in her room; he needed to be monitored in the nursery for some medical concerns due to his birth. After all we’d been through with our children; she wanted to give us the perfect baby. Oh my gosh, she did give us the perfect baby! My heart was overwhelmed once again with gratitude and love for MJ. She was the most selfless and charitable person I’d ever met. We are so thankful to her.

We got to meet our little boy soon after that. Oh my goodness, he was so cute! He was so precious to us. When the nurse placed Kermit in my arms, I wept. It felt so good to have not just any baby in my arms, but my baby in my arms. Words just can’t express all that went on in my heart. Joy, healing, relief, humble, peaceful, ecstatic… the list goes on.

I had the privilege of staying in the hospital with MJ, and then due to the minor medical issues when he was born, MJ and I, as his two moms, sent him off to another hospital. We were able to join Kermit very shortly and the next day he was released and able to come home. I asked MJ if she would like to help me dress him, and we worked together to get him ready to go. Then it was time to leave. At this point I could no longer hold in the tears. This sweet and selfless mother was giving her son the best gift ever-- a mother and a father, a family, and that family was mine! I’ve thanked MJ before, but I’m not sure that I will ever be able to express my most sincere thanks to her for her sacrifice. This birth mom changed my life. She changed my husband’s life. She filled a hole that nobody else could fill. We will love her forever.


Deb said...

You totally brought tears to my eyes. I am glad to hear your stories because it made me understand even more why you'd want to be #1 on the due date list ; )
Thank you for sharing. I hope more and more people consider adoption.
(your fellow MOFia)

Miss Marci said...

Thanks for sharing this story. Having worked with birth moms, I know that they truly are so selfless and change SO many lives. It also takes a special couple to be a great adoptive couple, and you two are it! I am so grateful that you have Andrew and that he has your family. You are so blessed. Love ya!

Jenni said...

Wow--what a great story--I appreciate your sharing it.

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