That’s how long it took from when we were homestudy approved until we got The Call about our daughter. Yes! For those who don’t know, we have a beautiful little baby girl, Miss R! Her surprise arrival and some issues getting into my blog account from my new computer are responsible for a delay in blogging.
I’m excited to share our side of Miss R’s arrival story with you today, while asking you to keep in mind that I won’t be sharing everything out of respect for her birth family and her own privacy. Her Story and Our Story will always intersect (much as any of our biological children’s stories will) and it’s tricky to tease that all apart. I think it’s even more important in adoption to be careful to let the child have ownership of his or her own story, and I hope that I have more success than error with this as time goes on.
The Menininho, J, and I spent spring break in North Carolina, visiting my mother and sister. When we made it through security at the airport to come home, an email notification popped up on my phone. It was a message from a social worker at our agency, asking if we wanted to be considered for a potential situation. After a brief phone call with Mark, we decided that yes, we did, and of course I spent the plane ride home (when I wasn’t helping the boys) daydreaming that perhaps this would be our baby.
Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. A little less than 48 hours later (a weekday in April) I received another email, letting me know that there were other plans for the baby. I told myself it was just as well. I fed the kids dinner. I got M ready for t-ball practice. About 5:15 that evening I was about to load the boys into Mark’s car for t-ball and was packing up my van to head to a meeting when Mark ran back into the house to check something. A moment later though he ran back outside and handed me his phone as he called over his shoulder “it’s the adoption agency!”
The social worker on the line suggested I put the phone on speaker, but I told her no, Mark was busy. Well and honestly, I can’t figure out how to do anything on Mark’s phone, let alone put it on speakerphone. She asked me if I’d been told about a baby in _____ city. I felt irritated at this point. I told her yes, I’d already been told that that baby wasn’t going to be placed with us a few hours before, so why was she calling me?
“Oh. Um, well, I don’t know anything about that baby. I’m calling about a baby who was born yesterday.” the social worker said.
Whoops, my bad, jumping to conclusions!
She then told me about the little girl who would be Miss R.
“Well, what do you think?”
“What do you mean what do I think?” I asked a little sharply. “Are you saying her mom picked us? Are you asking to show our profile? What are you talking about?” I mean really I should have figured this all out from the moment the social worker suggested speakerphone but I think after all the “No’s” and the match that didn’t work out, my brain just couldn’t go there. I needed it spelled out for me and this social worker was taking her own sweet time!
“I’m telling you you have a daughter!”
Well at that point I just flipped out. I couldn’t form a coherent thought. It was something like “Mark! Mark! There’s a baby! A baby girl! A baby girl for us! We have a baby girl! Now! She’s here NOW!”
The social worker wanted us to wait till the next day to come to the hospital. I told her no, we’d been waiting too long and to give me an hour to pack and find somewhere to take our boys. Tell the hospital we are coming and if they won’t let me in well I’ll just be waiting outside the door first thing in the morning, but I am coming to my daughter NOW.
Mark brought the boys inside while I ran upstairs to throw dirty clothes in a suitcase (hadn’t done laundry from spring break yet) and call our parents. Eventually Mark and I realized we hadn’t actually told the boys what was going on. I went downstairs to find them just standing patiently in the living room.
“Hey guys, I have something to tell you.”
Menininho asked “Are you going to tell us that we have a baby sister?”
“Yes, yes it looks like you have a baby sister and Daddy and I are going to meet her tonight!”
The boys just started screaming and running in circles cheering and expressing gratitude.
My inlaws took the boys for the night, and Mark and I started the long drive. Let me tell you: the drive to go meet the baby that is hopefully yours, who you had no idea about 2.5 hours ago, is a very weird one. I’d never been so excited! It was amazing calling our siblings to tell them the news. It was also the LONGEST DRIVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
We got to the hospital about 11 pm. Went through the ER as instructed, found the security desk, gave them our info, and waited to be taken to the NICU (the hospital didn’t have a nursery). Security had no record of any such baby. After a few moments of panic, Mark called our social worker who informed us we were at the wrong hospital. So, correction to what I said above: the 5 minute drive from the wrong hospital to the right hospital was the LONGEST DRIVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
The nurses were waiting for us (though they had thought we were coming from a much closer part of the state and were therefore confused why we didn’t arrive until 11:30 pm). When I saw Miss R, I just knew. I knew that she was who we had been waiting for.
I was knocked over by not only the love I had for her, but the love I had for her birth family.
Mark and I spent a couple of hours with R, then tried to sleep at a hotel till we could come back the next morning. Mark had to drive back home after we met with the social worker that morning in order to be with our boys. All in all, R and I had 8 days more before we could go home. One of my very best friends had recently taken a job at the same hospital where Miss R was born and was kind enough to let me crash on her couch during that time and take me to and from the hospital. (We had too much fun surfing online one night, which ended up in the purchase of Nathan Fillion earrings.)
I treasure the time that I had just Miss R and me, bonding together in the hospital. And seeing the looks on her brothers’ faces when they met her for the first time….there aren’t words.
Now, 4 months later, the boys are still just as attentive and loving and excited to have a sister. We are all so, so in love.