First and foremost, let me try to explain the love that we feel for our son. I feel like we never took a breath of life before his birth – as if we never felt the warmth of the rising sun, or ever saw the beauty of an ocean. It was as if our lives truly began when he came.
On a July morning, at 11:03 am, our son came into this world. He was the selfless gift from a teenager with a heart and soul beyond her years. From the moment our eyes fell upon him, there was an inexplicable sense of completion, and also of destiny unfolding. All the right cosmic pieces fell into place, and in a single moment our lives became instantly whole.
The transition from being a prospective adoptive couple to being our son’s parents was relatively smooth. I attribute this to the close contact that we were able to maintain with his birth mother. After she chose us as the adoptive parents, we started going places with her such as shopping for maternity clothes and ultrasound appointments. As hopeful adoptive parents, sharing these events with the expecting mother brought us closer while the child was still in the womb, and allowed her to see how much we loved him even before he was born.
I remember the tears falling down my face as I saw my son for the first time on the ultrasound. At first, the expecting mother did not seem to understand my level of emotion. The expecting mother also watched us closely as my husband and I held hands. I think that was the moment she truly sensed the love we had for each other, and our yearning to become parents. As we had not yet been able to conceive, sharing these special experiences with the expecting mother also allowed us to experience the birth process. As a result of bonding with the expecting mother during this period of time, she eventually invited us to be part of the birthing process. The time we spent together during her pregnancy was priceless.
If we could offer another piece of advice, it would be to be wary of who shares details of the birth on social media. In the state we were in, the birth mother had 72 hours to change her mind regarding the adoption. In those 72 hours, hopeful adoptive parents have no legal rights. There were many people associated with the birth mother who visited the hospital, and many pictures/texts made it on social media about our son. When we saw the countless number of photos, and read all of the posts about the child, we became very worried that something might happen to change our hopeful situation.
We were fortunate enough to have a hospital room after the birth. While our son’s birth mother recovered from a rather traumatic delivery, we were able to keep our son with us in our room. My husband had gone down the hall to speak to one of the nurses when I noticed a woman with an empty stroller entering the unit. She spoke frantically in Spanish. By God’s grace, it turned out that Spanish is my first language and I understood everything that was being said. It turns out that this woman with the stroller had arrived on the unit after hearing about our son’s birth on a social media website. She knew the birth mother through another person, and came on the pretense to visit her; however, her intentions were sinister as she meant to kidnap our son! We quickly got help and our son was kept safe.
If you have the opportunity, do speak to the birth mother/parents about ground rules for posting events/pictures online. They may not understand the dangers of information being made public. In our case, the hospital and unit were made public, leading to what could have been a tragic situation.
There were obstacles and countless hours of worry before we were able to finalize the adoption, but every second was more than worth it. I am typing this in the wee hours of the morning as my little angel slumbers next to me. I hear and feel his breath against me. I savor the warmth of his skin as his chubby little hand brushes against my arm. I look over at him and see the pulsations in his neck keeping time to the beating of his precious heart. I know we would have walked through fire for him, but there is a part of me that I rarely allow myself to think about it. I keep these thoughts at bay because even though they are beautiful, they are equally heart-breaking. These are the thoughts that encompass the following fact: That if I only had 72 hours with my son before he was taken out of my arms and forever back into his biological mother’s arms, I would gladly take those hours with full appreciation. The joy of those three days spent with the sweetest soul on Earth would sustain me for eternity.
I love you, my son, a million times over, and with every last cell in my body. I love you. Thank you for being my breath, my heart, my mind, and truly my everything.
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