Emmi’s birth mother chose us very early on in her pregnancy and was adamant that this baby belonged to us. Not only were we thrilled for the opportunity for another baby, but with it being so early we got to experience so much of the pregnancy with her birth mother. I knew after I found out I couldn’t have children that I would be missing out on a lot of little things that come with pregnancy; and I think I still occasionally grieve the loss of those small opportunities. With our first adoption we had just over a month to prepare, but with Emmi we were given nearly 6 months of updates and excitement we thought we wouldn’t get to experience. For the first time I got to have a gender reveal party. Not that it is really of any significance to many people, but until the chance to have one is taken, no one really know the excitement of getting to have one for yourself. I got to see and receive ultrasound pictures, which I had never had an ultra sound photo of one of my children before. I got to hear the heart beat, see belly updates, touch and feel a pregnant belly and the baby kicking inside! These were all little things that I never knew meant much until I finally got to experience them. But the biggest thing that I never thought I would ever get to experience and still nearly brings a tear to my eye is I finally, ACTUALLY, got to see one of my children being born. We were all set up and ready for Emmi. We had a lot of crazy coincidences between our two children and their birth mothers, and one coincidence was that they were both due in December. We tried to plan accordingly. Emmi was going to be born in Texas, so we made arrangements to fly out there ahead of time with Banks, stay with a family member, and celebrate Christmas in Texas until we would get the all clear to come home. Luckily Emmi’s birth mother was able to schedule an induction date, which doesn’t usually happen when you are giving birth for the first time. So we were fortunate enough to know the dates of when we needed to fly and have a hotel. Unfortunately enough, Emmi’s birth mother was being threatened with preeclampsia, so we were keeping in touch in case anything happened unexpectedly. We were going to fly out on Banks’ birthday, so we decided to celebrate the weekend before. As always I am scrambling last minute to finish his cake and do the entertaining. Right in the middle of the birthday party I noticed I had a missed call from a number I didn’t know and a voicemail. I hurried to listen in another room and our birth mother’s mother was letting us know that she the fear of preeclampsia was getting too real and the doctor decided to keep her in the hospital and try to induce labor that night. If we wanted to be there for the delivery or even be at the hospital, we needed to leave immediately. I about peer my pants and cried at the same time. I hurried Bryce in the room to listen and we were both stunned. Everyone noticed we were absent from our only child’s party and we had their full attention as we walked out of the bedroom. We explained about our birth mother being kept in the hospital and that she was going to have the baby the next day. Everyone was ecstatic and all the excitement made poor Banks nervous as can be. They asked us questions and after only a few short minutes of talking they rushed us into action. Bryce has a brother who is a pilot and fortunately his wife had come that night. She jumped on our computer and found a flight for that night to Houston, but we had about an hour and a half until it left and we live just under an hour away from the airport. We wouldn’t have time to check our luggage that we had planned on and had to find our carry one in storage. Luckily my sister was in attendance and luckily I had most of my stuff packed. She helped me through the basics of what I needed in a small carry on bag. Bryce’s sister quickly helped him start his packing... apparently he didn’t think to be prepared a week in advance of our planned flight. His parents jumped into action as well and were throwing our necessities into our bags and our bags into their trunk all while our sister-in-law was yelling for our information to book our last minute flight. From the time we got the call to when we were speeding down the road was barely over 30 minutes and we left a filthy parties house to a couple of siblings and their spouses. What broke my heart even more was leaving my poor boy at his birthday party and it being a week before his real birthday, I would be missing that too. We arranged for family to take him and show him a good time without mom and dad, but it barely did anything to comfort my bleeding heart. We raced through the airport and found a less busy security check through another terminal. We ran as fast as we could drag our bags to our gate and boarded as they were making their last calls. We barely sat down and got situated as they closed the door and began to pull away from the gate. We were frantic, giddy, and couldn’t come up either a cohesive thought. We tried to distance ourselves with conversations to other passengers and the flight movie, but it all did very little. We arrived in Houston shortly after midnight. We scrambled though a nearly empty airport to the car rental that Bryce’s dad had fortunately booked for us while we flew, loaded up, and drove in complete darkness with jittery hands to the city our birth mother was in. We pulled into town at nearly 2:30 and got a room at the first hotel we could find finally crashing at nearly 3 AM for a few hours of rest before the grandeur of the morning began. Our alarm went off around 7, we took a few minutes to freshen up before packing and heading down to breakfast. During mouthfuls of waffles, yogurt, and juice, we got a text that they had given our birth mother an epidural. We couldn’t believe it! An epidural already?! We grabbed what we could shove in our pockets and took off down the road to the hospital. The excitement of waking through those halls to the labor and delivery was more than the excitement of Christmas morning. The nurses knowingly smiled at us as they let us in the wing, anticipating who we were the they happiness they had for us. I felt like I was going to burst walking through that door. I was going to meet our birth mother in the flesh for the first time and she was nearing the delivery of a sweet baby girl that all of us have been waiting to meet for the first time. I am not someone who cries very often, but I was choked up trying to keep myself together and laughing as I met her and her mother in their room. They filled me in on the experience and how the night had gone and we sat getting to know each other better. The epidural that the doctors had given our birth mom had sent her blood pressure scarily low, so the staff stopped the delivery until they were able to bring back her blood pressure and make sure both she and the baby were fine. That meant that we had the majority of that day to meet her family, talk, laugh, and touch on plans that we had discussed post placement. I loved it, I absolutely loved every minute of it all. I got to see the monitors, learn what every single number and beep meant. I watched both heat beats like a starving hawk and tied to pay attention to every little detail. I got to watch our birth mother move to get comfortable, get her back massages by her mother, and listened intently as she described every little thing she was experiencing. As the day faded she was getting ready for delivery once again. I talked to her though contractions and counted every minute in-between. I held her hand, pressed the button for her pain as she needed, and frantically watched for the doctor as things started getting close. I warned her that if the doctor didn’t get there soon I was going to take charge! My heart couldn’t have been more full of gratitude and compete joy towards our birth mother. I couldn’t believe the selflessness she had and understanding of my feeling to let me be there and be a part of all of it. She was so uncomfortable, yet she made sure I was a part of it all. She let me hold her hand, to wipe away the sweat and tears, to see moments that I NEVER in my wildest dreams thought I would get to witness. I got to see my sweet baby girl be born. I saw her long hair as she crowned, and squeezed birth moms hand as she delivered the most precious infant I have ever layer eyes on. I was so touched and moved that, being a person who doesn’t cry or show too broad of a range of emotions, wept. I couldn’t believe the power this amazing woman had to go through so much so selflessly. To love me, a complete stranger just a few month back, so much to let me be a part of this whole journey and to place a child in my heart and home that I otherwise could never have had. The rollercoaster of emotions was all over for the next few days. We tried to give the birth family their space and to not be bombarded by us all the time, and spent a few hours together in unbelief at how luckily we were. We were now the parents of two! We tried to not over stay through the hospital stay, but couldn’t not bring ourselves to leave from them. We had the most remarkable conversations, full love, laughter, and often times tears. We did all we could to help the birth family with the closure of letting this sweet baby leave the hospital with us. I couldn’t be more in awe of our birth mother and her devout decision, glaring at anyone who tried to say anything or sway her in any way. It was a hard goodbye, them not wanting to let Emmi go, and I not wanting to let her go. We drove late into the night to Dallas to finally stay with family and spend some time alone with just us and our new baby girl. We couldn’t have been more taken aback by our immediate love for her and the connection we made in just an instant. Bryce spent a few day with us before he went home to Banks and to get everything arranged for us to bring Emmi home. Meanwhile, I stayed in Dallas doing late night feedings, midnight poop sessions, and doctor visits. I honestly believe that this time alone bonded Emmi and I so strongly that we have a hard time being away from each other for too long even to this day. We got the ok from all the legal sides, and I was able to pack everything I could fit into my carryon, purse, and newly acquired diaper bag. I had Emmi strapped so tightly to me, for fear that this might all be a dream. The airport staff couldn’t have been any more understanding and helpful and Emmi couldn’t have flown any better. This amazing child didn’t make a peep and slept soundly until shortly before arriving home in the car. I still feel like this whole entire experience was a complete miracle. From the stories our birth mother told me to how she came to find us, to all of the small things that lined up to get us to the hospital in time, and to the hand of God watching over is all! I cannot be more grateful and thankful for this little girl that I am completely obsessed with, for the amazing birth mother that I have become such good friends with, to the miracle of adoption that has blessed me with a family of my own!