I was asleep, to begin with. It was mid-afternoon on Wednesday, January 18 and I still had about an hour to sleep. But, the phone rang. In my sleepy haze, I answered the phone and heard Nathan talking about our adoption agency calling him. They said a birthmother in a neighboring state really liked our profile and wanted to talk to us. He kept saying I needed to call the agency because she wanted to talk to us that night. Finally, my mind started working and all I could say was, "Nathan, did she pick us?" He responded with "Yeah, that's why they want you to call them." I hung up right away and called our adoption agency. Our adoption coordinator answered the phone and said "talk about things happening for a reason." Then, she told me about a birthmother who had one or two conditions we initially hadn't said we would accept.
"I didn't mean to send her your profile," the coordinator said. "But I must have accidentally put it in the pile of profiles I sent because she picked you guys and wants to talk to you tonight." She went on to tell me a few things about the birthmother, and that she was having a boy in one week. Then the coordinator gave me Birthmother's name and phone number. I was in shock. We hadn't even heard of this situation before hand. She just liked our profile enough to think we would be good parents to her little boy. Suddenly those few conditions didn't seem so daunting and we were so excited.
Nathan came home that night and we called her. We were all very nervous, but it was a wonderful conversation which lasted about an hour. She told us she wanted us to be in the delivery room when the baby was born. She explained why she picked us and we told her about our lives at home and how we plan to handle day care after I go back to work. She said she expected to need to be induced.
The minute we hung up the phone, I pulled out our big black duffel bag and started packing it. I made sure the diaper bag was still packed from the last time we got called. We told our parents and siblings. We told our bosses. Things went on pretty much as they had before. I spoke with the birthmother one other time as we waited. But, really, things were different. I bought a car seat.
Nathan responded to all this stress by not sleeping. He wasn't going to bed until 3 am most nights. Finally on Wednesday the 25th, his body said "no more" and he was in bed at 7 pm. That was my Sunday, so I stayed up, sitting at my computer reading articles about newborn care and playing an on-line game with a friend from work. (We all keep strange hours.) At 4 am Thursday, January 26, Nathan's alarm went off. He didn't move and I shut if off.
Fifteen minutes later the phone rang, it was Birthmother. "Margaret, I'm in labor," she said. "Okay, we'll be there as fast as we can," was all I could say. I shook Nathan's shoulder and woke him. "Birthmother is in labor, we have to leave now." "What?" he responded. I finished packing our big duffel bag, I double checked both of the baby's bags. An hour later, after Nathan had checked the car over carefully and we installed the car seat for the first time, we left. We drove for seven hours, had one near miss with a semi and arrived safely at the hospital.
We made it, Birthmother was still in labor. Her parents were both in the room and a friend of hers arrived. Everyone was wonderful and even the hospital staff referred to us as "the parents." She started pushing about 2 hours after we got there. I stood on her left side and helped brace her while she pushed. Nathan sat in the corner.
Baby boy arrived at 4:46 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012. He was 8.09 lbs and 20 1/2 in. We named him Elijah Nathan. He was perfect and pink and healthy.
When the doctor pulled him out and placed him on Birthmother's chest, she reached down and grabbed my hand, pulling it up to the baby's stomach. I could feel tears running down my cheeks. I glanced over and Nathan was standing up, smiling with a look of complete awe and happiness. Then they took Elijah off and cleaned him up, wrapped him and handed him to me. I couldn't help it, I started singing to him. The first song that came to my mind, which, I think is called "The Spinning Wheel." After that, I handed him to Nathan.
The hospital gave us an empty room to stay in so that Elijah could be with us and we could feed and change him. We were there for two days before moving to a hotel. The next day we traveled to a bigger city where the lawyer's office is and stayed in a hotel there. It was another five days before we finally received clearance from our state and Birthmother's state and were told we could leave.
It has been so nice to be home. Elijah is such a good baby, he sleeps well and eats well. He doesn't fuss unless he is wet or hungry or wants his pacifier.
We thank God for Birthmother and for everyone who has supported us and cheered for us all along the way.