Monday, April 6, 2015
Husband and I are sitting on the couch with our 15 year old dog, Chewie, who we are going to be taking to the vet in three minutes to put down. We’re both crying, hugging Chewie, and reassuring each other (and Chewie) that this is the right decision. He couldn’t walk, his lymph nodes were the size of baseballs, he’d lost over 20 pounds, and he had “the look”. Dog lovers, you know the look – the look of “I’m ready. It’s ok. The only reason I’m staying alive right now is because I don’t want to make you sad.”
Then my phone rings. It’s a local number I don’t recognize, and the only reason I answer it is because I think it’s my doctor’s office calling to confirm an appointment I had in two days. I try to compose myself and say, “Hello?” I hear, “Ryann? It’s LS, from Caring for Kids. I’m calling to let you know that K and L have chosen to meet with you and Husband.”
What??? Then I start crying again. I explain through tears that we’re just about to take our dog to be put down, and I was crying out of sadness, now I’m crying because I’m so happy. We schedule a breakfast meeting at IHOP for Wednesday. It’s going to be K, L, LS (social worker), Husband, and myself. Wow.
We spend the rest of the day at the vet and then to a funeral home that does pet cremations. When we came home that night, we loved extra hard on our other dogs, Agnes and Lilly (our foster dog).
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
I go to work. I spend as much time as I can trying to act normally. I pray a lot. I look up countless articles on what to say/not say when meeting with birthparents. My stomach is in knots.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Husband and I get in the car and head to the IHOP. We decided to pick up some flowers for K. I mean, she’s agreeing to meet with us. She’s considering us to parent her child. We wanted her to feel special. To feel important. To feel cared for. To know I’ve been praying for her before I even knew her.
We speculated about what she looked like, about what he looked like. Would she be nervous? Uncomfortable? I mean, she’s 37 (or so) weeks pregnant. I’m shaking with nervous anticipation.
When we pull in, we see a tall, tan, dark haired guy standing outside talking to a shorter blonde girl. Oh my gosh! That’s them, I thought! That has to be them. I was partly right. It was L and LS. K was on her way. We introduced ourselves, and LS asked us to go inside and get a table for 5.
What people thought when they saw the 5 of us at a table, I’ll never know, especially when LS paid for her own check and Husband and I took care of the rest of us. Anyway, almost as soon as we sit down, very natural conversation starts. (After LS opened up the conversation by saying she’s the only one here who’s not nervous!) We’re not talking specifically about adoption, we’re just sharing stories. We’re laughing. It’s like we’re all friends getting together for our weekly, Wednesday brunch. It’s very helpful that L is quite outgoing and can carry on a conversation with a brick wall. K is a little quieter, so I try to direct a few questions specifically to her to see how she’s feeling about this whole situation.
After maybe 2 hours or so, L has to leave to go to work, and that’s when the conversation really steers deeper towards adoption. We discuss our hopes and dreams for the baby. We talk about openness. We talk about our fears, anxieties. We both say we feel really good after this meeting and discussion. It feels right. We exchange phone numbers and say that calling or texting is ok whenever. I tell her not to be afraid to text me because I know I’ll want to go home and text her right away. We plan to meet again without LS and with Z because they’d like to meet him.
We met them at 10:00 and left IHOP a little before 2:00. Husband and I drove home, over analyzing the entire conversation. I do end up texting K later that day just to tell her how nice it was to meet her and how much I enjoyed our conversation.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
We get an email from Caring for Kids. We matched with K & L! They picked us to parent their baby! I’m crying, I’m so happy. I text K and thank her for her selfless gift. We make plans to meet with them and Z on Saturday.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Unfortunately, K couldn’t make our meeting because she got called into work. I, of course, overanalyze this thinking maybe she’s changed her mind, she’s going to parent, she doesn’t like us, I’m too intense… You name it, I thought it. Husband calmed me down by saying that L still wanted to meet with us, so we explain the situation to Z, and head over to meet L.
I’m still nervous, but, like the last meeting, this one was great too. Once we started talking, I immediately felt comfortable. L and Z got along great. L even played a Pokemon battle with Z, which is tops in his book. This was the day that L told us, we would get to name the baby. (Which we still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl!)
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I’d called K over the weekend to see if we could talk about some “logistics” during the birth. Would she be comfortable with us in the room? Could we come to the hospital? How did she feel about visitors? Etc. But we were never able to connect based on our schedules.
I pull into work* and look down at my phone. It’s got a text from L saying that K’s been up since 5 with contractions, and she feels like this is the day. I ask L to time the contractions, but he thinks I meant time how long each one is, not the amount of time in between, so I get numbers all over the place. I go into work and walk into my principal’s office. I tell her and the secretary what’s going on. My principal is convinced that these are Braxton Hicks contractions, and she’s not really in labor. “She might say her pain is at a 9, but I thought my pain was at a 9, but until you really feel what a 9 feels like, blah blah blah…” (Apparently people who have been pregnant before suddenly become experts on every woman’s labor.)
I text L to make sure they’re not Braxton Hicks, and he says they’re not because she’s been having those for weeks now. L tells me they’re going to the hospital. I ask what I should do, and he says he wants us there.
There’s no way I’m not going to the hospital right now, but it’s like pulling teeth to convince my principal to let me go. She’s still convinced the baby is not coming today, and it wasn’t until the secretary says that I’m not going to do much good here, that she finally agrees to let me go.
I get in the car, call Husband and ask him to pack us some bags…our baby is about to be born!
*This job is not my current one. I had already given my notice that I was leaving this job in May…it ended up that I left a lot earlier thanks to baby Vincent!!!
There will be one more post next week in The Road to Adoption series, so if you’d like to catch up, here’s links to the previous posts: