Waiting For The Birthmother To Be Done Bonding With The Baby
By: John Jericiau
I’ve never been good at waiting. I wake up at 4am on Christmas morning because I can’t wait. I packed up my spouse’s apartment while we were talking about moving in together because I couldn’t wait. I sometimes eat dessert first because I can’t wait. So when I’m waiting for something as important as the sight of my son emerging from the hospital room where he and his birthmother are spending what’s turned into hours of alone time, it’s particularly excruciating. As I sit in the hospital lounge, my mind goes back and forth between thoughts of despair and feelings of que sera sera. First it’s “There’s no way she could say goodbye to such a beautiful baby.” Then it’s “How lucky that Devin is getting to feel the love she has for him.” Then “Maybe adoption wasn’t meant to be for me,” followed by “This woman is an angel with a heart of gold and she should have as long as she needs.”
I was deep in thought when the hospital door creaked open and the bassinet started its journey out of the room. Devin was in it, all swaddled in his blanket just as we had left him. His birthmother walked slowly toward us and I tried hard to read her face as she got closer. I tried not to shake as she gave Devin to us, smiled and said “Thank you”, and then gingerly walked back to her room and closed the door.
No, thank YOU. Thank you for the greatest gift … making us a family through your loving and selfless gesture. If Devin holds some of the qualities that we have seen of yours in these last few days, we would be so happy. We feel so blessed and honored that you have chosen us to raise this boy in a safe and loving way. You have been so honest and truthful during this entire experience, and we would do almost anything to help you through this painful time.
We brought Devin home and he looked fantastic in the crib we had waiting for him. We enjoyed every minute of feeding with those small formula bottles from the hospital, and changing his size 0 diapers, and rocking him to sleep. I tried to relax, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about how we still had to make it to the adoption agency with the birthmom to sign the relinquishment papers before getting her to LAX for her flight back home. Would she sign those papers or change her mind?
I won’t keep you hanging this time. It all worked out. Devin and Papa stayed home while I took the trip to the adoption agency for what turned out to be anticlimactic. After the paperwork we went and enjoyed lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. She seemed refreshed and ready to get back to her son and her life. I really admired her, and I honestly missed her as she walked through security to fly home. We had agreed that she would contact us when she was ready, and we would send pictures whenever she asked. Devin would learn all about her as he got older, and she was open to meeting him someday.
The next week or so was a sleep-deprived blur. Feed, burp, sleep, repeat. Every day became a Saturday, and the nights were just darker days. On the 11th day of Devin’s life we found ourselves cuddling together for a much needed nap – Papa, Daddy, and son – just like any other family. The phone rang and I reached across the bed, grabbed the phone, and put it to my ear. I looked into Alen’s bleary eyes as I listened, and Alen could already tell what I had heard. It was the IVF doctor. We were pregnant with our second child!
How can I wait 9 months?
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