This week’s Wednesday’s Wild Chronicles takes us to a post that is difficult for me to write. Not because I do not enjoy writing it. I absolutely love talking about it! It is hard for me to write because the English language cannot possibly do justice to the experience of meeting Turkey-man for the first time.
We left off last week with hubby and I in our hospital room waiting for Turkey-man to be born. It seemed like days passed by during that wait. I have no idea how a couple of hours can possibly last that long, but I swear it was days before anyone came to let us know Turkey-man was here and how he was doing.
Given the difficulties with his heart rate and that he was premature, I was worried he would struggle some after he was born. Having worked in the Neonatal ICU, I am well acquainted with what is termed “Wimpy White Boy Syndrome.” It is not an actual diagnosis, but a pattern that is poorly understood by researchers. Caucasian males fair the worst when it comes to being born prematurely.
After the eons passed, a nurse finally came and let us know he was born, doing well and able to be in the regular nursery. I am not sure how I put one foot in front of the other to walk that walk to the nursery. My body shook with emotion. I was in my last moments of my journey to motherhood. A six and a half year search was moments from ending.
I tear up just trying to paint the picture for you of what it was like the first time I laid my eyes on him. I have no idea how to explain it, but I knew him. The first time I saw the saying, “And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, ‘Oh there you are. I’ve been looking for you.’” was the first time anything has come close to explaining that moment.
I knew he was my son. The entire world fell away in that moment. All logic ceased. There were no worries about whether his birthmother would sign the paperwork or his bio-father would step forward. I knew he was who had been waiting for me all along. In some ways, I felt like I had given birth after a six and a half year pregnancy. In that moment, something within me shifted as well. I was a mother.
Those days in the hospital we were living in the verses of Philippians 4:6-7.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We had a 72 hour wait before his birthmother could sign any paperwork and another 30 day wait to see if his bio-father would step forward, wanting to raise him. I never doubted that Turkey-man was my son even with the legal hurdles to still overcome. I fully knew what Paul meant by “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding”.
It has always struck me as odd that I had such a tremendous peace about the situation still knowing legally what we needed to get through. We had struggled with so many failures. We had just been through an adoption loss 7 months earlier. I should have been more guarded, possibly even pessimistic. I can only say that the peace I felt was divinely given.
Although, I was filled with peace about the outcome, those three days were some of the most stressful days of my life. I had the constant internal battle between wanting to bond with him and yet respecting Mama-A and the decision she had yet to make.
The agency did not give us a heads up that they encourage the birthmothers to spend as much time in the hospital as possible with the baby. Originally, Mama-A did not even want to hear his initial cries, let alone see him. So, we were a bit confused when she started asking to spend time with him. Now, I understand that they encourage the moms to do this as it is the only time in their lives they can spend solely together.
We settled into a rhythm of Turkey-man going to Mama-A’s room when she was awake and then coming to ours if she was going to nap and then we had him each night. Some of the time, we spent with Mama-A while she bonded with Turkey-man, otherwise, we tried to be conscience of respecting her time with him.
We were able to get pictures of the two of them together that they could both cherish. We also have pictures of him with his bio-grandparents. Turkey-man came into this world unconditionally loved by so many and that is something we always want him to know. He was never “given up” for adoption. He was so deeply loved that Mama-A choose an adoption plan in order for him to have a life she was not yet prepared to give him.
Next week I will delve into what it is like to finally, legally, be a mother. If you are not familiar with the dynamics of adoption, it might surprise you!