In this week’s Wednesday’s Wild Chronicles I am going to honestly describe the emotions behind the simple four word text sent out to our families, providing the words they had been desperately longing to hear. I will warn you that this is a bit raw and if you are not familiar with adoption dynamics, it may not be what you would expect to read.
The morning had arrived! The 72 hour wait required by our state had passed and the social worker was on her way to meet with Mama-A. We were now only a couple of hours away from the final decision.
The agency had advised that they prefer to not have the prospective adoptive family in the vicinity while they worked on the paperwork, which worked fine for us given we still had to finish up preparations to bring Turkey-man home. While running our errands we were listening to one of our favorite CD’s by Caedmon’s Call. The song “Table for Two” started playing and suddenly had new meaning. Four lines from the song struck us both.
“And You knew this day
long before You made me out of dirt.
And You know the plans that You have for me
And You can’t plan the end and not plan the means”
Both of us put the first two lines as our Facebook status’ for the morning. We put the song on repeat for the rest of the trip back to the hospital, bathing ourselves in the reminder of God’s sovereign control over the situation.
Shortly after arriving back to the hospital, the social worker came down to our room, issuing the words we were anxious to hear – the paperwork had been signed*! We were parents! I was a mother! Hubby, who I desperately wanted to experience fatherhood, was finally a father! Tears of joy streamed down our faces as the text “We have a son!” was sent out!
Turkey-man was down spending time with Mama-A. The social worker led us to her room where our son awaited us. As with the initial walk to the nursery to meet him, it was a walk I am not sure how I made given how much my body was trembling. I was a mother! My childhood dreams had finally been realized!
Walking in her room, I was suddenly struck with the raw emotions that were involved. There sat Mama-A, preparing to say good-bye to her son. My heart still breaks and tears fill my eyes trying to describe the moment I became a mother. While our families were rejoicing about the text they had just received, I was filled with as intense mix of joy and sorrow. Two completely opposing emotions consumed my body.
I had grown to love Mama-A in the months we had been working with her. I absolutely hated to see the pain she was in. As she placed Turkey-man in my arms, our hands touched. In that moment, every bit of pain she was feeling coursed through my veins. My tears of joy turned into weeping for her sacrifice.
I stood in awe of her strength, humbled by the gift she was giving to us. The depth of gratitude I felt, knowing what it was costing her, is impossible to explain. Turkey-man was truly a gift that we could never repay. Turning away from Mama-A, walking Turkey-man back to our room was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I never expected the emotions I experienced when I finally became a mother. I had always imagined it as an intensely happy experience. I knew I would be eternally grateful. But, the amount of grief I felt for Mama-A was unexpected and profoundly intense. My joy was achieved due to a great loss for someone I had grown to love. Even now, although I know it was a decision she made and has since validated as the correct one for Turkey-man, I still sometimes feel guilt for the sacrifice she made.
Back in our room, we savored our first moments as his parents. As we awaited his discharge instructions, we held him in awe. We were parents. We were finally parents. Parents! WE! WERE! PARENTS!
And then the next realization hit. “Oh, crap. They are going to send us home with this baby. What are we supposed to do with him?!” Once the status of parenthood was achieved, reality set in. We had a human being that we were 100% responsible for. Although it was what we spent years longing for, the thought was quite daunting!
*We still had to have the birthfather’s rights severed, but we were pretty sure that would go smoothly given the dynamics of the situation.