Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Hospital...and more waiting...

I must begin this post with an apology for my delayed blogging. I began work last week...sigh...I didn't realize how difficult it would be to separated from Baker. However, I'm trying to focus on the positives...I'm so thankful to have a job where I am able to create my own schedule. I am only working two days a week in the office and one day from home (in-between his naps, that is)! Though I hate being away (and I practically ripped him out of our sitter's arms upon returning home after my first day) I am thankful that it is only for two days a week instead of five.

And, now...onto the cuteness we call Baker...

Baker has grown so much already! He is smiling more and more, laughing, cooing, and sleeping a good 8-9 hours at night!!!!! We have our second homevisit with our Bethany caseworker tomorrow and then his 2 month check-up is the week after that! Where did eight weeks go??!! This past weekend, the birthparents and the birthmother's parents came in was a wonderful visit (one which I will save for a later post). :)

The Hospital and More waiting...

As I alluded to in my last post, things became extremely difficult...and, well...awkward after we walked with the nurse and Baker to the maternity floor. While Baker went to check in at the nursery, we went into the birthmother's room. She was so happy to see us...we spent time hugging and listening to some details surrounding the delivery. Everything was exciting...and felt "normal." --However, all of that changed once Baker was brought into the room. The birthmother along with the birthfather (who had not yet seen him up close) wanted to spend time holding him and rocking him. While Warren and I were in the room watching them interact with Baker we recognizing that all of these were normal birthparent activities...yet, there was a pain in my heart--Oh how badly I wanted to snuggle up next to our I longed to be the one that was holding him that moment. Several minutes later, Warren and I excused ourselves. Partly because we knew they needed their time with Baker and also because we desperately needed a shower and nap. :) Later that evening, we went back up to the hospital, hoping to spend a few minutes with our son and also to have a conversation with our birthmother's mother (remember...she is only a young teenager) about our "role" while Baker and the birthmother were in the hospital. While Warren talked with the birthmother's mother, I was able to rock Baker while the birthmother was asleep in her bed. Our parents, who had minutes earlier pulled into town, were in the hospital lobby waiting on us to complete our visit. We really didn't expect our parents to be able to see Baker, but the birthmother's mother insisted that they meet him in the parent room next to the nursery. So, we all crammed in a little room so they could meet their grandson for the first time...

(side note...the lighting in that room was not conducive for quality photos...but, I think you get an idea of the precious time we had with our parents and new son)

About thirty minutes after our parents met Baker, the birthmother's mother came to ask for him (she had earlier told us that the birthmother's family was on their way to visit). We reluctantly let him go....Comforted by my father, I cried--broken hearted. Though "legally" he was not yet our son, God had already given us such a love for him...and it hurt to see him go. It was painful to watch our son being wheeled down the hall, knowing that I really didn't have a say in the matter. Yes, we were given ID bracelets to inform staff we were his adoptive parents, but "technically," until discharge, all questions regarding Baker went to his birthmother. She was able to call the shots. And, we had to accept that.

The next day, was long and hard. We didn't get to see Baker until around 6PM that night. When we walked into our birthmother's room, the vibe (for lack of a better word) had changed. We had built such an amazing relationship with the birthparents and the birthmother's parents--but, I felt distance and coldness when we walked in that evening. She was holding Baker and did not offer us an opportunity to hold him, be near him, or spend any alone time with him. So, we sat there, attempting small talk...all the while I had tears welling up in my eyes. One part of me hurt so was terrible to not have the freedom to hold my son. But, another part of me was trying to understand--our birthmother knew that after her time in the hospital was over, she would not have the freedom to hold Baker whenever she desired. Of note, Warren was amazing through all of this--he has such a natural ability to make any difficult situation lighter...while I was trying to cover my tears, he was laughing and cutting up with her family. To make a long story short, the birthmother's dad asked Warren if he would like to hold Baker. After a few minutes, Warren gave Baker to me...what a wonderful sight...all I could do was look at him...while feeling an immense amount of joy.

Things then went from awkward to worse...With a room full of Warren, myself, and several of her family members, our birthmother began crying while I was holding Baker. We were asked to give her and her parents some time alone. Out in the hallway, I began crying. My heart began hurting for our birthmother. I can't imagine the feelings that overcame her seeing me hold Baker. I wonder if, in that moment, the reality of the selfless decision she was making set in...

A couple of hours later, Warren and I left the hospital with plans to return later that evening. I had asked her father if I could meet with the birthmother alone...just her and I. After the tears and tension, it was apparent that she and I needed to get some things out in the open. So, with the prayers of many family and friends behind me, we returned to the birthmother's room. While Warren and her parents went to grab coffee, the birthmother and I had one of the sweetest times--moments of my life that I will treasure forever and hope to one day express clearly to Baker. Both of us in tears discussed how difficult it was to see the other hold him--we both felt like his mother. She didn't realize how much she would love him. Though she knew adoption was the best decision for Baker and for her, she was not prepared for how difficult it would be to see him, hold him, and feed him. After many more tears and words were shared between us, she asked me if I wanted to hold Baker (who had been in his bassinet). I held him in the middle of us. While sitting side by side, and hugging, we cried more and talked about all of his perfect little features. Warren and her parents returned at this time and she asked Warren to hold him. We had a good time laughing with her and her parents--God was beginning the process of healing all of our hearts--and I began to feel like our relationships were being restored.

The next day was a day full of waiting...waiting to find out if and when she would be discharged...waiting for the caseworker and birthparents to sign the needed paperwork...and waiting for the phone call giving us the "ok" to return to the hospital. Our parents were amazing supports through all of stomach was in knots as I still feared something falling through...but our parents sat with us, tried to distract us from our obvious concerns, and waited anxiously and prayerfully alongside Warren and I. We got the call around 5:30PM that day from the birthmother requesting we come up the hospital. Full of relief, we went to the hospital and completed the necessary discharge paperwork with the caseworker. Warren and I then had some alone time with Baker, the birthmother, and birthfather. They expressed excitement and joy to have us as Baker's parents. We all cried, prayed, and took pictures. Then Warren and I gave them each a necklace to remind them of Baker and of our love for them.

I have no doubt that Baker will always respect and cherish them for the difficult, loving, and selfless, decision they made.

Our birthmother decided she wanted us all to leave the hospital at the same time. She felt she would receive closure by watching us drive off with Baker in our vehicle. So, Warren parked our car in front of her parent's car...and down the elevator we all went. After Baker was handed to our caseworker (for legal purposes), Erin took Baker back in her arms and  handed him to me.

We then cried, hugged each other, and hugged Baker...

We said our goodbyes...and drove away around 9:15PM.

We were able to meet the excited grandparents (who had been patiently waiting) at Chik-fil-A before we all made our three and a half hour journey home... (I will share our homecoming pictures in another post)

These were some of the most difficult and painful days I have ever experienced. What I felt was bitter-sweet...while Warren and I were filled with so much joy that we were finally looking at the answer to our prayers, I was overcome by sadness at the same time. God has given me such an amazing love for our birthmother--and in those moments of leaving the hospital I hurt for her--you don't ever want to see someone you love experience pain...and I knew that she had days of healing ahead. She is one of the most amazing young women I have ever met. I can never thank her enough for giving us a family. I can never show the amount of gratitude I feel for making such a selfless decision at such an incredibly young age. She loves Baker so much that she is willing to experience heartache in order for him to have the life she cannot yet provide.

Though an open adoption can be tricky at times...and we will ALL have to give and take...I am thankful that Baker will have the opportunity to know his birthmother and birthfather. He is loved by much so that they were willing to sacrifice their wants for his needs...What a picture of the selfless love of Christ. What He experienced on the cross must have been extremely difficult to bear...but He did it for our good. We are God's children...through the sacrifice of Christ...

Baker is now our child...through the selfless and loving sacrifice of his birthparents.  And we couldn't be more thankful!


  1. Such a lovely post!! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. What a precious story! I couldn't agree more with the strange mix of feelings. We were overcome with joy about our precious baby girl, but were filled with grief for her sweet birth mom at the same time. I am so glad you've chosen open adoption. Your relationship with Baker's birth family will continue to be such a blessing!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story. The child we are adopting is due in a few weeks & as we feel the excitement and anxiety of waiting for him, it really helps to hear your story. I have followed your blog for a while and I am so happy for you and your husband. What a wonderful story you have to share with Baker about God's love. You will continue to be in my prayers. Hugs!!

  4. I think one of the hardest parts of adoption is knowing that our greatest joy comes at the cost of someone else's pain. I had a hard time bonding with my daughter in the beginning because I hurt so badly for her birthmother. (A young teenager as well.) What a blessing to be able to talk one on one with the birthmother like you did. Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. We're so blessed to know more of the story and the incredible blessings God provided you and Warren as you waited to take Baker home. Love you friend.

  6. What a beautiful story! I can totally feel the emotion in both you and his birth mother - God is so good though and will heal her through this! I pray that one day - when the time is right, she will have a family of her own!

  7. Jill, this is such a wonderful description of all that you and warren experienced and are experiencing. I couldn't be happier for you. Baker is an absolutely gorgeous little bundle of sweetness. I can't wait to see him and you again!! Love to you all from Burt and me!

  8. Such a precious story! Praying for you and Warren as well as the sweet birth parents. My the transition between your roles be seamless and worth the wait!

  9. Loved reading this post. We have not been chosen yet but hopefully it will be soon!
    Little Baker is a doll!

  10. Your story just blesses my heart to pieces!! And your pictures, enough to make a momma's heart pitter patter!! Adore the one of you hugging the birth mom, priceless. So happy to follow along with you, thank you for inviting us!! :)

  11. i am crying at this. a beautiful testimony.

  12. What an amazing blog! So moving and I'm so happy for you guys. :) Have a blessed weekend.

  13. I remember that day all too well and all the emotions came back to me reading that. I am so glad you have an open adoption... its such a wonderful thing. as I said before you kindof adopt them into your life.. into your family. my son is 20 mths and I think about our birthparents every single day and love them so incredibly much. adoption is such a wonderful testimony to Christ.

  14. He is SOOOO cute! Love your post! So happy for you guys.

  15. What an amazing story. I was so blessed to read it. I"m so glad that you, Warren, and Baker are here to be part of our lives.