In 2010, our doctor told us that in order to have children we would either need to do IVF or adopt.
Our decision was a tough one as we immediately each picked a different side of the fence. I could write an entire post about that decision (in fact I probably will), but during that time, we went to an adoption information meeting at a center that facilitates open adoptions. We ended up going with the IVF route at that time, but the paperwork from that meeting still sat in my file cabinet in a file titled “Adoption.”
Fast forward four years later. After our miscarriage, we decided we had had enough of the shots, appointments, medicine and so much loss. Even though we had 6 embryos left from our IVF round that we knew we would transfer eventually, we almost effortless decided that we wanted to take a break and experience some joy and healing by adopting a baby. I mean- it would be a sure thing, right? It was a dream come true for both of us, but especially Justin. He had dreamed of adopting a child for as long as he could remember.
I got out that file and we gave them a call. Within a few months, we filled out the application, paid the fees and wrote our “Dear Birthmom” letter. I can still remember Justin and I sitting on the couch with our computers and Google Docs. We spent a few hours, trying to come up with just the right words to describe our family and how we longed for this child. When we dropped off the letter, I felt like I was dropping off a little piece of my heart. We were officially “on the list.” Our profile was being shown to birthmoms and we were just waiting for the right one to pick us.
We were waiting for the phone to ring.
We would finally find our baby.
On a warm night in October, I wrote these words. I haven’t shared them with anyone until now:
It is 11:09 pm. Jack is asleep in his bed. Justin is out in the living room assembling Jack’s new dresser. Penny [dog] is asleep on the bed. Zoey [dog] (just about a week out of leg surgery) is somewhere in the house. It is dark outside. It is a humid night. Another random heat wave when we San Diegans are longing for Fall. I just showered and I am sitting on my bed with my computer finally in my lap. It is a day where you have to stop and write. I want to record every little piece of today so that it doesn’t get swept up in the excitement. There is something holy and sacred about today. And that should be remembered. The date is 10/6/2014.
That Monday morning started out pretty normal. Jack slept in a little bit. It was the day after our “Oktoberfest” celebration with my brother David and his wife, Beth. It was the first year we didn’t actually go to the fest because it was a million degrees. I remember talking with Beth about how much I wanted the phone to ring. This summer was such a time of healing. But the 4 miscarriages we had suffered had left a hole in my heart and my arms were still empty. We talked about her pregnancy and how she wondered what it would be like to have two kids. I tried to remember I was in the same boat, but a phone call seemed a million miles away. For now, we were a family of three and it was hard to imagine anything else. So all that to say- Jack slept in after a late night.
Jack walked in sleepily and asked to watch a show. I work from home and had a call at nine, so we started Mickey Mouse Road rally and we all laughed and snuggled in bed for a bit.
Justin looked over at me and said “It is going to be a GREAT day George.” This was phrase we had started saying this summer. I heard once while Jack was watching his favorite show, “Curious George”. The Man with the Yellow hat said it to George and I remember wishing someone could tell me the same thing as earnestly and sincerely as he said it; It must have been a Sad Day. So I told Justin how it made me feel and he often would say it to me. It was a special thing to get us through the Sad Season. But today really WAS going to be a great day.
I spent the morning in some frustrating work calls, so I ended up calling my old manager. I was venting to her about a few things and shared my struggles as a working mom. I told her, “We are adopting and I could get a call any second.”
As I prepared to hang up the phone with her, I noticed a call was coming in. We had only been on “the list” for a short 76 days, but our hearts had been waiting for years. I saw the number on my screen and called out for Justin and Jack. I tried to switch over the calls. In my frenzy, I hung up. Of course. Really? Let’s get it together.
Luckily, without too much wait, the phone rang again.
The boys ran back and crowded around me near the back of the house. We huddled around the phone and started walking down the hall in a nervous sort of way. “Hi Bonnie….Is Justin there with you? I wanted to call to let you know that a birthmom wants to meet you…”
I heard myself say, “Jack someone is calling us about our baby!” I heard him scream, “YAY” over and over. I am very confident that he had no idea what was going on. But we did. And he felt it. So we all did.
And so there we were in that long hallway in our house- the one that I walk down every day to do laundry or shuffle through as I make my way to the kitchen for a snack. And now, 6 months later, if I am quiet and still, I can travel back and press the “pause” button during those few seconds in the hallway. And I could look at the statue of the three of us. I can see our faces, full of hope and inexpressible joy. It is as if we are saying it with our hands, our eyes, and the way we seem to be running towards what was next, but can’t get there fast enough. It is as if we are screaming to the world, “There is beauty here! We just found it.”
I think here, in this weary world, we all only get a few moments like that. They aren’t up for the taking that often. But on that hot Monday in October, we drank it in.