Our Adoption Story, Chapter Five: A New Beginning

It may be over a year later, but there is more story to share!

About 40 hours after arriving at the hospital, we got the all clear that we could go home. We couldn’t believe it; we were prepared for a lengthier stay. However, as it turns out, CJ’s birth parents were also from Oregon, so we were allowed to leave. Since he was born in Washington we figured we would have to wait it out, since the paperwork to cross state lines with an adopted baby can take a while. Apparently what really matters is where the birth parents are from. It all played out very conveniently in terms of timing. After such a hellacious, agonizing wait it was hard to believe the placement was truly so simple! 

Our nurse came in to help us with final details and asked us if we had any questions. It was so embarrassing, but we had to ask how to feed the straps back through the lowest setting on the infant seat. Three years was enough for us to have forgotten how to do it properly! And of course, we didn’t want to wing it and just hope for the best! She technically wasn’t allowed to touch the car seat but she did anyway. That hospital and all the staff were just amazing. 

We successfully secured our little nugget after much ado.

The hospital chaplain had been visiting us regularly, and even brought in a second chaplain to share his experience as an adoptive father. It was really reassuring to hear someone else’s experience and to be given such encouragement. Shortly before we left, the first chaplain asked if she could bless baby CJ, and then she proceeded to anoint him with the most beautiful blessing I could imagine. It was all sort of surreal and magical. ​

Many couples find themselves in hospitals that aren’t adoption friendly, and they aren’t treated kindly by the staff. Our experience was the opposite; they did anything and everything they could to make us feel right at home and like we were part of something natural and really great. Perhaps because it was a Catholic hospital and they view adoption as a solution to abortion. That’s just my guess, but I think it’s a good one. 

When it was time to leave, we left our room with the Hubs toting our precious cargo in the infant car seat. As we entered the elevator a nurse joined us. She asked us if this was the baby born two days ago that was to be adopted. With big smiles, we told her he was and that we were the lucky parents. She started to choke up, and told us she was the first nurse that held CJ after his birth and did kangaroo care. She struggled to speak, finally saying, “He’s special. There’s something special about your baby.” Needless to say, we were pleased to hear this and touched at the nurse’s kind words. 

As we got off the elevator we felt like the luckiest people alive. Imagine finally having your dreams come true, and the circumstances surrounding them being next to perfect.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude at how everything had unfolded. It seemed too good to be true, but somehow it wasn’t. 

Walking down the hospital corridors with our baby was a funny feeling. We both felt like someone was going to stop us and ask for proof that he was our son. No one did of course; people just smiled at us as we passed by. Less than two days before we had met this tiny, perfect creature, and now we were taking him home to be ours forever. Our son. It’s difficult to explain how hard it was to wrap our brains around all that had happened in 40 hours! 

As we pulled out of the parking garage and made our way to the freeway, it began to rain. I was driving at a crawl so as to protect my baby, but the increasingly torrential rains caused me and all the other drivers to slow almost to a stop. Less than five minutes after leaving the hospital, we were caught in the hardest rain we had ever experienced. It was still summertime! That kind of rain was highly irregular for early September, but there we were. When the rain finally let up and the sun shone brightly through the clouds, I took it as yet another sign that this perfect baby and this adoption were meant to be. God was doing his best to let us know He was with us on this journey! 

Here is a current picture of my little bruiser. Our 5.5lb baby is now 24lbs!

His smile melts my heart.

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The Red Dragonfly

This story is as true as true can be, I swear it. In fact, some of you may even remember the first part.

Late last August, probably close to where we’re coming up now, I was outside working on my pond. This should be unremarkable, but it’s not…because I’m forever working on that damn pond. The previous owners of the house planted a pine tree/bush/foliage-like thing right next to it, so you can frequently find me on my knees in the rocks by the pond, fishing out the pump and emptying out the filter of pine needles so that the water will continue to flow instead of becoming stagnant and stale and replete with algae. I share this with you so you will realize that I have spent enough time kneeling by this pond in the past seven years to be intimately acquainted with its flora and fauna.

I don’t remember the exact date last August, but I know it was in the last week of the month. If I wanted to, I could go look back on Facebook and it would probably tell me the exact day. For our purposes, near the end of the month will do. I was out at the pond, sharp rocks digging into my knees and my arms up to the elbow in gross pond water, when I had a visitor. A large, bright red dragonfly showed up near the water and just hovered there.   I stopped my work to admire it; I had seen many small, bluish dragonflies in the past, but never a red one, and never so large. It was really shocking to see something so beautiful in a place as ordinary as my struggling pond. It transformed me momentarily, taking my mind off the constant daily disappointment of our dismal adoption journey. I felt that disappointment in my soul all day, every day, but for a short time I forgot all that as I stared at that dragonfly. After a couple of minutes, I realized this guy wasn’t leaving, so I went back to my task at hand, thinking it was pretty amusing I had a dragonfly companion for my pump work. But then, it started to fly around me, and the pond, and just sort of bobbed and weaved around for several more minutes, as though it had no place to go. Eventually this beautiful crimson dragonfly did disappear, but I didn’t see him go; he went away while I was looking down at the pump, fishing for pine needles.

This was at an especially dark time in our journey; in fact, I think we had all but given up. I wasn’t so far gone though, that I didn’t realize the significance of an event such as this one. How had I spent all that time by the pond all these years and never seen a red dragonfly? Surely it couldn’t be a coincidence. I’m not an exceptionally superstitious person, but I was superstitious enough to believe God had sent me a dragonfly for a reason. I didn’t think it meant the stork was arriving the following week, but I do recall thinking that dragonfly meant I should hold onto hope and not give up, after all.

I started thinking about it more and more and finally Googled “red dragonfly meaning” on my phone. I was certain it meant “hope” or “luck” or “faith” or something equally cool that would give me a reason to get excited about my lengthy visit from my dragonfly buddy. Here is what I learned:

  • Red dragonflies symbolize the transformation of death (someone who is visited by one may have just lost a loved one)
  • They are exceptionally rare
  • They do not dart away like other dragonflies, they tend to hang around their subject for a while, as if they are paying a visit

Don’t believe me? I bet you’re googling “red dragonflies” right now! Make sure to read more than one source for multiple interpretations!

I told a few people about the dragonfly visit, and I wrote a brief status update about it on my Facebook page, but I didn’t get too crazy about sharing what had happened. I wasn’t even sure myself. But then, on September 1st, the most wonderful thing happened: we got the call that our son was born, and to come pick him up at the hospital! Only one week after the visit from the dragonfly!

One dragonfly visit alone doesn’t prove much and it doesn’t even mean a lot…if it’s only one visit.

Last week, I was out working on the damn pump again (will those pine needles ever stop falling?) when I was visited by yet another dragonfly. Like last year, it was large, bright red, and it stuck around for quite a long time. It seemed curious what I was doing, and why a grown woman was covered in pond water and speaking unsavory words to a plastic pump piece. But it stayed a good while, and this time when I noticed it, I didn’t look away until it left. I felt like I owed him that. I do wonder if it was the same dragonfly as last year? Probably not, but maybe. Maybe. Stranger things have happened!

Sometimes there is meaning in something as simple as a visit from a dragonfly.

Present Day 

Nine months have passed since our beautiful baby was born. What once resembled a tiny little Sasquatch is now a strikingly handsome blue-eyed butterball. We love him so! 

So much chubbaroo goodness.


CJ, or Cam, or Campbell, is the happiest of babies. People often ask us, “Doesn’t he ever cry? He’s just so joyful!” Well yes, the truth is he is one joyful little bugaboo. During the daytime he is all smiles and sunshine and truly a happy-go-lucky little dude. It’s the nighttime where he unleashes the full power of his lung capacity to make sure the hubs and I understand his great displeasure with bedtime. The kid hates to sleep. He’s a wee social butterfly who loves to interact and suffers from some serious FOMO (fear of missing out, in case you were wondering). But we think that’s pretty typical, and he gets a free pass for screaming at us every night since he’s practically perfect in every way all the rest of the time. 

Big brother Ezra loves being big brother Ezra. He adores CJ and he is never happier than when his silly antics cause CJ to go into a giggling fit. This usually involves a dance of some kind followed by calling CJ “poopy Campbell.” For some reason, being called poopy is CJ’s favorite thing and he can’t laugh hard enough when he hears it. Unfortunately, this has led the Eldest Son to believe that everyone he talks to must find poopy talk equally hysterical, and has taken to greeting everyone with poopy in front of their name. I fear this is my reality now. I am a mama of boys, and I expect I have many years of “poopy” talk and bathroom humor ahead of me. Lord, have mercy on my poor mama soul. 

This is just a quick update to share how we are today. We are a blessed family, poopy talk and all! We don’t take anything for granted when it comes to our boys. I have many tales and anecdotes I can’t wait to share with you, as well as a couple more chapters of our adoption story. Stay tuned!

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April Fools, April Schmools

Last year, on April 1, 2015, we received the call that we thought would change our lives. It was our adoption coordinator calling to tell us we had been chosen by an expectant couple to adopt their baby boy, due in June.  It being April Fools Day, I of course was questionable about this in the beginning: who calls to give great, unbelievable news like that on April 1st?  Nonetheless, it proved to be true (at least we thought so at the time) and we felt like the two luckiest people on earth. Continue reading

Our Adoption Story, Part Four: A Baby By Any Other Name

We faced one ginormous problem after meeting our son, and that was the fact he did not have a name. We had nothing picked out. I mean, obviously we had been desperately trying to adopt so you might think we would have something as basic as A NAME ready to go. Somehow, and for reasons I can still not explain, we did not. 

Well, we had our girl name ready I guess, but that was pretty useless to us in this situation. See, we had picked out a boy name for the adoption that fell through back in May 2015. And we didn’t want to recycle that name like a pop can because everyone deserves a name picked out just for them. Honestly, the story of how someone gets their name should not be because it was originally picked out for someone else and it didn’t work out, am I right? A name should be special. A lot of thought should go into the perfect name. So, the hubs and I got down to business and started brainstorming as soon as we got to the hospital room. We looked at our perfect Sasquatch baby and asked him what he thought sounded best. We made lengthy lists that included veto power from both of us. We looked up meaningful names on our phones, standing on the window ledge (inside, duh) and angling the phone north, the only way one could receive cell service. We categorized our findings into the following: strong possibility, worth revisiting, and vetoed. 

What we wished we were doing was gazing adoringly at our new baby without distraction, calling him by the name we already had chosen just for him. (Yeah well, if wishes were fishes we would all live in the sea.) We had given this baby our hearts, but we couldn’t give him a stinking name. The name card on his bassinet read “Baby Boy Doe” and mocked me whenever I caught a glimpse of that impersonal and generic moniker. 

The next day around noon, we had narrowed our list down to 4 names: Asher, Elliot, Campbell, and Evan. Owen was also a favorite but I decided it was just too popular. I didn’t want my kid growing up with an initial after his name like I did. We were under the gun on time because my parents were bringing Ezra (may as well just use his full name!) to the hospital to visit his baby brother that afternoon. Baby brother needed a name we felt, by the time Ezra arrived. We wanted their first meeting to be special and heartwarming.  This baby needed a name that Ezra could start to get used to…he already had to get used to the idea that he was no longer an only! 

Scant moments before their arrival, one of the nurses who helped deliver our boy stopped by. Seeing how he was still nameless, she asked if we would like to hear what name popped into her head when he was born. Of course we said yes, we were so curious. Imagine our surprise when she said, “Elliot.” That settled it! She hadn’t even known the names on our list! It was destiny! I loved the name Elliot…the Hubs waffled a bit on it because of the many ways it could be spelled and because he thought a nickname could be “Ellie.” However, after the nurse’s input, he said we should do it. 

So we did! We wrote “Elliot Jackson” on the hospital whiteboard and patted ourselves on the back for the momentous victory that was eventually naming our baby. Then fate entered in the form of a three year old. 

The night before: During a quick phone call to tell Ezra good night and to tell him some details about the new baby, he asked what baby’s name was. I told him we were considering a few and told him what they were. When I got to “Campbell” he perked up and said “Ooh, good one!” What I should have heard was, “Okay, that will be the baby’s name because it’s my favorite.”

The arrival: Ezra entered the room and the Hubs picked him up to show him his new baby brother. “Meet your little brother, Elliot!” I said enthusiastically, expecting Ezra to respond in kind. 

Ezra turned to me and gazed into my eyes in a way that seemed very familiar. “His name is Campbell, mama,” he declared definitively, sticking his little jaw out. He continued to stare, daring me to contradict him. I stared helplessly at John. John gaped back at me. 

“Well,” I thought aloud, “Campbell is a great name!” How had this tiny child retained that from our conversation? Did I even say Campbell on the phone? Was this real life? 

So maybe it sounds like we were bullied by our toddler, but I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way for these two boys to begin life together than to have our oldest name our youngest. I nodded at John, and he headed for the white board to erase Elliot and replace it with Campbell. Beautiful. 

If you Google the meaning of the name Campbell, you will find that it is Scottish in origin and means crooked mouth. Lame. If you were to ask me personally, I would tell you the meaning of the name Campbell is…named by my big brother. 

 

Feel the love! Feel it!

 

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Our Adoption Story, Part Two: Living in a Moment

“Oh my gosh,” I babbled to the Hubs for the 136th time, as we drove north into oncoming gridlock, “can you believe today is one of the two greatest days of our lives? How weird is this? How did this happen? Is this happening? Is this real life?”

We spent the first hour of our drive giddily bantering back and forth about our mutual disbelief. The Hubs will be embarrassed to be described as giddy, but hey, if ever a man has a right to be giddy, it’s on the day his son is born, am I right? Plus, his giddiness was guarded. It would shine through here and there before quickly disappearing. The same could be said about me. We were used to our hopes crashing as rapidly as they had risen in this adoption world. But, this was different. We knew it was different. 

There were quite a few emotions keeping us company in that car. The first was elation, obviously. The second was terror, since by now our minds were set to Doom Mode: Code Red whenever it looked like something was going to go our way regarding family planning. The terror began to recede ever so slowly as we received texts periodically from our coordinator, updating us on the situation. 

The birth parents have signed the papers. 

They are eager to leave and want to make sure you are all in and aren’t going to change your mind. 

How much longer until you arrive? 

Finally, with about a half hour to go, we allowed ourselves to feel that this was it. We didn’t say what we both were thinking until days later; the reason we had experienced so much heartbreak in this process was because we were meant to be right where we were, on that very day, headed north on I5 to meet our son. 

What should have been a one hour and twenty minute drive turned into two and a half hours, thanks to our 5:00 pm departure. We had to sit in stopped traffic on two bridges for lengthy amounts of time. A quirky little thing about me: I hate bridges. I freaking hate bridges. And I was stuck in traffic on TWO of them! On the way to meet my son. And I needed to pee. More importantly, I was physically aching to get to my baby. When it clicked that this was a go, my heart immediately synced with his and all I could think was, “He needs me! He’s been on this earth for twelve hours and he needs to be in his mother’s arms. Now.” 

I was a real peach to be trapped in a car with until we finally cleared that last bridge, amen and hallelujah! From there it was only a couple miles to the hospital, a small brick facility in the center of town. As we drove, we passed the Applebee’s where we had met our first expectant mother after she “chose” us to adopt her baby. Yes, it’s true; fate had called us back to the very same small town and right by the same stupid Applebee’s where a duplicitous young lady had taken us on a wild, painful ride a few months earlier that taught us that adoption is, above all other things, an unpredictable industry where people are not always as they appear to be. As we drove by, we did what all mature, sophisticated parents would do on their way to meet their newborn son: we both flipped the bird at Applebee’s and laughed hysterically as we did it. I’d say it had been a good twenty years or so since I had partaken of any bird-flipping. Hey Applebee’s, it’s nothing personal. You guys make the best French Onion soup and I would never disrespect you with hand gestures unless I had a really solid reason. You understand.

Finding the hospital and parking was blessedly easy. Navigating to the seventh floor was not. It was one of those deals where you take the elevator to the third floor, (as high as that elevator goes) then walk a hundred miles to find the elevator that will take you to the fifth floor. The next one might get you to the top if you’re nice to it. All very complicated for a small hospital, but likely exacerbated by my at-capacity bladder. The Hubs and I were both wild-eyed, looking for maps or signs and wondering how to reach the seventh floor and our baby boy. 

A nurse saw us and came to help. That’s one of the benefits of smaller hospitals, I truly believe. She had nothing to do with the labor and delivery floor, but she came on over and gave us step by step directions how to get there. It was the first of many acts of kindness we were shown during our stay.

Upon reaching the hallowed seventh floor, we were greeted by our adoption coordinator. She needed to debrief us on additional information prior to taking us to our baby. Bathroom breaks had to occur first so that the Hubs and I could focus on the paperwork and not our bladders. Finally, we sat on a bench right outside the door of the nursery. We couldn’t see in but we could hear excited nurses and hushed voices. Our coordinator mentioned there were only two babies on the whole floor right now. It had been a slow day for births. She informed us that the nurses were bursting with joy that an adoptive family had come for the baby. Apparently, at this particular hospital many babies are born addicted to heroin and are taken by social services as soon as they are discharged. I imagine it must be heartbreaking as a nurse to see babies born every day that are headed directly to the foster care system. Granted, the mothers of addicted babies also have a right to make an adoption plan and place their baby with a family. However, almost all  choose to try to beat their addiction and reclaim custody of their babies, eventually. Sometimes they win and sometimes the addiction wins. This is the reality these amazing nurses deal with every day, working in a little hospital in a little town that was overthrown by heroin and other drugs during the recession. Once drugs get a hold of a town right off the freeway, it’s hard to get it back. 

And that is why when we finished our paperwork, we entered the nursery and were immediately greeted by EIGHT overjoyed and teary-eyed nurses. Two babies on the whole floor that night. Eight nurses. We learned the backstory later: at our son’s birth, neither birth parent chose to hold him or see him. It was too hard, knowing what came next. He was not born exposed or addicted, he was healthy as could be and desperately needed what all newborns need: to be held. So each of these nurses took shifts all day long, rocking our baby boy and doing kangaroo care nonstop, as he waited for his mama and dada to arrive. They did this for 15 hours, after their paid shifts were over and they could have gone home. When they learned we were close to arriving, they dressed him in an adorable preemie outfit they had to work hard to find, and wrapped him in the nicest blanket they had, knitted by a hospital volunteer. Then they stayed to greet us and witness the moment this little 5lb 5oz baby was placed in the arms of two parents who wanted him so very much. 

The nurse holding our son walked slowly towards us and gently transferred him over to me with the Hubs standing as close as possible, arm around me, without actually standing on top of me. I stared in awe at the little face peering up at me, his eyes wide open and strangely alert for a newborn. And that’s what I continued to do. I stared, taking in every detail of his face, his fuzzy duckling hair sticking up, the layer of light colored baby fur covering most of his body. I gazed into those precious blue eyes until my eyes swam and my vision blurred. The moment stood still, perfectly still, as I held this furry little creature that was always destined to be our son in my arms. I was aware of the presence of others in the room and the Hubs holding me as I held our son, but just barely. I could hear nurses sniffling and camera shutters clicking but nothing could truly break through the moment. 

Moments like this are rare, I’m told, and in my experience it is true. You know it when it happens to you, because it is like no other feeling on earth. It is something that is branded onto your heart and soul and is almost impossible to adequately put into words. Here are a few pictures that might show the magnitude of this moment better than I could hope to describe it! 

    

Continue boldly in the direction of your dreams. The quest to build a family can and will test you emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. All of it will seem so very worth it when you find yourself living in your own “moment.” I absolutely promise this, and I have the experience to back it up! 🤗

Chapter Three is on the way! Don’t forget to read Chapter One of you haven’t already. 

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Our Adoption Story: Ch. 1

Hello dear ones! When I said six weeks ago I would share the story of our adoption soon, I meant it. Then I quickly realized four years had dulled my memory of how rigorous it is to care for a newborn, and how any free time one might have would be devoted to sleep! Forgive my idiocy. I’m back on track and so excited to share the unusual circumstances of how baby CJ joined our family and changed our lives forever. ❤️

When the hubs and I awoke on Tuesday September 1st, we had no idea that it was to become one of the two greatest days of our lives. Life is funny like that. 

Hubs went off to work and I settled into the morning routine with E. Grandma came over to play with the little man, so I had the opportunity to work on creating a brand new adoption portfolio. This was a bitter pill after the 50+ hours spent creating the first one. Our current book did not seem to be doing much for our cause, so the agency recommended creating a new one. Oh the sweet, sweet irony. I spent about four hours working on it, and I had many more ahead of me. After putting E down for his afternoon nap, I decided to indulge in one myself. 

At 3:45 pm I received a phone call, startling me awake. I glanced at my phone and saw it was the adoption agency, so I answered. 

“Hi! This is Cathy.* There’s an adoption situation I wanted to run by you if you have a minute.”

“Hey Cathy. Good to hear from you,” I responded flatly, sans enthusiasm. I wasn’t trying to be a jerk; I just wasn’t expecting, nor anticipating anything that we hadn’t heard before. I was weary of the let downs and protective of my heart, since it had been subjected to more aches and injuries than it deserved in such a short time. We had received plenty of calls about situations, but they always ended in disappointment, and I freely admit I had become duly jaded about the whole thing. 

“So,” she continued, “a baby boy was born at the hospital this morning. His birth parents have signed the termination of parental rights papers and want to leave the hospital as soon as possible. They have made their decision and this is an emotional time for them, obviously,  and they want to go.  They would like a closed adoption.  He’s a healthy, perfect baby boy.  Are you guys interested?”

Are we interested? My initial mild engagement in this phone call immediately changed to my heart dropping into my stomach and beating so loudly in my head I heard trains rushing between my ears. I was barely awake due to the interrupted nap, so this news hit me like a triple shot of adrenalin to the heart. (Think Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction.)

 

Not actually how our baby was “delivered” to us, but it captures the overall spirit fairly accurately.

 
Perhaps you’ve heard of those moments in time where you experience something so unimaginable, you do not immediately process that what you heard was true. Perhaps you have even had a similar experience. The hubs and I had intentionally stepped away, at least symbolically, from our adoption dreams only two weeks before. Although we were still in the waiting pool, since climbing out would not magically make our money return to us, we were no longer really pursuing situations but the agency kept us on the list. We could best be described as agreeing to passively dip our toes in the pool. We had decided it was best for our family to move forward, away from “the wait” that was constantly hanging over us like the Sword of Democles. Away from the nonstop disappointments in that left us  reeling each time. Receiving this phone call was the surreal experience I couldn’t immediately grasp, and certainly couldn’t wrap my mind around.  

Me: “What? Like, he’s ours? Or are you just showing our profile? Or, like, can we leave now? When should we leave? Is now good?”

Our coordinator laughed. “Leave now! As soon as you can, in fact! No other couples are involved, he’s all yours. Get to the hospital as quickly as you can arrange it! The baby’s birth parents have chosen not to see or hold him; it is just too hard for them. The nurses have taken turns doing skin to skin and nurturing him all day, but he’s ready to meet his mommy and daddy.” 

The call ended with the promise we would be there as soon as humanly possible. It was now 4:00 pm. 

I immediately dialed the Hubs. I had nothing clever or witty planned to announce our new arrival, but I knew he needed to get home stat. My heart was banging like a drum and my head felt light, almost like I was inhaling pure oxygen. Some small part of my brain remained calm and focused on the steps I needed to take. We needed someone here to watch E on zero notice and we needed them immediately. We needed to pack because we could be gone up to 7 days since we were crossing state lines. And we needed to be gone in 30 minutes to avoid hitting one of the most gridlocked rush hours in the nation…

…but first, I needed the hubs to answer his freaking phone! I had called three times, and each time he was ALSO calling me, so both our phones were going to voicemail again and again. What are the odds at that exact moment we would both be calling each other repeatedly? Each time I reached his voicemail I hung up hollering at nothing, “Stop it!” Finally, I sent a text: Stop calling! We never discussed that text, but I imagine it was at the very least temporarily confusing for the hubs to see those words from his wife!

Finally he won the game of phone chicken. 

Hubs: “Hey sweetie. What day do you think would be best for me to take off this week to go to the fair?”

Me: “Stop stop STOP talking! You need to come home right now!”

Hubs: “Um. Huh. Okay. Everything okay?”

Me: “We have a baby! Come home because we need to leave!”

Hubs: “Huh? No. A baby? What? Seriously? What? Seriously? What kind?”

Me: “The kind with a winky waiting for us at the hospital. More later. Home now!”

And so it went until he accepted the details were forthcoming and to get home STAT. 

Next up was my mom. Remember how E was sleeping soundly in his train bed? In my first act as a mom of two, I called my mom to babysit. 

Me: “Mommy! I need you to come over now! We have a baby?”

Mom: “Huh? At your house?”

Me: “What? No! There is no baby at my house presently. An actual stork did not arrive at my porch carrying a baby in a bundle in its beak. Our baby was born this morning at a hospital and we need to go get him immediately. He’s ours. Come over!”

Mom: “Wow! So is this a for sure thing or…”

Me: “Mom! Mommy! Mom. This is happening. Details later. Hurry.”

As it turned out, my daddy was able to get here quicker than her, so he came to our rescue, arriving ten minutes later. 

The hubs and my dad showed up at about the same time. I told hubs to go get the infant car seat out of the attic and install it, please. I raced around throwing things in a bag without really thinking about it. I remembered how I seriously overpacked for our first baby, and how the hospital provides absolutely everything for a baby during your stay.  In the end I tossed in my cellphone charger and toothbrush and a couple comfy outfits. I didn’t know if we would be there for two days or a week, but since it was just an hour and ten minutes away I decided to call it good. 

Meanwhile, the hubs was done with the car seat and also stuffing essentials in his overnight bag. His eyes were huge like a Margaret Keane painting and he was moving a little on the slow side. It was clear he was in disbelief. I gently and lovingly addressed him about our time frame. 

Me: “Pack it up! We need to get out of here! Make it happen, Cap’n!”

Hubs: (Lengthy pause).  “We really have a baby? I mean, really?”

Me: “Really? Okay, yes, you got me. It is all an elaborate ruse with no explicable objective or motive behind why I would do such a thing. Come on sweetie! Our SON, our real, actually existing son, is waiting for us. And it’s paining me to be here while he’s there. Show some hustle!”

This marked the first time in our ten years together that I was the first one ready to leave the house. 

There was one final thing to do before hitting the road, and that was fill our little boy E in on what was going on. It seemed like the mother of bad ideas for both mama and dada to just disappear without explanation during his nap, only to reappear at a later date in possession of a newborn. He’s just a little guy, just shy of four years old, but he is perceptive and smart; therefore we try to keep him in the loop when it’s possible to do so. 

We woke up our sleepy little boy and nervously/excitedly told him that mama and dada had just learned that his new baby brother was waiting for us to go pick him up. Having been educated about adoption as much as developmentally possible over the past year, he accepted what were we doing and where we were going. We told him he was going to get to spend some special time with Grandma and Papi until we returned, and then he would meet his baby brother for the first time. He could not have been more relaxed about this. He was neither excited nor apathetic, just weirdly understanding. At the time I was in awe of the maturity he demonstrated, which appeared to be that of a much older child. I realize now of course, that he simply knew the sooner he got rid of us, the sooner he would be watching Little Einstein on the big TV at Papi’s house and getting nonstop attention from his doting grandparents. 

With promises to my dad that we would be in touch with details as they became available, and hugs and kisses showered upon E like we were leaving for a year, we finally hopped in the car and headed north, fully aware that what had began as an ordinary day had manifested itself into the most extraordinary adventure…and it was just beginning. 

Chapter Two is coming very soon! Scout’s honor! To read about our journey from the very beginning, visit www.borrowedgenes.com and follow along on Facebook as well!