We awoke to a fresh blanket of snow, which gently covered the grass and trees. My husband grabbed his camera to capture the beautiful and peaceful scene that greeted us the day baby K was due to be born. We thought this first photo would be a special thing to share with K someday.
We continued to enjoy the scenery through our doorwall while eating breakfast. We chatted about the day ahead and remarked at how we couldn't believe we had gotten to this point. We would actually be heading to the hospital later in the day for the birth of a precious baby girl. We were both nervous and excited, happy and sad. We knew that it would be an emotional day for both us and the birth family. And we had no idea how they would react or what to expect.
A million thoughts ran through my mind that morning. I hope the birth mom, D, is doing well and has an easy labor. I hope all goes well at the hospital when we meet the birth parents for the first time. Of course, I couldn't help but wonder, what if they don't like us? What if they change their minds? I prayed several times that morning for the birth family, for the baby and for us. Every time the phone rang -- which was many times -- I jumped. Is this it?
The actual call to head to the hospital came just after lunch.
At the hosptial, we met the birth parents' families for the first time in the waiting room. They were all very nice and friendly. They asked us a few questions and seemed to warm up to us right away. The birth dad's sister remarked how I looked as nervous as the birth mom, and we all had a good laugh. D's parents told us how they truly believed their daughter was making the right decision, but that they were emotionally torn. Although they never actually cried in front of us, their eyes filled with tears several times. My did also. They seemed very glad to meet us and said their daughter would be reassured once she got to meet us also.
About an hour later, the birth dad's mom told us that D & D were ready to meet us. We entered the room to find a young, attractive couple who obviously cared deeply about each other. They briefly explained their reasons for adoption: they were enable to care for a baby at this point in their lives or provide her with the life they wanted her to have. There was so much sadness on their faces, and it was clear they loved the baby and wanted the very best for her. We told them how grateful we were to them for giving us this wonderful opportunity. We talked for a few minutes and then returned to the waiting room.
We spent the next couple of hours in the waiting room with the birth parents' families. Once the baby was born, D's parents told us to come to her room with them. I told them that they should go first because I thought it was important that they have a little time alone. I asked them to just come back to get us when they were ready.
About 20 minutes later (the longest 20 minutes of my life), D's parents returned. The first thing they said to us was: "Are you ready to meet your baby?" We nodded and headed with them to the room.
Meeting baby K was bittersweet. She was so beautiful and precious. We couldn't believe she was finally here. We were thrilled to meet her. On the other hand, we were so sad for the birth parents. There was so much powerful emotion in the room -- both joy and sorrow. D was holding the baby when we entered and shortly after handed her to me. We all got pictures of the birth parents and the baby. The birth parents' families also got pictures of us with baby K. Then we all hugged and the nurses took the baby to the nursery.
And from that moment on, we have been her parents.