I guess you could call it “Mother’s Intuition.” When I opened my eyes from a difficult sleep, I knew this day was the day my baby girl Hope would make her grand appearance. Initially, I did not share with anyone that I may (or may not) be in labor, because I had experienced false labor for weeks now. But, today was different and I began to prepare myself emotionally in a way that had played over and over in my mind ever since the day I decided to make an adoption plan with ANA Adoptions. I had prepared for delivery two times before when my boys were about to be born. I cleaned like crazy and got their nursery ready. But, today was different; this time it was very different. I knew this hospital stay wouldn’t be easy and I don’t mean just the delivery, I mean the entire experience. Soon I would meet my daughter but not long after that, I would also have to say goodbye as I placed her in the waiting arms of her adoptive parents.
I thought about the sadness I would feel but reminded myself of the joy in bringing a new life into this world. I thought about how the adoptive parents had prepared for this day and how they were anxiously awaiting a phone call from me. It was a day that I knew would also bring this unplanned pregnancy to an end. I would also soon face the reality that this baby, who I will always love and who would always hold a special place in my heart, would not come back to my home, but go home with her adoptive parents. What would it be like – to see my daughter’s face as she took her first breath and began her journey in life apart from my womb. The emotions were wreaking havoc in my mind and I cried. I prayed for God to give me the strength and courage I knew I would need. I knew He would be there with me, but it was still hard, very hard. This would be the hardest day I would ever endure.
Because I had “false labor alarms” already, I did not call the adoptive parents immediately. I didn’t want to worry them again until I was sure. I waited it out and finally, at 9 PM, I called my ex-mother-in-law to come get me as she agreed to be with me in Labor and Delivery. The car ride to the hospital seemed to go in slow motion, pretty much like the entire day. I was hooked up to monitors and the doctor finally arrived. Then, it all became surreal. This baby was on her way into the world and we needed to let the adoptive family know. It was 2 AM when we finally called Bill and Joan. This was the phone call they had been waiting for all their married life. The first flight out would be at 6 AM and there was no doubt in their mind that they would get to the airport in plenty of time. We spoke and their words of encouragement touched my heart. They would get to my bedside as soon as possible. I cried a lot when I realized they were on their way. The tears were like no other. My heart was heavy as I pushed but I kept remembering why I made this adoption plan for Hope, and thought of the life my daughter would have with the family who would also cherish her – as much as I already did!
Baby Hope entered the world with a little cry, a cry I will never forget. She was perfect in every way and I thanked God for the safe delivery. Normally, the nurses would have placed Hope on my chest but I realized that would be too much for me – I knew I couldn’t become attached to her at such a vulnerable time. The nurse took her to the nursery and I quietly let go of all the tears that had built up inside of me. Rest finally came and that’s when I think the healing began.
In the morning when I awoke, I looked up into the eyes of Joan and immediately felt the gentle touch of her fingers in mine. We smiled, we hugged, we laughed and we cried. Those first few moments connected us in a way I can’t explain. She was more than my baby’s adoptive mother, she was my friend, she understood why I made this adoption plan, she knew my heart and I trusted her completely.
Looking at Joan and her husband Bill made me realize that the sight of the two of them, my baby’s new mother and father, would be the first sight that Hope would see each day. Knowing that, and trusting in them completely, gave me a sense of peace. I am still my daughter’s birthmother – I had her inside of me and her heart will always be part of mine – but she also has a wonderful new family too. We share not only a beautiful daughter, but we also share respect for each other, love for each other and more importantly the belief that The Lord brought about this adoption plan for a beautiful baby girl, a little angel we named Hope.