Last Tuesday I wrote the words:
Every morning I wake up and think: Today might be the day.
I closed my computer, hopped in my car and drove to teach. And two hours later, I got the call. Two hours later, my life changed forever.
The moment I saw the number on my screen, my heart leapt into my throat. I pulled my car over. I took a very deep breath and answered.
You ready for this?, she said.
I'm ready, I said.
Little boy, 7 days old. Ready to go home from the hospital now. Like right now.
I pictured so many scenarios. So many. All boys for some reason. Always toddlers. I even hung the soft ornaments on the bottom ring of the Christmas tree for that reason. But one I just did not picture was a helpless newborn baby boy. I did not picture walking into a hospital and leaving with a little boy.
A lot of things happened in those next few minutes.
I called my husband. He said, "Oh my God, it's him, isn't it?"
We called the social worker and said yes.
I cancelled my private.
I took ten deep breaths.
I got on the 10 and drove home as calmly as possible.
We unboxed the car seat.
We got in the car.
We texted our families.
And we drove to the hospital.
We didn't know his name. We didn't know what he looked like. We knew about three whole sentences about this human we were about to meet, bring into our home and love like we had birthed him into existence ourselves.
It was a freefall into trust like we'd never known. You know that exercise where you'd fall backwards and someone would catch you? We were doing that but off the Grand Canyon and were unsure of who or what was at the bottom. For a moment I wondered, who will catch me but then I remembered: I'm here to catch him. I've been caught my whole life, comforted and supported. I'm here to catch him.
But even after all the classes we took, the books I've read, the foster and adoptive moms I've connected with, I was scared. Who would I be? Would I be good at this?
We pulled up to the hospital. Left the car seat there. Walked in. Okay, wrong building. Left that one, walked into the other one. Got a name tag. And started down the hall.
My entire body was vibrating. Anticipation, excitement, fear. Honestly, in retrospect it was already vibrating with love. Stepped up to the nursery door. A nurse waved us in. And then there he was.
Right there in the middle of the room in a clear bassinet. I could see him from the side, loads of dark brown hair and big brown eyes. My eyes welled with tears and I walked over to place my hand on his very tiny back.
There you are.
You are perfect.
I love you.
My entire body flooded with something I've never felt before. I recognized him instantly. I loved him even before I recognized him.
As I looked up at the nurse in tears I asked, "Where are the other babies?"
She shrugged, "With their moms, of course."
To be continued