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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Adoption Story - the Birth

I keep thinking that with time it will get easier to write down the final details of our adoption story, the happy ending of bringing home an angel boy. But, I'm still feeling as insecure as ever in finding the right words to adequately express the emotions of those moments; the experiences that effectively turned our world right side up again. 

After so many years, filled with disappointment and loss, our world literally started to feel like it had been turned upside down. Particularly after losing our twin daughters, we seemed to enter a dark winter early that year, which then seemed to last longer than any winter ever should.

Then came Tracey. There is so much you don't know about Tracey. She is one who has faced her own steep mountains. Multiple steep mountains. She has not had an easy path and is not a stranger to pain and disappointment. And yet, here she came into our lives with the most loving, unselfish heart, offering to give us the one thing that would melt away the wintry darkness that hung over our heads. She gave us the greatest gift - the gift of a family - no doubt knowing that to some extent that gift of healing to us would only add another mountain for her to climb. And, still, she did it.

Saturday, December 26th, as I was leaving from working my afternoon shift at the temple, I turned on my cell phone to find a message from Tracey. I was excited to see she had called, but wasn't expecting anything more than her wishing us a belated Merry Christmas, since we hadn't connected the day before. Instead I heard an excited/anxious voice telling us that she'd been having contractions for approximately that last fifteen hours and that they were starting to progress even more. 

My parents and my sister, Dawnette, were in the car with me. I don't remember for sure how I relayed the news to them, but I think my tone was rather subdued and a little in shock - "So, Tracey's in labor." And, then I called her back to find out how she was doing.

Our phone call started with her asking for me to "hang on a sec", since she was right in the middle of a contraction. I silently counted to forty-seven (or so) before hearing her come back on again. She apologized and I assured her there was no need for an apology. She was still at home, but figured she'd be heading to the hospital soon. We talked for about six minutes when she needed another forty-something second break again. I think that's when it hit me that this little boy was really on his way. When she came back on this time, we decided it was best to end our conversation so that she could focus on her laboring and I could focus on my pleadings for everything to go okay. She asked if we wanted updates through the night, to which I replied that no matter the hour we would be anxiously waiting to hear from her.

When I got off the phone, I sat in silence for a bit until someone (either my Mom or my sister, I can't remember who) asked why I wasn't calling Marc to tell him.

Oh yeah, that's a good idea, I thought. I was still trying to let the news sink in. I don't remember a thing about my conversation with Marc, but I know I called him. (Maybe he remembers our conversation....)

That two-hour drive home was spent looking out the window, into the dark tranquil evening, allowing my mind and my heart to soak up the anticipation of finally meeting the little boy who was meant to come to us through this miracle called adoption. You see, about five years ago (before we officially jumped into adoption) I had a very specific experience that helped me understand that one future day I'd be holding a little boy that would come to us through someone else. I didn't fully understand the experience at the time, but looking back I sense it was definitely a moment of preparation for this blessing.

Later that night, around 10pm, we received news from Tracey that she was at the hospital and already at a seven. Just two nights before that we celebrated Christmas Eve... but the night of the 26th felt a million times more exciting than any Christmas Eve I had ever celebrated. I don't know how we managed to fall asleep, but we did.

I kept my phone right next to the bed. At 2:03am Tracey called. Her precious little son was born only 31 minutes before that. I could hear his little noises in the background. He was actually here. Tears came immediately as the most overwhelming joy washed over me, which was then followed by a feeling of indebtedness to Tracey for bringing this joy to our life.

How could we ever pay her back for a blessing like this? Would she ever fully understand how much this one act of hers is changing our lives forever?

After finding out that she and baby were both doing well, we ended the call. Marc was awake, ready to hear the details. Our mutual shock kept the conversation short and the silence of the night eventually lulled us back to sleep.

We went to church the next morning with the decision to keep the news of Benjamin's birth to ourselves. I don't know why, but there is something that I love about savoring special moments like this and hanging onto them tightly before feeling ready to share the news with others. I don't know if that is weird or selfish, but that's just the way I am I guess.

We talked to Tracey a few times throughout the day. We were relieved to hear that she was recovering well, surrounded by family and close friends, soaking up every moment with her newly born baby boy. We also heard from the agency and started making plans to drive down the next day for the placement. After hearing so many other adoption stories, it all felt so surreal to be smack-dab in the middle of living our very own personal adoption story. 

Monday morning, Placement Day, came. After all these years and so many tears, it felt like the dawning of a new day, a new beginning, a bright morning after a very long, dark night.

(Those details to come soon. I really am sorry that this is taking me so long... but, better late than never, right?)

*In a week or so, I'll be moving this Adoption Story post and the next (final) one to follow in order after the other previous Adoption Story posts, found here and here.


Ashley said...

Isn't it amazing how one can manage to somehow fall asleep after something like that? When C was in labor we had to go to bed and I have no idea how I managed to fall asleep. Our caseworker woke us up with a phone call, "C wants you there for the birth. Leave NOW."

I'm dying to hear the rest of it. Thank you for sharing such a sweet and sacred story.

Allred Mom said...

Such Precious details of the amazing story....Tears welled up in my eyes as I read knowing the precious, tender moments that have come to you from the beginning of this "Happy ending" story. I'm so glad that the dark winter has brought forth a beautiful spring. Benjamin is a precious blessing that is sure to bring you so many more. Tracey will be blessed, too, for what she has done for herself, for you and for Benjamin. So many more blessings await you all.!
Love ya tons!

Fire said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so uplifting! I am so happy to be getting to know you better in our birthing class! :O)

candice said...

What a beautiful beautiful little boy, with an equally beautiful story. I can't imagine the selflessness it would take to give up the baby carried in your womb over the past nine months. What an amazing woman, and how lucky she is to have found such an amazing family to entrust her baby to.

I love reading your blog, makes me grateful for the blessings in my own life. Thanks for openly sharing the very intimate, sacred experiences in your life with others like me :)

mindyluwho said...

I don't care how many posts it takes you, just so long as you keep telling the story; it's beautiful!

Pappo - Darwin said...

I start every day that I read your post in tears. Thank you so much for sharing this touching story.