Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Adoption Story: Part 3

Our baby was due the end of October, so we began preparing for her arrival as much as we could in the months leading up to her birth. Because of her bladder exstrophy, they weren't able to tell whether she was a boy or a girl in the womb. That suspense was killing me! I'm not a big surprise person, so I was dying to know if we were getting a boy or a girl! We had to pick out two names which was difficult. Picking out one name is hard enough! ;) We decided that if our baby was a girl, we would name her Mary Frances. Frances was David's grandmother's name, and I loved the idea of giving our baby that we were adopting a family name. It felt very symbolic and special to me.

We talked to our kids about the baby, and they understood the situation as well as can be expected. Aubrey, especially, got it. We prayed for our little "adoption baby" often and couldn't wait to meet him or her! We really enjoyed our summer as a family of 5. We soaked it up even more than we would have naturally knowing that it would be our last summer as a family of 5 and knowing that our family was about to change in a BIG way. There wasn't a doubt in our minds that it would be changing for the better, though!

Late afternoon on Friday, October 3rd, 3 weeks before our baby's due date, I was at a birthday party with Aubrey and Jude. (Alaina and David were at home.) It was a beautiful afternoon. There was a cold front coming in, so the temperature was dropping and it just felt like fall. The party was outside, the kids were having a blast, and my mind was on our fun weekend plans. We were going to go out to dinner after the party and then probably watch a movie after we got the kids to bed. The next day, we were planning to take our kids to the pumpkin patch. Basically, I was really looking forward to a great fall weekend.

I got an email from our baby's birth mother while I was at the party letting me know that her water had broken and that she would be delivering that night or the next day. I was SHOCKED. I know it's silly to be shocked, but I just didn't expect the baby to come so early! I was shaking and my heart was pounding, but I was also so excited! I called David and told him that we needed to get plane tickets, and then I called my mom to let her know since she was going to be keeping our kids while we were gone. I was so flustered that I had to grab the kids and make a speedy exit from the birthday party! Haha!

When we got home, things got crazy. That night is kind of a blur. We got tickets for 9am the next morning, so we had just a little over 12 hours to pack our bags and prepare ourselves and our house/the kids for us to be gone for an indefinite amount of time. I was actually very emotional that night. As I've already said, I was SO excited, but I was also sad about leaving the kids. I so wished that our family could all be together for such a monumental event. We went to Whole Foods for dinner that night, and while we were eating, I got super emotional and started crying thinking about the fact that we would leave the next morning, and when we came home, our family would be really different. (I have these same thoughts before giving birth too, I just never know exactly when that's going to happen, so I don't have that whole "last meal as family of 5 ever" feeling.)

Anyway, we somehow got everything together, and we tried to get some sleep that night. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much. I kept checking my phone to see if the baby had come yet. But no news all night. The next morning, my mom came over bright and early and I gave her a crash course on doing Aubrey's schoolwork with her. Then David's mom came over to drive us to the airport. We left before the kids were up, which actually made it easier on me.

David and I flew to Atlanta and then to Baltimore. When we arrived, we got a call from our adoption agency letting us know that the baby still hadn't arrived. Birth mom was still laboring. So, David and I rented a car and drove to the baby's birth state. We arrived at the hospital, and that was the most SURREAL feeling I've ever had. I just don't think I can even put it into words. It felt like an out of body experience. This was something we had planned for and something that I had dreamed about for months, and I just couldn't believe that it was actually happening.

The baby was still not born, but they were saying that it was going to be soon. So David and I just went and sat in the waiting room. We were both on pins and needles. I don't think I've ever been that nervous/excited/anxious in my life. Friends and family kept texting us for updates, so that was a nice distraction. Someone from our adoption agency arrived and went upstairs to check on birth mom and see how things were progressing. She finally texted us to let us know that baby had arrived! But it was a while before we got any more details.

Finally, after what felt like YEARS, she came downstairs with the news that we had a baby girl! I was shocked because I REALLY thought the baby was a boy. But I was so excited to learn that we had another daughter! We were really pleased to hear that the baby was over 7 pounds, especially since she was born 3 weeks early. She was in the NICU but doing great!

David and I had to sit around and wait some more until we were cleared to go to the NICU and meet our new little girl! When we saw her for the first time, we loved her instantly. There was no doubt that she was our little girl. We got to spend a lot of time with her that night and we were able to hold her and bond with her so much. We finally left the hospital pretty late. We still hadn't had dinner, so we found a Red Lobster that was still open and ate dinner at 10:30. We checked into a hotel and went to bed exhausted after a LONG and exciting day. We went to sleep so thankful and happy that night!


Jennifer said...

Thrilled for you Carrie! I remember reading your blog when Evie was a baby and you just had Aubrey. I never imagined your family would grow so much. God has granted your hearts desire! Praying for a wonderful transition to a family of 6!

Whitney said...

I have not been commenting like I should, but I have been waiting impatiently for each update! Continuing to pray during this transition time!

Mary Louis Quinn said...

I am just loving these updates! God is so, so good!!