We are a family of five, although to outsiders, we look like a family of three. Our beautiful boy was born at the end of February, three days after his firstmom chose us for her adoption plan. We held his firstmom's hand while he was delivered, I cut the cord and we spent two days together in the hospital before a very emotional goodbye. One thing that was clear every second was the abundance of love for little C; it's a miracle the hospital could contain it all. We have some pictures of C being held by his firstmom, all of us together and some of just us and him. To say our lives have changed is an understatement. Overwhelming love is the pervasive emotion, however, there is a mix of loss and sorrow even as joy fills our home. We wish S & G were toddling around; I wish C's birth mom peace and love; I hope C will always feel loved as he comes to understand his history.
We have a semi-open adoption. Through the process we had come to anticipate an open adoption so this is a little bit of a shift for us. Our semi-open adoption includes weekly photos and/or videos sent to FM via one of the agency social workers, we committed to three visits a year at the agency, and photos every month (the monthly photos were agreed upon before we started texting so I am not sure what FM would like). We have our first visit this week and it feels monumentous. FM went through her legal process two weeks ago and she gave the agency permission to give us updates so we have heard that she is doing well within this context and we know she wore the birthstone necklace we gave her to the court hearing. I have so much love for her and we have shared one of the most intimate and vulnerable human experiences with each other and yet we do not know each other very well. During our time in the hospital we were all very kind, respectful and loving with each other and I hope that can evolve into a friendship or an ongoing familial relationship, even if our visits are just a few times a year (we are open to more openness and FM is clear about that, we are also respectful of her decision to maintain her boundaries).
I don't even know how to write about C, there aren't words to express how perfect and remarkable he is. He started life as a pretty little guy but since his first week of breathing air has been gaining a pound a week! He has changed so much, big smiles in response to neck kisses, really looking at his favorite toy (having a favorite toy!), grasping my shirt and hair. I cannot get enough of him. With an average of three to four hours of sleep a night I still wake up and can't wait to see him.
We had not made a nursery, after loosing S&G the idea of having a nursery set up for years in advance or possibly to never have a tiny resident felt like too much for us. However, I have thought many times of Jess and Bryce's preparations with some envy. Our family and friends rallied around us and Amazon prime was in heavy use, however we did not register so while almost everything ended up being what we needed some of it will be used in the future. The agency says repeatedly the only thing you really need is a car seat, I would revise that and say some swaddles (halos!), bottles, pacifiers, changing table, co-sleeper or bassinet and/or pack-n-play, some cloths, a white noise machine and a cool-mist humidifier would really help out. I mean, basically, I'm saying the nursery. Because the glider and the boppy pillow were also blissful additions. And since he has had a cold for the last 10 days a sterile saline mister and a nose frida have been helpful too.
I am working 6 hours a week mostly from home and R is working 50% for our FMLA period. I am seriously considering a job change with a pause for right now to take care of him. That is both terrifying (what if I don't find something else, what if I feel lost without the part of my identity that is a skilled worker, what if something happens and I've depleted all of our savings) and exhilarating (we wouldn't have to leave him with strangers during this incredibly vulnerable time). Big decisions are particularly challenging with this level of emotion and sleep deprivation, really so are little decisions.
Perhaps it's obvious from this rambling post, I am so in love, exhausted, filled with wonder, worried about being the best parent I can be, and keeping him safe that I feel like a jumble.
A fortunate jumble.