Thursday, July 12, 2012

Joshua's Story - Part Two

This is a continuation of the previous post...

I also neglected to mention something major... the birth mother and birth father had already signed away their rights by this time, and it was final.  Texas law gives the birth parents 72 hours to change their minds after signing, and that time had already elapsed by the time we got the call.

DH went to work Thursday and I was overwhelmed with trying to pack/get the house ready for me to potentially be gone for weeks (I ended up staying in Texas with Joshua for 19 days)/try to be a human being in the process.  I really don't remember what all I did.  The nursery was a mess due to the failed adoption in December.  I had kept the door closed for the last 6 months, only opening it with DH if one of our friends needed to borrow baby stuff.  So the bags were still packed for a December baby, with heavy bodysuits and fleece.  I dumped out the winter clothes into a chair and continued to load all the stuff we'd need.  Then I proceeded to carry what wasn't too heavy downstairs and out into the garage to help our loading of the SUV along.

Around 10am I got a text from DH: our social worker had called to tell us that the hospital had asked if we wanted our son circumcised, and if we did, now was the time and to call the nurse back.  As his adoptive parents, we could give permission for this.  My heart pounded as I thought about what this meant (not the nitty-gritty - poor little boy!) - this was my first task as his... mother.  It moved me with emotion to think that I could give - and needed to give - consent for this.  But then another thought flooded my mind - what if the nurse wasn't respectful of my role as his mother, the only mother he would ever know?  I prayed and called, and as it turned out, the nurse was GREAT.  Her name was Grace, and while I never got to meet her in person, she was patient, explained my son's condition (he was doing well, but was still in the NICU) and then let me speak with the doctor.  He was GREAT as well, and he thoroughly explained each step of the procedure as Texas law requires.  The procedure was scheduled that day for early evening.  We even shared a laugh about my discussing this with DH (poor little buddy)!  My phone call with the hospital was a landmark conversation to be sure, in terms of what it meant and how it was handled.  I thanked the Lord, but felt exhaustion kicking in already.  We had lightly slept the night before, and basically due to driving, that was our last full night of sleep for the next... who knows how long!!

My mind swirled with thoughts of my son... being operated on, however standard a procedure.  He was across the country, and I had just said... yes, operate on him.  Poor fella!!  I wanted to hold him right NOW.  The nurse asked me 'have you seen a picture of him yet?'  No!! I exclaimed, but we'd love to have one!  She said due to confidentiality she couldn't send one to me, but she could send one to the social worker who could then forward it on to me.  I hoped she would send one, but I never imagined that she would and I'd receive it!!  Several hours down the road, we learned what our son looked like!! It was just the inspiration we needed!! (due to adoption agency requirements, we aren't allowed to post pictures of our son in social media until the adoption is final, which is in 6 months.  I'm working on getting pics that are of just his hand, etc so that identity isn't a problem).

DH finally got home after nearly everything that could go wrong going wrong.  He's a medical professional, and it's a little hard for him to just pick up and head out of town on a dime.  I wanted to get on the road but I kept praying, Lord keep me calm and KEEP MY MIND ON WHAT I NEED TO  DO, not on what's happening.  By the time he got home, I had backed the SUV in and brought out everything I could carry into the garage for expert loading by the expert.

Finally, we were ready to leave.  It was around 3:00pm, and we had a 15 hour drive ahead of us.  But for the moment, all was good.  We were out of here!  Here come mommy and daddy, Joshua!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Joshua Dean is here!!! - Wait, what?!?!

Ladies - I've missed you.  I have some good news.

We have a son!!!  His name is Joshua Dean!!!

Ok, it's quite a story, and I'm here with him right now doing tummy time, so my time is brief.

I know - me, doing tummy time!?!?!

On Tuesday, June 12, I called our adoption agency in Texas back after they left me a voicemail about a case.  Would I please call them back about it?  The social worker sounded optimistic, but I tried not to notice.  She said that a child had been born Friday, June 8 four weeks prematurely and was in the NICU.  The child was doing well, but had had some issues right after birth and during pregnancy.  Would we like to be shown to the birth mother?

We discussed the information, which I'm not disclosing due to privacy reasons, with our pediatrician and prayed.  When he sounded optimistic about the situation long-term, and I didn't sense the Lord pulling me back as if to say no, we said yes, you can show our profile.  Lord, we prayed, if this is meant to be our son - we had since learned it was a boy - then let the birth mother pick us.  And if not, well...

It was a surreal day waiting.  We had said yes to being shown around 9am, and I was off work that day.  Thank goodness, because I almost felt dizzy.  It's like I could hear my life changing, or so I dared to hope.  I told a few trusted friends, and they shared my excitement and my wariness.

I had decided to take a nap, or rather a lie-down-and-close-my-eyes-but-I-still-can't-sleep time when my cell phone rang.  It was the agency.  I took a deep breath, and thought, well, here goes.  Rebecca, the social worker said, we showed the birth mother the profiles, and she picked.... you!  Really!?!?!? was all I could say.  Yes! she reiterated, are you surprised?  Well, yes I am, I said, and then - ok, well what's next?  And we were off...

I was scheduled to work the next 3 days, so after I called DH and my parents and then texted my brother, I called my boss, my pharmacist coworker and texted trusted friends.  It was a whirlwind of communication gone heart crazy.  Our son was alive - in a NICU bed in Texas waiting for us.  We didn't know what he looked like.  We didn't know what hospital he was in.  All we knew was that he was here!!!!!!

I swapped shifts with the other pharmacist at my store so I could open on Wednesday and be able to get off earlier in the day to pack and organize.  I had to go to the doctor for a physical to renew that part of my home study (of course it would expire in a year, and here it was almost to the day!).  I had to call HR at work and check on a personal leave (I didn't end up officially taking one - it was in my best interest not to do so and my boss was fine with that).  I asked for 4 weeks off, not knowing how much time was really best, but only knowing that the time for the ICPC to go through - the interstate compact for the placement of children - between the states was estimated at 7 to 10 business days.  I knew I'd be in Texas for a few days!!  My boss said he'd take care of finding coverage for my Thursday and Friday shifts (which I had said I'd work extra to cover for someone else).  I called my scheduler to let her know my boss had approved my leaving.  I was on the phone for what felt like hours.

We planned to leave Thursday, as soon in the afternoon as we could, to pick up our son!!