Garrett is my baby, by 26 days. Yes, that's days, not months and certainly not years. He will have his second birthday on February 2nd, Groundhog Day. In honor of his big day, I'd like to share his adoption story. (If you have not read Jack's adoption story, you will better understand Garrett's, after catching up on Jack's. His story begins here.)
For those who have read Jack's story, please remember that his adoption was on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again. At one point during Jack's off-again saga, Rick began calling around to find us another baby. I know that may sound silly or even harsh, to look for another baby so quickly, but we had been through this too many times, and we knew that nothing would heal our hearts better than another infant.
In one day, we were told of three baby boys to be born within three weeks' time that still needed families. One of those three babies' stories pulled at my heart. I remember Rick saying, "There's a biracial boy to be born next month in Oklahoma City. His birth mom has had three couples turn her down." This pulled at my heart because I knew what it was like to think that you have an adoption in place, but the "deal" falls apart somewhere along the way. I told Rick, "Call about that one. We need to know more. In the meantime, I'll call Louisiana to see when they're sending our money back." (There was still some cash left in our "Jack account".)
My call to Louisiana was the call in which I discovered Jack's adoption was on-again. We quickly changed plans to travel to Louisiana to pick him up. However, Jack's birth mom didn't show, again. We were devastated, of course. While we began driving back home to Colorado, I heard God speak to me in an almost audible voice, "The Oklahoma baby needs you." I sat up and told Rick to make the call to the OK agency. Instead of driving home, we drove to Oklahoma to meet birth mom (BM) the next day.
Liam and my parents were with us on this trip, so we all dressed our best and tried to calm our nerves the morning of the meeting. When BM arrived, I had a hard time speaking, because I couldn't help but think, "Oh God, this is it. She will decide today if she wants us to parent her baby!" No pressure! I don't remember much about the meeting. I just remember watching her and thinking, "She's carrying my baby. I want to touch her belly. I want to hug her." In the end, I did just that. And she called 30 minutes after our departure to let us know that she had chosen us to parent her baby.
Over the next three weeks, we heard from BM weekly, which was a requirement we made based on our past experiences. She would call after each doctor's appointment to let me know that she and baby were fine. Eventually, her doctor set an inducement for February 1st, in order for us to make travel arrangements to be at the hospital.
Although I felt pretty certain that we would get this baby we named Garrett, I was still nervous during the waiting period. On January 31, we left Liam with his grandmother and drove to OKC. I was a bundle of nerves, but I remember a song that spoke peace to me while riding in the car. Rick had bought me a new CD that morning by Chris Rice. This portion of "Everything's Ok" spoke to me...
We spent the day going in and out of BM's room and just...waiting, like most expectant couples. Garrett did not cooperate, however, and the doctor stopped inducement in the late afternoon. He wanted BM to get some rest and would reevaluate the next morning. We left a little nervous, because we were afraid that the doctor would send her home, which left us questioning if we should go home to CO or stay put in OK.
We decided to stay in OK for the night, and we called to check on BM from IHOP the next morning. She said, "I'm at a 5, and it's moving along nicely." What?! We had no idea that anything had happened over night. We rushed to the hospital with a healthy dose of adrenaline, and Garrett was born within an hour.
I was not in the room when he was born, but I got the next best thing! Garrett was brought to me within twenty minutes of his birth. And I got to carry him to the nursery and watch over him. I gave him his first bath and bottle! Those were the best bonding moments for us. I talked to him, cried over him, kissed his sticky newborn skin.
The nurses probably thought I was loony. In fact, they kept looking at me with this pitiful look, as if to say, "Oh, honey, don't get attached. He's not yours yet." But I didn't care, because I knew that God had promised that everything was okay.
Please join me tomorrow for the finishing touches to Garrett's story.