Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome little one!

.....and like so much of the time, "the best laid plans......." and all.

But happily, they were interrupted with good news. Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 12 noon, the phone rings at our house just at Alex and Pete are walking in the door. Pete grabs the phone and a woman's voice said, "you need to come get your son." Pete, bewildered, looks around for Alex, who has just wandered into the family room. Pete asks, "excuse me?" and the woman's voice says, "Your son. Your new son. He was just born. You need to come get him." Pete is still a little befuddled and asks, "who is this?" Caroline answers with her name and title and says, "I talked to your wife last week about a baby...didn't she tell you?" Pete says, "Yes, but ...what? That baby...we never got a call....were we chosen? What?" He's not sure even what questions to ask. So Caroline cuts in and gets serious. She goes on to explain that we had been presented to that birth mother, who had chosen us to adopt her baby, but (as predicted) wanted to go home and "sleep on her decision" for a while and discuss it with her family. So she went home and then went into early labor at 2:00 the next morning, delivering our beloved Austin at 6:30 A.M. on February 20, 2007. Our new son!

Caroline says that we need to get over there and start the ball rolling! We need to meet with the birth mother and her family, meet with her (Caroline) and meet with our attorney to get the paperwork started! So Pete calls me at work and asks me if I'm sitting down. I told him yes, and, prepared for the worst, asked him why. He said, "we have a new son!" "WHAT!?!" "You heard me, we have a new son. He was born this morning...that birth mother, she picked us and then went into early labor.....he's ours!" I actually got dizzy. I almost fainted. Just like that, from one moment to the next, I'm a mother of two. He said we needed to get over there and get things started, so I left the office and told my boss I'd be back when I could.

I head home, only to have to sit and wait. Turns out, with the baby coming early and no pre-adoption paperwork prepared, and with the heightened security for newborns in hospital nurseries, we cannot actually get into the hospital nursery to see our baby without some legal documentation from our attorney, who was stuck in court all day. So I ended up at home the rest of the afternoon, not able to go anywhere. But: the time was not wasted. We had to pick a name for our new baby. When Pete and I first started talking kids in our marriage, we picked out two names: a girl's name (yet to be used) and a boy's name: Alex. Now with our second son, we needed to pick something out fast. We ended up going onto one of those baby name center websites, started with the letter "A", came across Austin, and liked it. Austin Christpher it is! Christopher for two reasons: 1) my dad really likes that name; and 2) Christopher to honor my beloved Aunt Chris, who has been such a support and help to us in many of our decisions and troubled moments. Well, make that three reasons, now that I think about it: we just really liked the name.

Next, baby Austin needed some clothes. Alex had been born at a whopping almost 9 pounds, and little Austin weighed only 5 pounds at birth, with coming a month early. So it was off to Wal-Mart for preemie diapers and a couple of preemie outfits, and some formula, bottles and a few other newborn necessities. We were still waiting to hear from our attorney, and in the meantime, we wanted to talk to the birth mother and thank her. But she was asleep all afternoon, and it was late that night before she could stay awake long enough to talk to me over the phone.

We had a very short chat and then she asked me to speak to a family member of hers, which I did. They wanted to meet me and my family the next day, just to have some sense of who we are. We happily agreed. So Wednesday dawns and off we set for the East coast. We make it there, and it's more of the same...sitting and waiting. We met with the birth mother's aunt and cousin, and were very pleased with everything we learned of them, and they seemed pleased with the birth mother's choice of us as the baby's adoptive family. We learned some interesting things about the family that we are anxious to see if genetically predispose Austin to a particular ability (I'll give you a little hint: think of football)!

Finally, we're allowed back into the nursery. We pass the big nursery window, and there is only one little baby in there. All bundled up and all alone. He had the newborn baby cap on his head, and was burrito bundled, so it was hard to see if it was a he or a she, a black or a white child. But...what a sad sight. A little newborn, in there all alone. We asked if that was him and we were told yes. We both teared up and held hands, and made a vow right then and there, "little baby, you will never be so alone again, ever in your life." And in we went to hold our precious son.

Words will never accurately describe seeing and holding Austin for the first time. Nor Alex's reaction. He has so tiny: almost half of the size that Alex was at birth! But he was still an armful.....of love! And to see Alex be so gentle and loving and curious about the baby! What a joy to watch! One thing to note: it was with baby Austin that Alex's baby-foot fetish began. Austin's feet, with him having come early, were so incredibly tiny...Alex just could not comprehend that those were his baby brother's feet. He kept pulling off Austin's socks and just tickling and looking at those tiny little feet.

So we spent the entire morning and afternoon visiting with our newborn in the breast pump education room of the nurse's station at the hospital. Finally, it was time to go for the night. We had met with our attorney and the paperwork was all in order. But first, there was another surprise for Alex. We had always been aware that a new baby can cause some jealousy in the first born, so to hopefully circumvent that, we had brought along and hidden in the trunk a "present" that Austin "brought with him" when he arrived to share with his new big brother: a HUGE Tonka dump truck (in honor of what he wanted to name the new baby)! We let him tear into that right then and there and he just loved it! He wanted more baby brothers after that!

So the three of us (and the new dump truck, of course) loaded up in the car and headed back home. About halfway home, there was road construction going on on one of the county roads in a little town that we had to pass through. It was now dark, and Alex was sleepy. Pete up front driving and I'm in back with Alex. Someone got impatient with the back log of traffic and came roaring around from back behind us, and when they saw the construction on the road, had to slam on brakes, and almost spun around and hit us. I got mad and was spewing, more to myself than anyone else, "Yeah, that's right, go ahead....get in a hurry and hit our car and kill us...a family..... of four."

And then the sweetest moment, the happiest realization came to me...what I had just said...a family of four....I'd only seen him for the first time less than 12 hours earlier. He was only 36 hours old, and had never really opened his eyes much to look at us, the paperwork was far from done, the adoption was months away from final, we wasn't even with us in the car at the moment, but back in the nursery at the hospital for one more night...but he was OURS...our son, our second born, our Austin Christopher, Alex's baby brother, our beloved child. We were, already, a family of four. Welcome to the world, my precious newborn son!

Let the good times roll!


Beth said...

What a pretty baby!

Karen L. said... made me cry. Children are so precious. Alex and Austin are so lucky to have you and Pete. God bless you and yours....