We are within six weeks of birth mother’s due date.
People keep asking me if I’m ready, and I’m never quite sure how to answer.
Ready for a baby? Pretty much. We already have all the stuff. It will just take a quick trip to storage to grab the bassinet, infant car seat, and a few other items. It’s another boy, so we already have all the clothes. This baby is even arriving in the same season our son did, so no need to worry about having a newborn wardrobe inappropriate for the time of year.
I’ll need to sterilize some bottles and probably order a few ingredients for my homemade formula (yes, I make my own… plus a wonderful friend donated half a freezer full of breast milk to us!). It’s all pretty quick and easy stuff to get us set up with what we’ll need to provide for a newborn.
The thing that makes me hesitate when people ask me if I’m ready is the knowledge that there is no guarantee yet that we will actually be bringing this baby home. Though I’m pretty sure that’s not something on most people’s minds when they ask me that question.
Well, it’s on mine.
It’s all part of the process, though. It comes with the territory in a private adoption.
That’s why they tell you (especially when adopting for the first time) not to have a baby shower, not to set up the nursery, not to go crazy buying all the baby things; because if you come home empty-handed, all of those things will be reminders of what was supposed to be and now isn’t. Not that you won’t try again, but you’ll likely need some time to grieve and process.
We met the birth mother in person for the first time a couple weeks ago. She was very sweet, and overall things went about as well as could be expected.
We visited over lunch for about an hour and all just got to know each other a little better.
On our drive home, I got a text from her that read something like, “I really enjoyed lunch, thank you. You have a beautiful family and a very well-mannered little boy. I’m glad I chose you guys to have my son, or I should say, your son.”
I wanted to cry.
That quick message meant so much and was so encouraging.
Does it mean things are set in stone? No. But it’s about the best thing one could hope for at this point in the process.
Does it mean the birth mother isn’t completely stressed out about what’s about to happen? That she isn’t worried about how she’s going to feel after the birth? That she isn’t wondering if she might change her mind?
In fact, the Adoption Service Provider (ASP) told me those are all perfectly normal things for a birth mother to be asking and be concerned about, and it’s good when she is able to communicate that. If a birth mother isn’t asking those kind of questions, that’s a red flag to the ASP.
This birth mother even registers the stress we’re under too. She realizes that everything for us hinges on her signing the consent paperwork after the birth. And until then, we’re just hanging loose.
She basically said, “So they’re stressed too… it’s not just me!”
Nope, it’s not just you. And we are so grateful for a birth mother who is so self-aware.
So what’s next?
Not a whole lot on our end. The caseworker is working on the hospital plan with the birth mother this week. Once they have that ironed out, we and the hospital will get a copy of how things are supposed to go down.
We were able to get a room at the hospital when our son was born, and we’re hoping for that again this time. The extra element this time around is what to do with our son. We’ve got a couple options between one of us staying with him at a hotel or leaving him with some friends.
Our caseworker wisely advised not bringing him to the hospital or introducing him to the baby until the paperwork has been signed. Then we can make a big celebration out of it.
Otherwise, we are planning a short family getaway over an upcoming weekend. It will (hopefully) be our last little trip as a family of three, as well as a chance to relax and rest up before we dive into the newborn phase once again.
And in the meantime, we wait.
Have I ever mentioned there’s a lot of waiting?
We wait, we hope, and we trust.