Target, groceries, fingerprinting, baby

5:30 am

We woke up with a mission: do everything necessary to nest in Phoenix so we could relax for a few days as a family before the baby came next week. I should specify that I do NOT shop.

We hit the Dollar Store and Target with the kids in tow, which was loud. Still, we found everything we needed. Then we headed to the police station to be finger printed. Our FBI clearances, required to leave the state with a child in the process of being adopted, expire on June 9. We thought renewing in early May would be safe enough, but they are light years behind on their applications. It’s currently a 14-week wait. The Milwaukee police still have our fingerprints on record, but won’t even release them to an officer that knows us. So we had to do the whole process over again for an expedited process – one that we shall use again in the future.

Noon

Fingerprinting in Phoenix was an experience. First we took the now exhausted kids to the wrong station. Tess was howling about the heat within seconds of leaving the car. Then we were told we had an hour-long wait at the Records place, which was jammed. Fortunately, the novelty astounded miss Tess. Daddy and Remy went off in search of sustenance. Every time a baby cried, Tess asked if it was “our family baby”. Sorry to disappoint, sweetie. The police don’t produce infants.¬†Finally, we got called back for the actual fingerprinting. The officer was so nice, which totally made up for the zoo we’d been sitting in. He actually fingerprinted Tess and Remy, who beamed with pride at their dirty fingers.

As we sat there, I got the call that our mom had gone into labor and was being admitted to the hospital! Talk about unexpected. We still hadn’t even done the groceries. I took the kids home for a nap (which didn’t happen, because they heard us say baby), while Dave did groceries and mailed our fingerprints off yet again for our clearances. We may squeak by with what we’ve got, but it’s too close to call. I’d be steamed if they made us stay an additional week because that wasn’t acceptable.

4 pm 

Brett and Cheri surprised us by having their old washer and dryer installed. The bliss!!! In the meantime, Tanti Sarah Kay and Joy leapt into their car and drove from Flagstaff to Phoenix with no notice so Joy could take charge of the toddlers. They made it just in time for us to get to the hospital, meet the incredible day nurse, and get settled in our room. That’s right. As adoptive parents, they set us up as if we’d biologically produced a child. The baby will spend the time in the hospital in a room with his parents-to-be, and we can get a head start on the exhaustion, confusion and amazement that comes with caring for a newborn. Not only that! He’ll be our first full-term baby.

We met the social worker, who we really liked. She’s a straight talker with a big heart. Winner. Unfortunately, she confirmed that this mom wants a closed adoption, and we wouldn’t get to meet her or her family. We were sad, but wanted to respect her wishes. She advised us that the fast labor had become a bit slower, so we should grab dinner while we could.

6 pm

As we pulled out of the parking lot, we got a text:

Are you still here? The grandma and best friend want to meet you!

I yelled, “Dave! Turn the car around!” We were back in the lobby within minutes, where we got to meet the lovely ladies supporting this mom through her adoption. We all ended up hugging and crying. We promised to cherish this child, which was the easiest promise to make! We’re just hurting to bring a baby into the family. The love’s piling up! They said how much easier it made it, to have met us. We all marveled at the incredible luck of us already being in Arizona. In fact, we were supposed to fly out this morning!

8 pm

So now we’re hunkered down in a hospital room, waiting for the news that our son’s arrival is eminent. We’ll be able to stay with him in the nursery, and they’ll bring him to our room once all the official newborn stuff is done. And then, hopefully our life with three children will finally take flight. Wish us luck!

10:55 pm

It’s show time! We’re getting updates in our room from a few nurses and the social worker Melissa. It sounds like we’re about to meet our new baby! These moments are euphoric and so untrustworthy. If the adoption goes through or not depends on what happens in the next hour and the next few days. What if we meet this little man, bond and then lose him? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We’re a little battered by this year’s disappointments, but our hearts are back on our sleeves. We have decided to protect the kids. No hospital visits this time. We’ll wait for the official confirmation. Now, we just wait.

11:02 pm

He’s here. He’s here, and I think he’s ours. We got to stay in the nursery for the required two hours, while they cleaned him up and checked his temp. I fed him his first bottle, after quizzing the nurse. An adoptive mom and former NICU nurse, she giggled over our preemie hang ups.

Just feed him!

So we did. He ate 40 mL in companionable silence, then observed us observing him. He’s so light; it’s unreal to think that this little old man just entered the world.

We got to see his grandma and auntie again. They weren’t going to come into the nursery, but couldn’t stay away. Dave and I made sure they could come in and gave them some time. Our hearts ached as we watched them mourn and revel. I remember fearing any minute Kat spent with Tess would be the one that made her change her mind. I’ve figured out that a mind doesn’t change that easily, and if it’s going to change, it will whether you want it to or not.

On that front, we watched them hold our son from a distance. They thanked us, which felt wrong to me. The gratitude is ours! That aside, we really like them, and hope they like us as much, to entrust us with this child.

This child is the first full-term baby and the first who didn’t have a name picked out before we met him. The ambiguity has nearly killed me, yet now I’m having trouble pulling the trigger. Dave’s set, and I’m close.

5:30 am

The nurses have been amazing. This one woke me up for a pointless chat at 4:45 am. I am now awake for no reason. We can’t share photos because the adoption won’t happen until Monday or Tuesday, but as soon as it’s official we’ll introduce you to this sweet little man. HE’s still sleeping! Having a room means being able to snooze, then gaze adoringly, then snooze, then cuddle. That part is amazing. Waiting the 72 hours required before the adoption goes through will be killer.