Our Adoption Story: Leaving the Hospital

The day we left the hospital with Miles was one of the most emotional of my life. We were so excited to be taking him home but it was also very difficult to leave his birthmother at the hospital. My heart was truly broken for her, and I found myself crying for her loss and for Miles’ loss as she signed the papers. adoption-reality

I will never, as long as I live, forget that moment. The “magnitude of that tragedy” hit me very hard. It was such a happy event for our family, but such an incredibly sad one for hers. And I know it will be sad for Miles when he learns about his adoption. I felt all of that so deeply, and meant it when I told our birthmother that she would always be in our hearts, and always a part of our family. I wish I could have erased her hurt and that I could erase his future hurt, but I know that is not in my power. All I can do is love Miles with every ounce of my being, celebrate him every day of his life, and foster a connection between our two families.

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When it was finally time for us to leave, they insisted on wheeling me out with Miles in a wheelchair. At first I felt a little silly, not having given birth to him, but it didn’t take long before I let myself enjoy the ride. I was, after all, his mom now. And even though I’d only known about him for 3 days, there was no question about this. I was 100% Miles’ mother–and I could not possibly have loved him any more, even if I had given birth to him. So I let them roll me out, and I soon found myself unable to stop smiling. I may have been the happiest mom to ever leave a hospital!

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Jamie was outside, making final adjustments to the car seat that we could barely still believe we needed. We clumsily secured Miles into it–trying hard not to break him–and pulled away from the hospital, driving into our new lives together.

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We couldn’t go home just yet, though. We had to wait in Texas until we got clearance from the Interstate Compact for Child Placement (ICPC). Basically, Texas had to approve of us leaving the state and Virginia had to approve of us coming home. The law was set in place to ensure that children adopted across state lines would retain the same rights they would have in their birth state. It makes sense, but it is a huge pain in the neck. We were told we could most likely start heading home in a few days, 7-10 at the most. So, for now, we would be living in a one-bedroom suite at the Marriott (with a newborn and two dogs!).

More on that particular brand of crazy and blissful chaos in the next post. (Sorry to drag this out, but it’s so hard to find time to write with a brand new baby. As an adoptive mother, I’m not eligible for short-term disability pay like other mothers because I didn’t give birth, but I am here to tell you: caring for an infant is disabling, no matter how that baby comes to you. So majestically, beautifully disabling.)

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p.s. There are a few details I’m struggling with whether to include in the blog or not. One would be our experience with the Texas adoption agency we were transferred to because our adoption law center is not licensed to work in Texas. It was far from ideal, and very frustrating at times, but I’ve decided to share that in another set of posts and focus only on Miles in these. I have some words of caution/advice for all you hopeful adoptive parents that I will definitely be sharing, though. For now, all I can say is do your research–know the procedures and laws for ICPC and the particular set of adoption laws for the state you are adopting from–and be proactive.

 

12 thoughts on “Our Adoption Story: Leaving the Hospital

  1. Thank you SOOO much for sharing your story! My husband and I are getting close to signing a contract with an agency and we both had a tear fest last night as I shared that I don’t think this cycle is going to result in a bio kid and I don’t think I can manage going through the next few treatments we agreed on. I needed to read this to move past my last moments of grief today. Thanks.

    1. Oh, I understand how you feel. I’m sorry that you are struggling. But I can tell you that adoption is just as amazing and special as having a bio kid. (I actually think it may be more amazing and special.) I am honestly SO thankful now that we didn’t get pregnant when we tried because if we had, we never would have been blessed with Miles. Biology really is over-rated. I could not love my child any more if he were of my blood. Honestly. And if you’re like me, you will appreciate motherhood all the more because it didn’t come easy. I wish I had not wasted all the time I did feeling sad and hopeless, because this whole time there was something much more magical in store for me. There is for you, too.

      Just wait until the moment you realize you have no idea what cycle day you are on–and you couldn’t care less. It is such a relief and a release. Choosing adoption over treatment was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Best of luck to you!!!

      1. p.s. What you’re describing is how it happened for us, too. We did two cycles of treatment but I knew in my heart that it was not going to happen and I didn’t want to go through with the other cycles we had planned on. My husband was on the exact same wavelength. I knew then that I was ready to stop trying and to move forward with adoption. It will get so much easier for you from here and you will start feeling so much better!!

  2. Amy Britt

    Hi, I have been following your blog and I’m so thankful that you have chosen to share your story. We live in Texas and are starting the adoption process. Even though our paths are a little different (we have 2 bio children), I feel like your story is helping me prepare for what’s to come and give me a little insight to the process. I pray that you have a long happy life with your gorgeous Miles!
    Sincerely,
    Amy

  3. Hali

    Great post! I’m definitely interested in hearing your experiences with the other states agency and what to be prepared for..seems like “the small print” that no one really explains till you are already in the situation. Some inner insight would be very helpful!

  4. JenLS

    I am so happy for you that you have your sweet baby! Gives me hope that our day will come too. As with Hali, I would love to hear about your TX agency experience. We are with a national agency and may run into some of the same issues. Enjoy your little bundle of joy!

  5. Megan

    I think you’re doing an amazing job of telling the story – and I like the installments (it’s like I can check in each day and there might be the next part waiting – hurray;)). And newborn baby = exhaustion = craziness = exhaustion = not-even-knowing-if-the-sky-is-blue-some-days. So I’m impressed with how very coherent you are!:)

    I am VERY interested in hearing your experience of the ICPC “wait” and any advice/thoughts/feedback you might have on inter-agency stuff – that’s definitely something that I’m not really looking forward to very much…. Especially since Hubby will probably go home after a week or so to be with our daughter (she really really wants to come with us but I can’t bring her knowing we could meet a baby…and then have the birthmom change her mind. At 34 years old I know that will be rough to handle…but she’s only five so we’re just not going to put her through that). Soooo, anyway, that will mean I’ll be on my own for a while with the new baby and just thinking about dealing with all of the paperwork and hoops and unknowns is a bit daunting, to say the least…!

  6. I love that you were able to be wheeled out with your new baby!! My husband and I may choose to grow our family through adoption (we are praying and searching for if that is what we are called to do) and reading your blog gives me hope and also shares the details of the realities of the adoption process as well. Thank you for sharing the good and not-so-good! All is important to know!

  7. I love this so much. ❤ I am a birth mother to a beautiful baby boy adopted through domestic infant adoption. Your words about the feelings of sadness you had for his birth mother really touched me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. danielle

    Thank you for sharing this story. I made an adoption plan for my son 2 years ago, when I was 5 months pregnant. Its an open adoption, so I still get to see his beautiful face every chance I can. I just wanted to say that it warms my soul to the deepest corners to hear mothers like you speak, and to know my son’s mother (weird to write lol) feels exactly the same. What was by far the hardest, most empty time of my life has turned into the seed of something so much more fulfilling. Its written all over that little boy. I gave love a chance to grow and had faith that it would, and oh how it did. Thanks to the mother and father of my son. Thank you for what you did. Best wishes to your family!

    1. Thank you so much for that comment, Danielle. I am so happy that your open adoption has been such a source of joy for you. You gave his parents the greatest gift anyone ever could. We often only hear about the negative aspects of adoption, but there is so much to gain as well. Take care, and be well!

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