March 15, 2015. A day for the family history books.
It was freezing at Broward General. We stood at the glass nursery window and watched Nurse Amy. We watched this brand new baby under a heat lamp. In that moment I just remember being unable to take my eyes off of him. Everything felt clear. Time sped by. Ethan and I watched and watched for hours. We were unable to be with him as his birth mom did not let the doctors know that it was alright for us to be with him. (she didn’t know she was supposed to, neither did we). And so, as she recovered from her C Section, still to groggy to give an informed answer, we watched through the glass. I remember Nurse Amy poking and prodding and doing. I remember another nurse telling us he did great on his Apgar test. I remember watching through the glass with R’s birth father. He stood silently by. He had already signed away his parental rights a few months before in a lawyers office. I remember being really happy he was standing with us, but I don’t remember wondering what he was thinking. I remember him leaving. I remember calling my father and telling him that we were naming R after him. How bold. He wasn’t ours to name quite yet.
and then, almost like a dream, I remember Nurse Amy coming out and beckoning us towards her. We followed her into the nursery. We walked through a sea of newborns all swaddled tightly, into a back room with a cot, presumably a room for doctors to rest or nap in between shifts. I was holding R’s birth mom’s purse. Amy left and Ethan and I just sat there. I don’t think I knew what was coming. And then she was back, rolling in R in his bassinet. She lifted him up and gently placed him in my arms. She turned, and as she left she said, “you’re not allowed to take pictures in here, but I am walking away now”, and she winked. I don’t think I realized that this was the moment I had wondered about for years: holding my child for the first time.
And then time stood still. There was Ethan, me, and R. I looked down at his face and it was so familiar to me. I knew that face inside and out and backwards and frontwards because he was my son. He was exactly who he was supposed to be. I remember introducing myself, “Hi, R, I’m mama.” And then I sang quietly- “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. It was so quiet. That first moment of the 3 of us was one of total peace- it didn’t matter what the next two days would hold- for that time we were just as the 3 of us were meant to be.
I remember being pleasantly surprised that I knew my son and that he felt so right in my arms- I had prepared myself for something else- I knew that it might not be an instant connection. I knew that there was a chance we wouldn’t know each other as mother and child right away- and I was okay with that. I knew that could be part of adoption.
I know it might be that way with my second child. It doesn’t mean there’s not instant love- it’s just the reality of adoption.
But that memory of meeting my son for the very first time, oh my lord, it’s just so good. There are a million more bits to the story that are just for R. R’s story- should he choose to share it with the rest of us will be his choice. I remember every last detail of that day for me, yes- but mostly for my boy. Xx