As we got into the car to head to the hospital, our hearts were full, yet so, so heavy. We weren't totally sure what we were in for, but knew it wouldn't be your typical hospital newborn experience.
As we approached, i sent "A" a text to see if they wanted breakfast. We picked up some bagels and juice for them right before we arrived.
As we walked into the hospital, we had instructions on what to say to the nurses. Our caseworker was planning on meeting us in a few hours. We walked to the reception desk and somehow, the nurses knew who we were already. They were incredibly sweet and the head nurse was also a Rebecca.
They told us that "A" and "J" were expecting us, so we knocked on their door. I swear, the knock on the door was as hard as my heart was beating through my chest at that moment. We walked in to see "A" in her bed, but no sign of "J". Then i saw our son, swaddled up and sleeping so peacefully next to her. I held back the tears as i just didn't want to upset or overwhelm "A". She immediately asked if i wanted to hold him. I scooped him up and just fell in. love. This was real, it felt right, it was exactly what God wanted for us. I couldn't help but to kiss his little cheeks as he made a grunt and slightly stretched. At this point, i won't lie, i just wanted to leave the hospital and never look back. I wanted all the emotional stuff of the hospital to not happen. I wanted to scream from the rooftop, but i wanted to respect their feelings. Christopher didn't hold him, he was nervous.
Since i had some alone time with "A", i gave her a special gift i had made for her. A really simple silver necklace with both initials of her two sons.
I had it made through Urbanite Jewelry.
Her eyes filled with tears and she set it down. I didn't want to push to put it on her.
At that point, the nurse came in to give Parker a bath. He still hadn't been fully cleaned from his birth. "A" looked at us to have us to and learn. We walked out of the room and i just broke down. I was so overwhelmed with everything that was happening, i couldn't control my cry. The nurse started crying and we walked into the nursery. She told us that as amazing as "A" and "J" are, she felt like we were just as amazing. She calmed me down and we started the bath. Parker just melted my heart again. So tiny his fingers and toes. He was chilly and didn't want any part of having a bath. (he finally does now)!
In the meantime, "J" had left to pick up her son Christopher and to get "A"'s two sisters. They were both very sweet and helped to break the ice a bit. I could tell that they were so in love with Parker too.
We went back to the room and decided to give them some time with Parker. The nurses gave us a room so we could watch some videos and just relax. Patty, our caseworker showed up. I love her so i was so happy to see her! She reviewed some legal stuff with us and then went over the options "A" and "J" had. They could have signed temporary papers, which would have given them a few days to be sure their decision was the right one, or legal surrender paperwork. The surrender paperwork is what we wanted them to sign. That would make the process to revocate their decision really hard. They had to sign something though. Otherwise, if they left the hospital, it would be been abandonment. Patty went to discuss options with them, and they choose to sign the surrender paperwork. Since this process was going to take awhile, we left for a few hours to get some lunch. Leaving was SO hard, but it helped with the emotion and stress of what was going to happen.
We got back at about 5:30 and i got a text from Patty. She said she and their attorney were still in the room and they needed more time. I told her we would be in the lounge waiting. As we walked in, i saw them come out of the room. I'll never forget the look on her face when she told us they were having a hard time signing the paperwork. I just shook my head and said.."this can't be happening." She said they both broke down, were crying and it was taking a long time to get through the final page.
Christopher and i sat for another half hour for them to finish. It felt endless. At about 6:30 or so, Patty and their attorney found us and told us they made it through. I think as prepared as they thought they would be, they weren't at the same time. Patty told us what helped them so much was knowing Christopher and i would be parenting. They truly loved us. I asked if they wanted to see us and Patty checked. She came back and told us 'yes', they do want to see us before we went home for the night.
I think that walk down the hall was one of the hardest. My heart was beating even harder this time. We walked in and there "A" sat by the window, eyes filled with tears and beat red. I lost it. I had so much i wanted to say to her and didn't know how to start. Finally, it all just came out. I told her what an amazing young woman she is, to give us the most precious gift. I told her without her and "J", we wouldn't be parents. We hugged and just cried together. I realized, at that moment, it takes SO much more for someone to realize they can't parent and make a decision like they did, rather than to pretend they can handle it and not give a baby everything they deserve.
"J" walked in. I could tell he had been crying too. He was slightly stand-offish at first. I don't know if it was a male thing or just didn't know how to handle his feelings. Christopher and i decided (as hard as it was) that we needed to leave for the day. We knew we would be back in the morning. The hospital told "A" she could be discharged at that point, but she wanted to stay.
We told them we would see them in the morning, and bring breakfast again.