I am sneaking away from a busy Independence Day weekend! It has been absolutely beautiful here in Grand Rapids. I cannot help but want to be out side 24/7! Warren is playing quietly and Scarlett and Eric are asleep. These early mornings are my jam! I get up, I make myself a cup of coffee and I write… IN SILENCE!
As we drove in the night to unite with the baby that God created for us in our hearts I felt this sudden fear… What if I do not love him as I love my Scarlett? What if we never bond? What if Eric does not bond? I whipped out my phone and hopped on Doctor Google! Normally this is a habit I try to steer clear from but I was looking for reassurance. Some where deep down in my heart I knew I would have no trouble bonding to this baby. I have dreamed about him for years. I loved him the moment he came to mind. Google confirmed what I already knew. I read countless adoption stories written by new and excited Mothers and Fathers. The general consensus was the love happens within days! It isn’t so much the moment you lay eyes on the baby, but rather once you begin to really take care of the baby. This description reminded me of a very special but frightening moment in my life!
The moment Scarlett was laid in my arms I felt shock, I felt panic, I looked around for the burst of love that so many people talk about. It was not there. I felt terrible for this. What if I was a terrible Mom? What if I am a heartless human being? I let this panic and fear steal my joy for a number of days. I finally hopped on Google and found similar stories of other Women feeling the same way, but found that burst of love within weeks of taking care of their baby. And they were right. Within days I began to feel that burst of love. I had to remind myself that this would more than likely be the same with Warren. So I calmed myself, I distracted myself and I began to pray and meditate on the gratitude and excitement that I felt and wanted to bask in. This moment is the moment I had waited for for years. I was going to hold my baby finally! I pushed the negative out of my mind and got focused on the here and now!
As we approached Charlotte North Carolina our hearts began to pound. Each of us were giddy with excitement. Of course I began video recording our entrance into the Hospital. There it was, The Levine Children’s Hospital. We walked in and there we were greeted by this tall beautiful woman with a giant smile on her face. She approached Scarlett immediately and asked her if she was ready to be a big sister!? This was my dear sweet friend Lindsay Smith (https://hersouloutloud.com/2017/06/20/i-know-an-angel-and-her-name-is-lindsay/). We were then greeted by a man with a video camera and my new sweet friend Allison! I recognized Allison’s face, she had written the original post on Facebook that led me to Lindsay’s blog post! After our introductions to everyone, I looked at Lindsay and said “How have we never met?” I felt like she and I were long time besties. She said “we were not meant to have until now.”
The attorney’s arrived after a 30 minute wait in the lobby. We immediately signed the paper work to take custody of Warren. Up until this point we have only seen a few photos of Warren. I had no idea what he was going to be like. I just knew that I would love him no matter what. It was not even a question. He was ours.
We made our way to the NICU and scrubbed in! It was finally time to meet our boy. We were taken to a private family waiting room and waited as Lindsay went to grab Warren and bring him to us. At this point I was shaking, my heart was pounding out of my chest. My hands were shaking. The what ifs started to roll in. Would I be freaked out by all of the wires? Am I smart enough and strong enough to care for this baby who has special needs that I have never had experience with? The door opened and in rolled a baby hospital bed, heart rate monitors, an IV stand, GI tubes and a few other wires that made no sense to me! Lindsay immediately picked up Warren, I stood up with my heart pounding out of my chest, and tears rolling down my face and finally my son was in my arms. Lindsay had handed him off to me. This Woman who never let a day go by without visiting Warren, this Women who was his advocate for 4 weeks, she handed him off to his Mama!
The rest of that hour was a blur. We took countless photos, we starred into each others eyes. We scanned every inch of Warren’s face. We kissed him, we hugged him, and we cried. Did I feel that burst of love on impact? No. I felt excitement and like a weight of immense pain relieving itself from my body. I had to remind myself that the burst of love would come just like it did with Scarlett. But for now… I just need to be present in the moment. (for those of you who struggle with Anxiety know exactly what I am talking about).
I was a bit nervous when I saw all of the chords and monitors. I remember asking myself ” am I cut out for this? Can I do this?” At first I was to afraid to say anything, but finally I told Eric that I was afraid I would not be good enough for Warren. Eric assured me that we could do this, and that he believed in me! I was all in. There was no turning back. Warren and I were a thing now and nothing could take that away!
The next few days were spent sitting and longing into Warren’s eyes. It was our goal as a family to spend as much time together as possible before Scarlett and Eric left to head back to Michigan. Time seemed to fly by! Eric and Scarlett packed up the car and they headed back to Michigan. I remember crying as they pulled away. I was terrified that something bad would happen to them because I was not with them. Fortunately they made it home safe! Eric had a few hiccups along the way, one being an issue with his testicle that caused a ton of pain, but he is okay now!
(this is how we spent time together as a family while separated)
After Eric and Scarlett hit the road, it was the Anita and Warren show. We were blessed with time to just be alone and be together. We were given the opportunity to just focus on creating a bond. He was my #1 concern and I was so thankful for every single second.