Saturday, November 28, 2009

Adoption 360

The meeting...
Before we ever got on the plane to Charleston, we were told that consent had been signed by our birthmom and that she had left the hospital. We were told to go to the hospital at 8am. The hospital was supposed to release Camden to the state 48 hours after he was born, they were doing us a favor keeping him a little bit longer. We called our caseworker, Janine, she was truly sent to us from God and she knew she was too...
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...anyway she told us not to go to the hospital, that consent was not signed. Our birthmom wanted to meet us but she was told by the agency that we didn't want to meet her which was totally false. So Janine gave us an address and told her to meet her there in two hours.
We drove downtown, we found the address. She told us that we had to look closely for "29X" because if we blinked we might miss it. And this is why...

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We found it. We went inside and there was our birthmom sitting on a couch with Janine. It was just the four of us. She stood up when we walked in, I couldn't help myself and threw my arms around her. I was so worried that I would be a crying mess that I wouldn't even be able to speak. Surprisingly I was able to keep my tears to a minimum and I was able to speak calmly.
We sat and visited with S (our birthmom) for about forty five minutes. She was quiet and reserved. Her spirit was so strong. I kept staring at her, I would catch myself just taking in every detail of her face, her voice, her hair, her jewelry, her clothes...I wonder if she noticed...I just couldn't help it. This is the young woman I had prayed for every day for nine months. I had dreams of her. I wondered what she would look like. I didn't want to forget anything. I knew that someday I would be telling my son about his birthmom and I wanted to have as much information as possible to give to him.
Our caseworker helped guide the conversation as we were all a little overwhelmed by the situation. It was important for S to know about our extended family relationships. She wanted to know about where we lived and if there were other black people in our neighborhood. She seemed very pleased to know that Camden would grow up with a large extended family and that he would be able to play in the snow...South Carolina doesn't get snow...
I was so impressed with how composed she was, I know that her heart must have been breaking and yet she seemed so calm. She told us many times how grateful she was for us. She kept saying that she finally had peace. We found out that when she got pregnant she knew that she was going to place her baby. She wanted to meet us because she knew that he belonged to someone else but she needed to make sure we were the ones. After our forty five minutes together she said, "Well you guys have waited long enough, let's go get your baby."
She went to the hospital with Janine. Aric and I were not allowed to go with her. She still needed to sign consent and have it accepted by the state. So we walked around for two hours and I took pictures to try and make the time go by faster. I wanted to capture this beautiful place so that I could show Camden where he came from. I fell in love with the old buildings, especially the doors....
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windows....
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and gates...
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We ate lunch at this little pub while we waited for the phone call to go back to the office. Eating was such an issue for me on this trip. I seriously couldn't eat. Aric would make me eat, I was having a hard enough time remembering to breathe...eating required just too much energy.
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After two excruciating hours we got the call. I was so excited. We drove back to the office. I will always remember walking through this gate...
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...then through this door...
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...and seeing this little face...
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Camden was actually in S's arms, when we walked into the room. It was important to her that she physically placed her baby into our arms. So she handed Camden to Aric and then S and I held on to each other for a few minutes. This moment is so hard to write about. It truly was sacred. The spirit that overwhelmed that room made it feel like we were taken out of this world and we got to taste heaven for 20 minutes.
My camera was sitting on the coffee table when Janine grabbed it and started taking pictures. (We do have pictures of Camden with S but those we are keeping private just for him)
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In this moment my heart that had been aching for so many years was finally whole. This was the moment God had been waiting to give me. It was in that moment that I realized that all those years of hurting and waiting were all worth it. It was those sleepless nights and constant prayers that brought me to this moment. Holding my son for the very first time was magical. It was "delicious to my soul" and I will never, ever forget it.

16 comments:

rikki said...

Beautiful!

Natalie said...

beautiful. tears, chills, more tears. perfection jessica. i'm so glad that you have these sacred memories with you forever and that you are sharing a portion of them with us. i'm so glad that you are able to "dance in the rain". xo

Jenny Erazo said...

thank you for sharing something so special. you amazi me:-)

Lauren in GA said...

I love how Natalie worded her comment and I agree with what she said. I really appreciate your sharing this with us.

That was such good thinking...how you took pictures of the area and especially the gate and door you went through to see your son. I got the chills, too.

I think I would be staring at S, too. She has such courage and I am so happy that Camden is with you.

Lindsey said...

Crying now. I am so grateful you have Cam, and he has you. I loved the pictures of the gates and feel like it is symbolic in some way. . maybe you should make them into a collage, blow it up to poster size and frame it in your house. THey are beautiful and represent a special time/feeling/blessing in tyour family. Straight is the gate..and narrow the path.

Randi said...

Gosh dang it, Jess. Your posts always make me cry (in a good way). I can't express how happy I am for you. I have kept you in my prayers and I just love you and your family.

Penny said...

Ok, I am crying too. (Of course!) This was beautiful Jessica. I, too loved seeing the gate and door... what a special moment.

And then to watch as Camden tried to rip your earring out of your ear during sacrament meeting was just priceless. What a sweet blessing he is to your family. S truly can have peace knowing that he is in a family like yours!

calibosmom said...

Oh my goodness Jessica, I am a mess. What a life changing experience. How profound that you took pictures of doors and gates. What a beautiful moment in time-to hug Camden's birth mother. Those are the moments in life when you know God exists.

Melissa-Mc said...

I have taken a vacation from blogging, but decided to come read yours. I'm so glad I did. Your "lemonade" post is what brought me over to read your blog. I feel that on a smaller scale, I was blessed to folow your blog through your adoption journey. Camden is the cutest little pitcher of lemonade I've ever seen. You are amazing, and he is so blessed to have you for parents.

kthom said...

Oh you are such a fantastic story teller...I'm picturing this all in my mind, like a good book. And then you add your real life beautiful pictures (love all the descriptions of SC, especially the gates and doors...love the doors). Those simple little details make this beautiful story even more...beautiful. And then you add that dollbaby to it and ...ah gees!

♥Shally said...

Adoption truly is one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. I loved reading about this. It brought back so many memories...

LOVED the pictures of the doors, windows and gates... :)

Leah said...

I had such a beautiful spiritual experience this morning thanks to your post. Cried through the whole miraculous thing.

Ilene said...

Love that baby. Love the faith that you had through all the crap that would break so many other people.

abbyandcompany said...

i was waiting for the rest. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience! I forgot that kid was so gorgeous as a newbie. And I don't say that often. I even think my own kids are kinda homely when they are born!

Shirley said...

AMAZING!!! Thank you!

Erin said...

I am so proud of you--or proud with you. These posts are amazing and perfect and sent me into full-blown ugly cry!! Camden (and you) will treasure your words and your story always.

Seriously. You know my heart is right with you in every step of this--it's amazing how quickly these posts brought me back to this time last year...and all we were going through and all we'd been through and how we both wondered if it would ever end but both knew that it WOULD end and that it would end with babies that were meant for our families.

You are amazing. Camden is one lucky guy. I could not be happier for you that there is an end in sight. Being sealed with make all of this just that much sweeter and more amazing.