Continuation from last post
After we were chosen, my wife started chatting, through text, with the birth mom. At first, the birth mom was very shy. Only ever texting when we texted first. This is to be expected as we are complete strangers and are looking to adopt their child. So the conversations start small. How is she feeling, what are her hobbies, etc.
Before we knew it, she wanted to meet with us. So at the end of July we took a trip down to Florida to meet the birth parents, both mom and dad. The meeting as you can expect was challenging. Both families shy, anxious, nervous, hoping things go well, but overall... grateful.
And after the initial jitters wore off, both families opened up about their histories and talked as we had been friends that we hadn't seen in year. We elaborated on the texts that had been sent back and forth like how they met, hobbies, family, future plans, you name it. The conversation never felt awkward and there was never any hostility towards the situation we were in. Both families were grateful that each other had come in to their lives.
So after the meeting, the birth mom continued to text back and forth with my wife. The conversations growing deeper and more elaborate with each passing month.
The process was going as smooth as it could go...
Around early September we received the latest sonogram charts and it said that she was due the first week of October. My wife, bless her heart, demanded that the agency pay for one more sonogram for the birth mom. The first sonogram did not have the best pictures and it seemed silly to only have one appointment. Thank god she did that because after the second sonogram, the due date was pushed back 3 full weeks!
We made the decision that we were going to be in Florida on her due date because we did not want to miss anything. The birth mom did not want us in the room but she did want us at the hospital so as long as she didn't give birth beforehand, we were going to be there.
October 23rd was the due date. We packed our bags and headed down to Florida. Staying over night at my cousins in North Carolina and getting to Florida on October 24th.
We booked a hotel room starting November 1st because we had a free stay with a family friend until then. Thank god for family!!
October 25th comes, then the 26th, 27th, 28th and we started to wonder if this child would ever come out!
If he didn't come out before November 3rd, the mom was going to be induced.
So, the 29th, 30th 31st roll on by... We move up to our hotel on the 1st, the 2nd comes and goes and finally on November 3rd...
OUR BABY WAS BORN!
The birth parents invited us in to the room only 20 minutes after the birth. The mother looked great, our boy was being cleaned off and for the first time, we held him!
We stayed in the room with the birth parents for maybe 20 minutes or so and then the nurses came in to take us to our own room in the hospital. As we departed the room, leaving the boy behind, we embraced and shed some tears of joy. The only real emotion of the entire process. We were so relieved that our boy was healthy, the mom was healthy, the adoption process was almost coming to an end, that it was hard to do anything but cry. It was a long time since we had began trying for a baby of our own and this was the moment when our family would finally grow.
So the nurse took us to our room and our boy came in just a couple hours later.
We have an open adoption with the parents so we send pictures, texts, video, etc back and forth with them and that was part of the reason why the birth parents picked us.
In the hospital, with the open adoption, we let the birth parents have him as much as they wanted. They would make the decision on when to have the nurses bring him to us and when the nurses would come in to take him back to them. At times this was tough because when he left, we never knew when he would be coming back, but overall it went very well.
We wanted to give the birth parents as much closure as possible before the papers were signed.
So, each night we would have him and each day they would have him.
And then the big day... November 5th, 2017... the birth parents signed the adoption papers. He was going to be all ours!
The birth parents brought him to our room for the final time and we hugged them good bye, thanking them for everything they have given us. The meeting went very well. As mentioned earlier, there was not much emotion. No one cried, no one was angry, everything was peaceful. It was truly like this was meant to be. We have the utmost respect and love for the birth parents and I think they feel the same about us.
It was truly a perfectly fantastic adoption. We were fortunate.
So, after our stay in the hospital we had to stay in the state of Florida until the Interstate Compact paperwork was finalized. This essentially certifies the adoption and allows us to transport a baby across state lines - at least that's how I thought about it.
Unfortunately, this is not a quick process. Our agency told us that it would take 7-15 business days.
Are you frickin kidding me!! Up to three weeks for some damn signatures!
If there is one thing that I would change about this process is that it should be mandatory for the states to complete this paperwork in no more than two days. One day in Florida, one day in your home state. There are families that are trying to go home! And not only are you away from family and friends but the costs of staying in hotels/AirBnBs adds up. The states are hurting the financial future of families at a time when families are already paying significantly to grow their family. If families had to stay out of state for 15 business days... That is a total 19 days - weekends included. At $100 a night, that is $1900 that an adoptive family is paying out of pocket. Invested at 7% for 18 years and you are looking at $6,500 that could be used for college tuition, car, house down payment, etc. Right off the bat this child is $6,500 poorer than if you can leave in two days.
Once again, we were fortunate. Even with a government holiday thrown in and paperwork not being sent to the state until Tuesday, we received our permission to go home on November 16th, just seven business days later!
So we left for home on November 17th, 26 days after leaving...
Part Three coming soon! Fun financials coming in that post!