Here's a little breakdown of last week, mostly so I can go back a reread this a million times while trying to figure out how this is all really real:
December 21-23: I had no idea that our wonderful birth mom was preparing herself for this incredible sacrifice and gift of placing her daughter for adoption. I went through three of the most bizarrely emotional days of my life - pretty much non-stop crying and not necessarily feeling depressed or sad but more completely overcome with emotion. For example, I would wake up crying almost each day and my work has two different offices, one in Dallas and one in Plano, and each time I got in the car to drive from one to the other I ended up sobbing tears by the time I got on the Tollway. I couldn't put into words what it was but I just felt this huge change. I did continue to say how much I missed my grandfather, who was a huge part in raising me, which I had also done the two or three days before my wedding. So I recognized the feeling but could not get over why it was hitting me so soon. We wouldn't have a baby for months! I've read before that adopting mamas should track their hard emotional days because it will often link up to the other side of the story. Looking back I think of how difficult those days before Christmas and the birth of this sweet baby were for our awesome birth mom and wonder if God brought me unknowingly into her shoes to help carry some of the overwhelming emotion that goes into birthing and placing a child.
Or maybe it was just indigestion from all the holiday snacking, we'll never know.
December 25: My family celebrates the very first Christmas in four years where we are all at the same city and house. It was truly a wonderful and magical night, and at the time I knew it was one of my favorite Christmases ever. Our family has conquered a lot, and as I looked around the room on Christmas night for the first time in years I had so much peace and excitement about introducing our (way) future baby to each of these people.
December 25, 10:00 pm: A baby girl (named Noel for now) is born in Austin, Texas. She weighs 5 lb 14 oz and is 19" long.
December 26, 2:15 pm: My sister, brother-in-law and I are walking into Northpark to run some post-Christmas errands. I saw the adoption agency called and rolled my eyes because WHAT MORE COULD THEY POSSIBLY WANT. When I called her back, our director tells me "We had a baby born on Christmas Day. The birth mom says she's yours."
Cue screaming and photographs from my sister and a line of cars honking and wanting to get my space in the parking lot while we stand there completely shell shocked:
For the next 30-45 minutes I'm on a conference call with Markus and the agency while they go over case assessments, backgrounds and other things that do not matter to me because when I heard the word "girl" the show was over and I was ready to get in the car. But if they're going to keep me on the phone and I'm at the mall, I might as well walk with the phone glued to my ear to get out some nervous energy.
Sistah and I make a beeline for Northpark's emergency high blood pressure relief center and adorable baby paradise, Neiman Marcus:
Auntie got the going home outfit and I found the perfect first receiving blanket. I love storks for bringing me my sweet little baby!
The only two questions the birth mom has about us is A) Even though I am a Texas Tech family do you think the baby could attend UT and cheer for the Longhorns one day? (Obviously hilarious since I am sisters with and standing next to quite possibly the most intense and stylish Longhorns fan in history) and B) If we would consider keeping or using the name Noel since she really loves it. I am super picky about names, but I am in love and we are officially going to Austin to bring home Heidi Noel, the Christmas baby.
December 26, 4:00 p.m.: I told Markus to meet me and my parent's house since I had to drop Sistah and her husband off and we could tell them in person. We call my mom to make sure she is home and tell her we have news, "Is it a puppy?!" No...you need to get over here. Everyone is in tears and we exchange the key to our house for Little Child care and the key to Sistah's place in Austin.
December 26, 5:30 p.m.: We are getting on the road to Austin and I get the first picture of my baby girl. The birth mom was discharged earlier that day so our little baby is being cared for in the nursery until we make it to Austin. I think there is a little hole in the middle of my iphone now from where I stared through the screen trying to jump into this picture. My first track to play while leaving the city is Jay Z and Beyoncé's Bonnie and Clyde '03..."You ready, B? Let's go get 'em."
December 25, 10:05 p.m.: After a few stops to make sure we have essentials (and to get Markus completely new clothes because he was so excited he packed nothing besides what he was wearing), we are at the labor and delivery unit at St. David's South hospital in Austin. The night nurses are so excited to meet the parents of this beautiful baby. They ask us if we've ever taken care of a baby before and we enthusiastically tell them, "Nope!"
We have our own room at this hospital, so our little girl goes back with us and we spend our first night together as a threesome.
|Rollin' with the homies!|
Christmas babies get major swag. Heidi came with a special shirt, candy cane mittens and socks, a "Special Holiday Delivery" hat and a huge stocking that we could put her in.
Markus had decided to wear a tacky Christmas sweater-style tee shirt to the office that day and then was "way too busy" to change before we left for Austin, but I did convince him to maybe turn his shirt around before he held his baby girl for the first time.
I have been on so many roads with this boy: first day back to school, college graduation, bringing home Little Child, first job, new job, first house, crazy late work projects, student loan payment blitzes...it was all for this moment. We did it.
I texted this picture to the birth mom and she said "I love it and...I have those same sock monkey pajamas!" I am so excited to have such a meaningful relationship with this person and keep her as a special friend to our family.
December 27, 10:00 a.m.: We're hunkering down for what we think will be a few more days in Austin when the hospital and adoption agency let us know everything looks great and we can head home later today! My family cancels their hotel rooms and head out to the baby store with a shoddy list I had made, completely unafraid to ask strangers what this little baby is going to need.
Markus and I soak up some last few hours off the grid before we head home and the circus comes to town.
My stylish sister reminded me to pack "a few timeless dresses, tights, booties and other options," and I text her Saturday morning "I'm in leggings and don't have a blow dryer. You're going to have to be in charge of imparting style on this baby."
December 27, 3:45 p.m.: We have our car seat (pretty much the only baby item I had the good sense to buy and keep around, just in case) and we are are headed home to Dallas with our baby! As it gets dark on the drive I have to keep turning on the back seat overhead light to make sure my little baby is for real sitting in the back seat with me. The new Prius v does great on it's first road trip with our family.
December 27, 7:30 p.m.: We pull up to our house, and I can see my family peering out the front window waiting for Heidi, Mommy and Daddy to arrive! The iphone videos are rolling as we step up and pink baby has exploded in my house.
My mom and dad have scrubbed and organized the house, sistah and hubby have been shopping and assembling bassinets and Markus' brother drove two hours from Tyler with a gift and cigars. My sistah cousin comes over on her last day of Christmas break in Dallas. Sistah and I's best childhood friend and his partner are in town and come down from his parent's house a few doors down to meet Miss Heidi. It is perfectly perfect.
After pizza, pass arounds and a cigar session for the 'gents, we are ready for our first night home as a family of four!
I cannot even begin to thank everyone for the excitement and support you have brought since we first shared we were adopting and the wave of happiness you have added as Heidi Noel came home to be our baby. We've heard from hospital staff, family and friends that Heidi is the luckiest baby and with no disrespect, they have it all backwards. We cannot believe the blessings we have been covered in this entire year, and staring at our baby girl is the greatest joy I have ever felt.
I can't wait to be back soon as we find our rhythm as a new family in the best city ever. :o)
Our peace, love and gratitude to you on this amazing New Year!