It had been almost five years since our first attempt to conceive until the day we learned we’d been matched with our daughter’s birth parents. From that day until our daughter’s birth would be just 4 weeks. Yikes! For all of our yearning to be parents we’d made virtually no preparations. The one project I’d undertaken was painting the nursery, which I’d actually done about three months earlier- before we’d even gotten a lead on a birth family.
As I worked on the mural inspired by the children’s book “Guess How Much I love You” I imagined snuggling a tiny body in that lovely little room. Now that tiny body was on its way. The time for daydreaming was over.
Getting our entire world ready for a newborn in 4 weeks was no small feat. As I look back at that time – nearly eight months ago now – it’s mostly a blur. Bassinet. Check. Clothes. Check. Gear, diapers, wipes, butt cream, bottles, blankets, food. Check. Pediatrician and nanny. Check. FMLA and insurance ready to go. Check.
Then with the house cleaned like it probably won’t be cleaned again for years and the car tuned up for our drive, we were ready. It is truly amazing what you can accomplish when faced with the most important deadline of your life. Still, I use the term “ready” loosely.
It occurred to me that though our preparation was perhaps quite a bit more frenzied than it would have been had I had nine months of pregnancy, I believed, and still do, that no amount of time would ever have felt like enough. While having the nuts and bolts things taken care of helped us feel more secure, we actually needed so few of those things to get started. For in those first exquisite moments with our children, we realize that nature has given us everything we need.
The brilliant mechanism built into us springs into action. As we do our first diaper changes and feedings, as we coax tiny arms through onesie sleeves we understand that becoming a mother – adoptive or otherwise – takes only an instant.