As we left our hotel for the medical center where our daughter had been born the evening before, it’s hard to say exactly what I was feeling. With our open adoption we were not only going to meet our daughter for the first time, but also her birth parents, sisters and lots of extended family. The cocktail of emotions churning inside me included excitement, anxiety, joy and apprehension. And in the far corners of my mind a quiet fear, never uttered, was still present.
It seems incredible now, but up until the moment I saw my daughter I’d feared that as much as I might love her, there might always be something missing because I hadn’t given birth to her. And then we walked into her birth mother’s room where her little nursery cart had been brought in. The next few moments are a blur, but somehow she ended up in my arms. And in that single moment any doubts, any fears I’d had evaporated. I am still awed by how instantly, madly, completely I fell in love with my daughter. If I’d needed any proof that the human spirit, the human bond, transcends our bodies- here it was.
When I was finally able to put her down, the magnitude of the gift our birth mother was giving us began to sink in. For I knew the astoundingly deep love I felt for our tiny little lady was shared completely by the amazing woman who’d just given birth to her. I had known my daughter for mere minutes and already I couldn’t imagine living without her. Yet here was the woman who had carried her for 9 months who was going to have to do just that. I don’t know if I’ll ever really be able to fathom the strength and love that takes.
As wonderfully as those first introductions with our new adoptive family went though, we were acutely aware that our birth parents had five days* to change their minds. But at the end of those days we learned we’d been given their blessing and in three days would go to court to finalize the adoption. Our family had been born!
*The stipulations and amount of time for this rescission period vary state to state