I'm finally able to sit down and process all that's taken place in the past week so that I can share it with the hive. It's been amazing, heart-wrenchingly sad, life affirming, and joyous all at once. Adoption involves a complicated interplay of so many factors, but I'm going to try and share as comprehensively as I can. (Especially now that I have S's permission to post! Yay!)
Every adoption is different, as I've said before... so in our case, we knew the time and date for the scheduled C-section instead of waiting on pins and needles for "the call." We got back from Hawaii early the morning before, unpacked, and did last minute preparations for the big day. Mr. Jacks dutifully got the directions to the hospital, while I re-read the hospital packet and packed an overnight bag just in case we'd get to stay, though we were told that we probably wouldn't.
My parents came into town to stay with Little Jacks, and we all went out to a nice dinner the night before the C-section. They brought some presents and it was like we had a little baby shower, which was so sweet because I was too superstitious to allow one! We came home after dinner and tried our best to sleep. We were still on Hawaii time, which made it harder to relax and our nerves were pretty shot. I think we probably got to sleep by midnight.
We woke up early to make sure to get to the hospital for the C-section, scheduled for 8 am. My parents asked a bunch of questions about Little Jacks' care and we were on our way for an adventure that might be life changing or heartbreaking-- we weren't yet sure!
We navigated commute traffic and were set to arrive right on time, when I started having a bad feeling about things. "Mr. Jacks, which hospital are you taking us to?" "The one you told me about." I said, "No, this is OTHER hospital. Not our hospital." He said, "Well, this is the one google took me to. Just then, our caseworker called and asked, "Where are you?" I said, "Other hospital." She said, "Oh, that's at least 15 minutes from our hospital. Just get here as soon as you can... but we may not be able to wait for you."
Oh my gosh, you guys... my face was flushed with frustration. I was so mad!!! All I could think of was that we were likely to miss out on the possibility of being at the birth of our future baby. Mr. Jacks was also frustrated and felt so bad. We sped towards the correct hospital, but not without some accusatory conversation that I'm not so proud of and some anger shared between us. As we got closer to the hospital, Mr. Jacks continued to be silent, but my anger began to subside. Finally, I said, "Some day we're going to look back on this moment and laugh. It might make a great story." He gave me a dirty look and said, "Never!" He let me out of the car at the hospital door and he went to park.
I rushed in to the hospital about half an hour after the scheduled OR time, and looked frantically for our caseworker. We found her, took some deep breaths to try to compose ourselves, and asked anxiously if we missed the event. Turns out, that during our mad dash to our hospital, an emergency C-section bumped us from the scheduled time. Ours would now be an hour later. We had made it! Suddenly, what was going to "never" be a great story became hilarious, and the Jacks family let off some steam with a hysterical re-telling of our adventure to the caseworker. All was right with the world and there were donuts in the waiting room!
S. wanted to see us before she went to the OR, but there were some issues with her preparations, so we had to wait for a while. In the interim, a cute family came and sat in the waiting room with us. They appeared to be Filipino and were speaking Tagalog, so after several minutes of debating with myself whether to be nosy or not, I finally asked if they were L's (birth father's) family members. They said they were, and we hit it off as if we were old friends. They were really very sweet, though open about their concerns about placement. While I was having visions of family get-togethers with them over yummy Filipino food, they were envisioning the loss of the family's first grandchild. The differences in perspective were stark, and necessitated constant recalibration of my sensitivity meter.
We briefly got to see S. and give her the purple roses we had gotten her (amethyst is the February birthstone). I had so many mixed emotions when I saw her. I wish I could have gone through the C-section for her, and I hated that she was going to undergo surgery and suffer the loss of her beautiful baby all at once. It was a profound moment where little was said but much was felt.
We still didn't yet know if we were going to be allowed into the operating room, and we waited on pins and needles. We had made it to the hospital on time, so maybe that was a sign that it was meant to be? Then again, S. had lots of support people with her, maybe she wouldn't want us there? We sat out in the waiting room, knowing that the decision would be made soon, helpless to control the situation...
Stay tuned for part 2 of our adoption birth story!
Mrs. Jacks on Adoption part 10 of 151. Which Road Should We Take? by Mrs. Jacks
2. Baby steps by Mrs. Jacks
3. Doubts and dreams by Mrs. Jacks
4. Preparing Little Jacks by Mrs. Jacks
5. We're not worthy! We're not worthy! by Mrs. Jacks
6. Even more choices... and these are heavy! by Mrs. Jacks
7. Impressions by Mrs. Jacks
8. Creating an adoption profile by Mrs. Jacks
9. Openness in adoption: striking the right balance by Mrs. Jacks
10. The birth story, adoption-style by Mrs. Jacks
11. The birth story, adoption style Part II by Mrs. Jacks
12. The birth story, adoption-style Part III by Mrs. Jacks
13. Monthly birth parent updates by Mrs. Jacks
14. Where to begin? Maybe at the end… by Mrs. Jacks
15. Breastfeeding the adopted child by Mrs. Jacks