Tony and Geri…
Tony and Geri were part of AOW’s agency outreach program and through this were connected with a birth mother from the Florida Adoption Law Group. This is their story…
If you’ve ever wondered, you can pack two adults and stuff for a baby in about 1.5 hours, book a flight and jump on a plane.
Last Sunday, March 3, at about 3:30pm we got a call that A* may be going into labor. We called the airline and found out that the last flight out of Madison was at 5:15. We dropped everything (Tony was pulling out carpet, we were getting all packed up to start our last remodeling project before baby) and started packing. Just in case. We still didn’t have confirmation, so we started driving to the airport. Just in case. We got to the airport and still didn’t have a firm, yes, they are going to do the c-section tonight, we decided we were hopping on a plane now or possibly missing the birth of our baby. Just before we boarded our second flight to Tampa, we heard they were going to do the c-section. That was reason enough for Tony to buy the in-flight wi-fi. On our 3 hour flight to Tampa, we got the first pictures of our baby girl. She was born 3-3-13 at 7:59pm; 6 lbs 3 oz; 18 1/4 inches.
Since the plan was that A wasn’t going to see the baby, K, our social worker was at the hospital to take her after she was born. We got a text that A changed her mind and wanted to see the baby. That worried us at first, but I wasn’t filled with anxiety like I thought I would be.
When we got to Tampa, we drove directly to the hospital, met K & got taken to A’s room. She handed us Faith, saying, “Here, she’s yours!”
Sunday night and Monday, we stayed with A in her hospital room. The three of us took care of Faith together. Those are some of the most precious memories I will ever have. Faith got to meet and spend some wonderful quality time with her birthmother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, sister and friends. We got to meet all of these people as well and it touched our hearts to see how loved this little girl is. They even brought gifts for her, which was a totally unexpected and beautiful gesture.
The second day and night were the longest in this entire two-year process. Waiting for TPR to be signed, seeing A and the pain that she had to endure to give this sweet, precious baby to people who she had to trust having only met a few times, was hard. After taking Faith in to see A one last time, I hugged her and told her I loved her. I went back to the room that Tony and I were given by the hospital to camp out in for the day, and fell into his arms sobbing. As much as I loved this little girl, I was taking something away from one of the bravest women I know, and that hurt. I crumbled.
We got the news that she was ours, were discharged from the hospital that evening, and came back “home” to our hotel. It’s been more comfortable than I had anticipated. It’s been hard on some of those who are close to us that they have not been able to see her yet, but I would not change or give up this past week for anything in the world. Tony and I are figuring out how we work as a family. We only have each other to rely on. I am so grateful for this time. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for our families to meet her, but this alone time has been so precious to me, and as an adoptive mother, I needed it.