*To protect the privacy of our birthparents, in this post I will use “BF” for birthfather and “BM” for birthmother.
Today Sage is one week and three days old. She is so alert for a newborn which I didn’t realize until everyone who sees her says, “She is so alert for a newborn”. When she wakes up to eat she opens her eyes big and gives me plenty of “uninterrupted eye contact” (Baby Mama). I like to think her curiosity comes from BF. The times I have spent with him I have discovered that he is very inquisitive. For example, during BM’s labor, he and I were looking at the fetal monitoring (baby’s heart rate and mom’s contractions) and he quickly learned how to read the graphs and pointed out patterns of BM’s labor progress. I can already tell that Sage has this quality.
I would like to say that our lives have changed drastically because of Sage, it’s changed but like Doug says “doesn’t it just feel normal that we have a baby now?”. It does feel normal. I think all the years of waiting and wanting is the reason it feels normal. We were prepared for Sage. A lot of my friends who have adopted kept telling me along the way “it’s hard now, but it will be worth it when you have that baby in your arms”. At my hardest moments in waiting I never thought that I would say those words BUT in the quiet moments during night feedings my thoughts are “it was worth it”. Sage is our baby and BF and BM are our birthparents. I’m amazed and glad I didn’t give up.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about BF and BM and what they have done for us. There aren’t enough words or ways to thank them. I love to brag to my family and friends about how awesome they are. I even have friends say things to the effect of “I don’t know Sage’s birthmother but I love her”. Here is just a small example of how awesome BM is, during labor and right before she was about to push, she looked at me square in the eyes with confidence and said to me “I want you to be the first one to hold her”. Then shortly after the birth of Sage, and I mean minutes after, everyone was crying and I looked at BM with tears of joy and tears of sadness, and again with confidence she said “BF and I will be OK.” Not only do my friends love her, but I love her too and I hope that one day Sage will love her in the same way.
We love our baby girl so much and can’t imagine life without her, because with her “it’s normal”. This is our new normal:
- Instead of taking pictures of my dog, I take pictures of Sage; at least 50 a day and try really hard to refrain from posting them all on instagram.
- Wanting to be near her at all times, whether she is asleep or awake.
- Doing dishes before bedtime because I will need bottles throughout the night.
- Thinking we can take our newborn to a movie, but as we are walking out the door she barfs everywhere and we take that as a sign not to go.
***Keep watch for Sage’s birth story in the coming week.
I used to feel like I had to justify my answer to this question to strangers and family and friends alike. There have been so many times when I have confided in someone willing to listen to my struggle who then say “Why don’t you just try adopting through CYFD? There are a ton of kids who need homes.” While I agree with the latter part of this statement I am always surprised by the first. Foster care and adopting through the state are not the same as “adoption”. When I hear this my instinct it to immediately fire back with “Why don’t you try adopting or becoming a foster-parent? There are so many kids…”, but I don’t. My reason for this is because you don’t have to be infertile to foster or adopt a child through the state; anyone can do it! On the flip side, “traditional adoption” doesn’t require you to be infertile either, but I will say it is probably the preferred path of someone who wants to start a family just like all the rest of the people in this world who can just get pregnant when they want to start theirs.
I will say that fostering and adopting through the state is a very noble path and I have nothing against it. Doug and I just know it is not the right fit for us. We have had over 50+ hours of training, home visits and meetings with CYFD to make this decision. Here are some of the reasons why:
- I am selfish. Just like someone who gets pregnant I want to be the very first (or second or even third) person to hold my baby. I want to be there from the beginning to change the first diapers, give the first bath, see the first smile, and hear her say “dad” for the first time. Could you imagine carrying a baby for 9 months and not seeing your child until its 5th birthday? What do you think it would feel like to miss out on those 5 years?
- I want the birth mom to choose us. It is very special to me that the birthparents can choose who parent their child. They will choose us because they trust that we will do the best we can. Much thought and intent goes into this life-changing decision. A decision like this can only bond someone in a positive way, for life.
- I need someone to advocate for me. I have never adopted and am inexperienced in the intricacies that adoption bring. I know that it will not be easy and because of this I need a caseworker to hold my hand along the way; just like a doctor or nurse would during an entire pregnancy. I have no doubt that my agency will do just that, I know this because they already have. During our time with CYFD we realized very quickly that there was no one there to advocate for us.
- I want my child to know that they were placed for adoption with the intention of love. I want them to know exactly why they were adopted. I don’t think I am capable of explaining to them that it could have happened in any other way, i.e. a series of negative events that brought them into the system. I just don’t have the strength or emotional disguise for this.
While some don’t agree with my reasons, that’s ok. It took me a long time to understand that I am not selfish for wanting to start a family in the way I have chosen.
Thanks for reading.