Thursday, August 12, 2010

Postplacement Process

I just realized I haven't ever told you about what happened after the kid was born, our path to the kid legally being ours. It's kind of long (and I'm kind of long-winded) so I'll start today with just the in the hospital part.

The kid was born in the morning and we spent the whole day at the hospital with him. We also visited with his birth mom, or tried to - she was asleep much of the day. She was moved, unfortunately, to a non-maternity floor, and the kid wasn't allowed to go down there. How she was treated is a story for another day). We were not able to spend the night, though I know other parents have been allowed to do that; I guess it depends on the hospital.

We were back at the hospital bright and early the next morning. It took several minutes and explanations to be able to get back to him, as none of the nurses seemed to understand who we were or why we were there. They thought at first when we said we were there to see our baby that we meant he was in the NICU - it took a bit for us all to get on the same page. When the charge nurse's light bulb finally flipped on, she took us back to the nursery to see our baby boy.

Poor little guy had just been circumcised and a nurse's aide was holding him in a rocking chair. The charge nurse asked her to give him to us and she just sat there and stared, with this really skeptical look on her face. The charge nurse asked her again to give him to me and she shook her head "no", her eyes never leaving my face. Finally, after the charge nurse asked her for the third time, and I showed her our hospital bracelet that matched the kid's, she gave him to me. She wasn't happy about it. As I've thought about that interaction, I think I know what it was about. See, the kid was/is quite obviously black, and we were/are not. She was also black. I really think she just thought the charge nurse was confused and had the wrong baby-parent match. This wasn't the last time something like that happened, though.

Anyway, so we spent that day with him too, all day, just the 3 of us. My mom was able to come meet him (love at first site, of course) and some of our good friends also visited, but mostly it was just the 3 of us, in our own room. It was awesome. We were able to visit with L. (birthmom) a couple of times this day, and she was actually discharged. Our social worker took her home, but they came to say goodbye to the kid before leaving. It was the first time she'd seen him since right after he was born. She just held him and looked at him so tenderly. And, no. I wasn't afraid she was changing her mind. I was completely sure that they were sure about their decision. It was just so beautiful and painful at the same time. She didn't cry, or say much; she's a very private person. I don't know what was going through her, but I can only imagine how horrible it must have been. I know I had tears in my eyes as she was holding him, not for us, but for her. And, really, for the kid, too, because he was losing the only mother he'd known over the previous 9 months. I cried after they left for all of us - joy mixed with sadness and grief.

The next morning, we were back, bright and early. Our social worker had us sign a bunch of papers. No, I don't really remember what they were - I was much too excited to be FINALLY taking our baby home!!!!!!! It was huge. It was what we'd been waiting for, really, for years. It was everything. It had snowed a pretty substantial amount the night before, so we'd stayed the night at my mom's, because she lived in the town where the hospital was. We took the kid over to her house to pick up our dog. He just looked at the kid, repeatedly cocking his head back and forth. I'm pretty sure he was thinking, "uh, what the hell is this? And we are going to leave it at Gram's house, right?". Actually, I'm pretty sure he was thinking similar thoughts for the whole next year. Poor Jonah.

We took them both home. I sat in the backseat the whole way, staring at his beautiful little face, not believing that they'd actually let us leave with him, that we were now a family of 3 (well, 4 counting the newly depressed dog). Our son slept the whole way home. Hubby drove really slow. There wasn't much traffic, though the roads were pretty covered. I just stared in amazement. It had finally happened - we were parents.

Today's lesson is that you (okay, maybe I) should pay more attention when you walk into a public bathroom - to the floor specifically, you know, to make sure the toilet hasn't overflowed and someone's pee isn't all over the floor. You could fall, you know, into the pee. And that would be absolutely and completely disgusting. You might, at least, get to leave work early if that were to happen to you...


Anonymous said...

Did you choose to circumcise your son? or did they just routinely do it? Did you circumcise Baby E?

Becky said...

On the off chance that you'll look here again for the answer to your are the answers. Both boys are circumcised. With the kid, we didn't know any better. With baby E, we were not given the opportunity to make that decision; R did. If I had it to do over, I would want either circumcised. Now, whether hubby would go along with that, that's a different matter all together.

Becky said...

*wouldN'T!!! not would.