My first pregnancy was unremarkable. All my ultrasounds had looked fine. Looking at the little guy happily sucking his thumb, there was no way to know that he would never get a chance to grow up, that his kidneys were failing even as he was growing in my belly.
Our grief was horrible. When the shock of all that transpired had passed, my husband and I chose life. We were a home that needed a baby. It was time to find a baby that needed a home. Fragile, hopeful, we started the adoption process.
There was a steep learning curve as we gingerly stepped onto the roller coaster of trying to adopt. Oh, the decisions to make! Domestic or international; private or agency; infant or older child; the considerations were endless.
A birthmother in severe crisis called us. Her two children had been removed from the home months before and were in foster care. The birthmother was seven months pregnant with her third baby, and DFS intended to take the baby at birth and also place the baby into foster care.
The birthmother wanted to make an adoption plan for the new baby. She did not want her baby to bounce from foster home to foster home. We knew this baby was the one for us.
It took months to figure everything out. The baby was born and placed into foster care, and we longed for her to come home. With the help of a wonderful guardian ad litem, many social workers, fourteen trips via airplane to visit the baby where her foster family lived, maddening court hearings and continuances and finally, oh finally, legal clearance, the baby came out of foster care and into our arms.
I remember the flight home with my beautiful daughter. Midway through the flight, the pilot came over the PA and announced, “We have a special guest on this flight. There is a baby girl in row 13 who is flying home to be with her new family for the first time.”
The plane erupted in clapping, and when the seatbelt sign went off, people streamed over to me, marveling at my sleeping new baby’s beauty, offering their blessings and prayers for our family. I wept then. I weep now, nearly a decade later, as I recall our journey home.