During one of my two hour sleeping sessions, I have a weird dream. (A bit of a misnomer. When have you had a normal dream?) There are two rival companies that make basketball cards that are competing to get the top two players to sign contracts with them. If they don’t get the signed contract, it would be devastating to them.
I wake up and think about this dream. My dreams are usually snippets of my life pieced together. Just yesterday, the NBA started their season, so that explains the basketball card companies. My anticipation (and fear) of our signing day today explains the contracts. Just as those companies needed those signatures from the two players, I needed those signatures from our birthparents today.
For those who haven’t followed this blog before, let me explain the signatures. Once birthmother gives birth, she cannot sign away her rights until 72 hours after birth in the state of Ohio. (since 72 hours hit on Christmas, it was 96 for us). Once the birthparents (since birthfather is in the picture, not always the case) sign the papers, the agency takes custody of the child. The agency has vetted us thoroughly beforehand, and places the child with us. After six months, we can go to court to petition the court for full custody of the child, and assuming we haven’t done anything wrong we will be granted custody making the adoption official.
If the birthparents do not sign the paperwork, we have no recourse. She would go back to them and we would be devastated. So, nothing less than the state of our family is at stake today. This is the reason we decided not to announce anything until afterwards.
The meeting is at 11 am, so Steph and I will anticipate a phone call around noon to let us know. We aren’t concerned, as we’ve had no indication that things would go bad. You can never be 100% sure though. To distract myself, I make a run to the mall to get a Baby’s First Christmas ornament half off at Hallmark, and get a couple of half-price calendars before picking up breakfast.
Eleven hits, and we wait. Eleven thirty, no call. Noon….no call. OK, that’s fine, our agent is probably hanging out afterwards to make sure they are doing well. Noon thirty, still no call. Tensions rising. Do we call? Did seeing family over Christmas change their mind?!
Quarter to one, still no call. 1:45 has elapsed. No way it took this long to happen. They would have let us know they rescheduled. Oh my God, she’s probably thinking of the best way to break the news. No, she’s on her way over to take our baby girl! Ring Dammit! (sorry for the curse, it’s the only way to express the true feeling of the moment)
I should probably mention that the previous paragraph all went on inside of my head. I could see the gears grinding in Steph’s head across the room, with what I imagine were the same thoughts. No way I was going to create a panic filled house on Eva’s third day here.
Five minutes until one, the phone rings. Steph picks up the phone. She’s listening, and there’s that moment. The moment that the face went from fear-filled to relief and joy. She didn’t need to tell me, I could tell at that instant that she was ours.
Why did it take so long, you ask? Our agent had driven back home and forgotten to call us right away. This was only the second time that it has happened to her.
Now, since I was feeding Eva at the time, I was robbed of the opportunity to dance around like an idiot in celebration (don’t worry, I have made up for it in the meantime, much to Steph’s chagrin). It was official. Sweet relief. I realized while writing this that on the 21st at just before 1pm our birthmother told Steph she was heading to the hospital, and on the 26th at just before 1pm the process was complete. The five days that changed our lives forever had just finished. Now what?
Now we start on the next phase of our adoption story. Phase one was making the decision, phase two was the approval process, phase three is the wait, phase four for us started when we were matched and just completed. The next phase is the phase that takes us the rest of the way. Maintaining a relationship with the birthparents and reminding Eva of her blessed state where she has four parents that love and care for her. Things will be rocky at times, but with prayer and help from friends and family we believe that we will succeed in this phase here on out.