God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

April 3rd: Homeward Bound

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It’s 3:00 AM, time to feed again. Eli is having trouble latching onto the bottle. We struggle with him for a bit, then call in the nurse for advice. It’s 3:00 AM, but yet we are calm and rational about it. He will eventually get it, and we know it. The nurse comes in and gives us the advice to hold his chin up to help him get started. It works like a charm.

The alarm is set for around 6:00 am. Our sitter has an appointment in the morning, and rather than have Eva travel to a different house further away and then have to arrange for her to get back, we decide to drop her off at daycare that was already paid for anyway. It ends up being extra fortuitous as we later discoved that Eva was too big for the extra car seat in our sitter’s car. The number of accidental blessings are starting to pile up.

After dropping her off at daycare, I head back to the hospital.

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Today is my mother’s birthday, and I decide to send a cute picture message to her. I ask the front desk for some paper and a marker. They provided a number of colored markers and I give them to Steph so the message would be ledgible. She whips this up in seconds.

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The hospital’s photographer comes by for pictures. The offer they give to new parents is this: buy the cd of pictures and you get a free 8×10. For our circumstance, she tells us that if we purchase the cd, she’ll give us the free 8×10 and burn a second copy for Eli’s birthmother and give her a free 8×10 as well. Sold, and as you can see well worth it.

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This is day two in recovery, and Eli’s birthmother is pushing for a quick discharge. She is good to go, but there are two tests for Eli that he must pass before they will release him. Jaundice and blood work. We wait until after lunch to hear the results and they are good. We get to go home.

Before we go, it’s one more go around with the hospital’s social worker. Continuing a theme, it’s a new social worker again. The situation produced no issues due to the comfort that we all had with each other. However, had Eli’s birthmother had any issues, she would have seen three different social workers (1 from our agency and 2 from the hospital) that she had never met before yesterday. No matter how good they are (and they did good work), would they have ever reached a comfort level with her to find out her true feelings at that moment?

It’s discharge time, so I load the car and pull it up to the front door. We have a very unique and strong relationship with Eli’s (and Eva’s) birthmother, so much so that we actually drive her home. The staff and social workers were all shocked at the ease and comfort we have with each other, but were pleased to see that there would not be any tension between us. We hear stories of adoptive parents that after the birth don’t really see the birthmother. This happens because of adoptive parent unease about who the parent is, or birthmother may decide to not see the child because of the emotion it may bring. I was glad we could show that adoption can be positive, it can build strong relations, and there can be four parents with different roles that work in harmony.

A side benefit of dropping birthmother off is that birthfather and their daughter (Eli’s and Eva’s sister) could come down to see Eli. With the quick turnaround there was no opportunity for them to make it to the hospital, but now they could meet Eli.

After some time, we head out to pick up Eva to meet her brother. About four times during this trip we will be cut off or some crazy person will zoom past us. Why are things so crazy when you have a newborn in the car?!

Steph goes in and picks up Eva, and brings her to the car. She places her in her car seat and introduces her to Eli. She looks over and sees nothing. Eli is still so tiny that the car seat he is in engulfs him. She’s just happy to see mommy.

We head home and Elton John stops us. Well, the traffic heading to his concert stops us. Elton John and His Band are performing (as opposed to Elton John and Your Band). We sneak through and make it home. We carry Eva in and bring Eli in his car seat in.

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What is that?

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Quinton is on the case

Eva is interested in Eli, but not really sure what to make of him. Is he a friend to play with? A toy? Competition? Quinton just jumps in and starts licking him. I don’t know if he knows, but with Eva he was this agressive kisser for about a week. With Eli, it’s one day. Either we were more open to him licking (I don’t think we were) and he got what he needed quicker, or maybe he learned very quickly that he is related to Eva.

A half hour passes and everyone is hungry. Eli cries, then Eva cries, and then Quinton starts barking. We look at each other and probably think the same thing. Can we do this for 18 years? Can we do this for the next 18 minutes? Luckily our friend arrives with a bag not filled with gold. No, much more valuable to a newborn’s parents, golden fries. A meal in a bag from McDonalds. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If someone offers you a meal, take it! Okay, we cheated this time and asked for the meal, but it was still an amazing gesture.

It’s time to put Eva to bed. Normally a tag team effort, now it’s a solo act. One of us holds Eli while the other corrals Eva and tries to keep her still for the change into pajamas. We take off her shirt and oh yeah, she got bit at daycare today.

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Second bite this week. She’ll stay still long enough to get bit, but for a clean diaper no way. We kiss her good night and hope that the crying next door won’t wake her.

There are so many things that we had forgot about. Some were inconvienient, like the fact we forgot to put wipes in Eli’s room. Some were silly, like how those first few months you have the burp rag accessory drapped on your shoulder. Nothing says fashion forward like a burp rag.

There were so many new things as well. How would one restless child affect the other on the other side of the wall? Cleaning a boy’s diaper is much different than changing a girls diaper. How long would Eli have those old man hands and feet?

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Day two of Eli’s life would come to a close soon. While today was easier than his first, questions still remained about when we would feel that bond to him. Also, when would Eva embrace him as a sibling? Would we ever feel rested again? All these would be answered yes at some point, but they all seemed so far away.

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