To any Birthmother wondering how their child will be loved once adopted or how an adoptive family experiences adoption, please read this beautiful story.
We have had our hands and hearts full these past three and a half weeks. For years, we agonized over whether our family would grow beyond the two of us after heartaches and losses. However, through the gift of a remarkable woman, God blessed us with a beautiful baby girl. We have had such tremendous support along the way and many of you are inquiring about her story. It is not the “typical adoption story”, but then again, what is the “typical adoption story?” Her story is as unique and as beautiful as she is and we’d love to share it with all who have been there every step of the way.
On Thursday evening, March 15th our adoption consultant texted us a picture of an adorable B.O.G. boy in Arizona. After finding out that B.O.G. means “Baby on Ground” (otherwise known as a “Stork Drop”), and seeing the adorable photo, we asked her to submit us to the birth mother. Since the baby was being discharged the next day, we were advised to keep our phones on all night and have a car seat and suitcase ready just in case we had to fly out immediately. As you can imagine we did not get much sleep and going to work the next day was not easy. Later, we received a text saying that the baby boy was actually a baby girl and asked if we were still interested.
Ummmm…..Yes, of course!
Around 3PM the next day we received a text from the lawyer, asking us to call her when we had the chance. Driving home, Erin heard the news that she will never forget hearing. The birth mom had chosen us as her baby girl’s family. Erin had to pull over as the tears of happiness did not make it safe to drive nor was she able to mutter a comprehensible phrase between the sobs. We bought plane tickets immediately after being told to fly out on the 18th because in Arizona the birth parents must wait 72 hours to sign consent. Her birth mom signed consent on our favorite holiday, Saint Patrick’s Day. We knew then that this wasn’t just luck but God’s answered prayers. When we flew out to Phoenix we only had her birth mom’s consent and we prayed that we’d have her birth father’s consent soon. We arrived at 9AM MST and drove about an hour to the “Nanny’s” home to meet the lawyer and finally meet our baby girl. As you can see from our photos, nothing could ever prepare us for the overwhelming amount of emotions that arose when we first saw and held her. We are forever grateful for the kind family that took care of Sage as if she were their own.
We quickly found that this is prime tourist season for Phoenix due to Spring Training and could not find a room less than $300 per night even in the shadiest of neighborhoods. We were told it could take up to three weeks to return to Florida due to ICPC regulations (The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children). Luckily “Grandma Linda” contacted her friend, Bev who lives in Arizona when she isn’t traveling. We find out that Bev’s boyfriend, Les, just so happens to rent out little trailer homes in an RV retirement community in a town outside Phoenix, called Surprise, Arizona. The city’s name is quite fitting! With their help we rented ourselves a little home nestled up around cacti lit with strands of Christmas lights and the faint sound of a cover band singing “Sweet Caroline” where the 50+ community partied it up nightly at the Tiki Bar down the street. Having a new born baby raised some eyebrows but Bev, Les, and their friends couldn’t have been more welcoming and generous. We will always be thankful to Bev and Les for our home away from home during Sage’s first days with us as a family.
Many websites, adoption classes, professionals, and friends warned us prior to meeting her. They said, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t bond or feel attachment immediately when you adopt a child.” However, after meeting and holding our daughter for the first time in that sweet nanny’s living room, we felt an instant connection to Sage. The wait for the birth father’s consent proved our love and bonding to be even more true. Those two days in Arizona waiting for his consent were the longest hours ever- filled with tears and baby kisses. We were afraid to be excited about our baby. Mike said, “I didn’t know how much I loved her until having the fear that she might not come home with us.” At 7:30 PM MST on the 19thwe got the call that her birth father signed. He wanted us to know that he was a good man. An educated man. And that this baby was made out of love. He also wanted us to know that we should expect for her to be very athletic- as everyone in his family is. We can’t even comprehend the heartache it must have been for him to make this choice after only learning about the adoption plan the previous day.
Meeting Sage’s “Tummy Mom” was the next best thing to meeting Baby Sage herself. The moment she walked to our table we embraced each other with tears. It was as if we knew each other for a long time. “Momma S” is a beautiful, intellectual, spiritual, bubbly, amazing woman. After she video chatted with Sage’s birth father privately, we talked for an hour about her birth, horoscopes, what their passions were, and the activities they enjoyed growing up. She shared Sage’s birth story- a miracle and surprise of itself. The day Sage was born she said she wasn’t feeling so great. After taking a hot shower she sneezed and her water broke. She could feel the baby crowning when she reached down. She called 911 and the EMTs had to break down her door to help deliver Sage in her living room. Way to make an entrance, little Sage.
“Momma S” showed us pictures of Sage’s two-year-old adorable half-sister, and we showed her the nursery we would be taking her home to. We told her Sage’s name. She said she liked it and that they had talked about naming her Courtney. She told us she had played piano, swam, danced and loved music. When she heard Sage’s “Milk Alarm” was a Fleetwood Mac song she commented that Rumorswas their best album. She described Sage’s birthfather as a talented professional champion athlete. She spoke kindly of their relationship and of him. She said that Sage has her eyes and forehead and his ears. We took pictures with her to put in Sage’s room and adoption book. We mostly talked about the love she and the birthfather had for Sage and that she wants Sage to know how loved she is. She mentioned that she felt guilt making this choice but now feels a sense of relief meeting us. I reminded her of our gratitude for her selfless love and gave her a bracelet with Sage’s March aquamarine birthstone, which stands for peace. We only hope that we left her with peace of mind and heart that she made the right choice and a concept of how much we already love her baby girl. We opened the door for communication to share Sage’s milestones and photos with her, and she was very happy to hear that we wanted to include her. She gave us a letter to give to Baby when she turns 18 and told us to read it first. After explaining that we will let Sage know when she is developmentally ready about her adoption story and that she will know she is adopted immediately, we asked her what she specifically wanted Sage to know. She restated that she just wants her to know how much she is loved and how much she was wanted. We couldn’t have asked for a more loving and generous birth mom. We are truly blessed that her birth mother, who loves her so much, would break her own heart for her chance at a life she could not provide.
When we look at Sage, we don’t even remember that she didn’t “come” from us. We loved her with our whole hearts years before we even knew she existed. Like any road walked in life, adoption can be hard at times. But no matter how hard it may get, we know that with the love we have for Sage, the love both her birth parents have for her, and the love that you (our family and community) have shared for us during our journey, that we are all connected to each other by our deep love for one little girl. Thank you to everyone who has been there for us – we will always be grateful and blessed to have you in our lives. We love adoption because through it we became a Mom and Dad, but also because it showed us that miracles can and do happen.
Sage Katherin, you are our miracle.