Rich and I finally crawled into bed at 1:00a. Neither of us got much sleep, how could we? We were both so wound up with emotions, excitement, nerves and fear of forgetting to pack or to do something. At 3a, after I had finally dozed off, I woke to Rich being sick. He was perched and praying to the porcelain god that we all hate so much. Food poisoning at the worst possible moment. We had to leave the house at 4:30a to get to the airport, park the car in long term parking and get checked in for our 7a flight. It couldn't have been any worse time for him to get sick. All I kept thinking was "I don't care how sick he is, he IS going with me. this is NOT an option". Little did I know, it was his same thought. We were finally going to be a family, food poisoning or not.
Fortunately the sickness passed fairly quickly. Poor Rich looked like death, and didn't feel much better, but he wasn't needing a plastic bag or trash can so we were doing good. I got him some water and let him sleep on the flight to Dallas. I couldn't sleep, shocker, because I was so worried about what our birth mom was going through and feeling, how she was doing after having a C-section. I had tried texting her and had not yet heard back. When we arrived in Dallas I immediately turned on my phone. There was a text from Dana. I text her back to check in on her and tell her where we were and what time our flight would be landing.
As we waited for our flight, I sat with my phone charging and Dana called. I asked how she was doing, sore of course, and asked if there was anything we could bring her. She initially said no but when I asked again about bringing lunch she requested a pizza (pepperoni thin crust from Domino's). I didn't want to hang up with her. I was so afraid she would change her mind or not like us. But, hanging up meant getting on our flight and being just a few short hours away from meeting and holding our son.
We landed in Florida, FINALLY. I was so anxious to get on with it, get out of the airport and get to the hospital. As we checked in to get our rental car, I called and ordered Dana's lunch so it was ready when we got there. I also called Dana to tell her we had landed and would be there as quick as we could. It took FOREVERRRRRRR to get the rental car. I mean, at least an hour. I was LIVID and had no patience for the wait. NONE. If you know me at all, you know I have little patience when it comes to certain things and you can imagine how I was in this moment...HOT. As a dear friend, Missie, calls me...my "Texas firecracker" side was wanting to rear its ugly head! While waiting we received a text from Dana saying "waiting on Mom and Dad" with this picture attached :
made my heart melt!
Landed in Florida, check. Rental car acquired, check. Pizza, in hand. Anxiety at an all time high, YOU BET!
When we walked into the hospital, and found our way to the post partum wing, you could cut the nerves with a chain saw. We had already had the call to "prepare" for this moment. Let's be real, NOTHING can prepare you for this moment. NOTHING AT ALL. I was so full of emotions and was trying to keep them in check. Trying not to burst into tears. We signed in at the desk and were allowed into the wing of the hospital where our son was waiting. The little one that would forever change our lives and our hearts.
The door to her room was open. I knocked and walked in. She was standing there holding our son. My breath caught in my throat as emotion overwhelmed me. I didn't know how I was going to hold it together. The moment that we had waited for, what felt like forever, was finally here. We were in the same room, breathing the same air as our son. After the first "hello" and "how are you" Dana asked if I wanted to hold him. OF COURSE, that's what I wanted to shout. Instead I just walked towards her as she placed him into my arms. In that moment my heart was bursting with love I never knew was possible. Love that came instantly and so naturally. Love I never want to be without.
I didn't, as much as I wanted to, hog all the time holding him. I let daddy hold his little man too. One thing I wanted to make sure I did was to be there for Dana. I didn't want her to walk away thinking we didn't support her, or that we just saw her as our baby momma. I wanted her to know how much we care for her and support her and what a blessing she is to us. She had virtually NO support. Her family didn't want her to make an adoption plan, they wanted her to keep him. Dana never once waivered. From the moment we walked in, and from the instant she stepped into the hospital, she made it known we were on our way and that we were the parents and to make all the medical decisions. So my job was to be there for her, build a relationship with her and to be the shoulder she could lean on during this very difficult, and selfless, time in her life.
At one point Dana walked down stairs. We believe, and who can fault her, she needed a breather. She needed a moment to herself without us or the baby. During that time, we very quickly (not knowing how long she would be gone) took our first family photos.
Joy, Sheer joy!!