A few weeks ago at a dinner with a group of clients who had traveled from out of state for a week-long meeting, I ended up sitting next to a woman whom I’d never met. As dinner got started and she and I were talking, she apologized for checking her phone every couple of minutes.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, “but my husband and I have been in the adoption process for three years and just two days ago, we met a birth mom and we matched!” I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have just met this person at such an exciting and vulnerable point in her life. I eagerly listened to her story, pumping her for details by sharing some of our family’s story. She and her husband had just about given up hope (how many times had I been there?!) when this birth mom asked to meet them and then asked them to raise her baby, which was due to be born in less than three weeks. My new friend wasn’t quite sure what to feel – after waiting for her baby for so long, she was afraid to hope, yet she couldn’t help herself. While I tried to be sensitive to her need to keep her emotions at bay, my excitement spilled over as she told me her story and that of the baby’s birth mother. By the end of that dinner, I’d made a new friend for life.
The next day as we attended meetings together, I rode shotgun on her emotional roller coaster and we talked about our families and about babies through the end of dinner the second day of our meetings. Sharing all of these moments with her took me straight back to the weeks before our oldest son was born and I got to relive for my friend the moment that the nurse placed our son in my arms and said, “Here is your baby.” I also relived every moment that I got to spend with my son’s birth mother and appreciated again what a strong, smart, brave woman she was.
All of this happened, coincidentally, the week before our oldest son’s fifth birthday. Since my new friend had to stay in town over the weekend (away from her husband, who was at home, anxiously prepping the nursery), she graciously agreed to join us for his birthday party at a moon bounce gym with twenty other five year-old boys. It was such an honor to be able to show her what our family had become in five years and to give her a glimpse of what her family might be doing five years from now.
As I write this post, my friend’s baby is due to be born in three days. The baby’s birth mother has invited my friend to be in the delivery room with her and I’m anxiously awaiting the news that they are headed to the hospital. My friend texted me today, “So close to the finish line… We are happy and we are terrified!”
That sounds just like a new mom to me.
Written by Adoptive Mother, Kate