As you know if you have read back in my blog or followed for awhile, we have been on the Adoption list since 15th November 2011. We have always wanted to adopt, even if we were blessed with a biological baby and so we remained on the list during our pregnancy. That meant that we were on RACAP for a potential match but, our SW did not put our profile forward to any birth parents in that time.
Following on from the devastating loss of Eloise, on 22nd November, we touched base with our Social Worker and told her everything. We wanted to meet up with her to discuss everything face to face, but she had to have dental surgery and was out of commission for a few weeks. When she sent me a what’s app on the 14th December, asking me to call her, I rang her back thinking that it was to make a time for us all to meet up.
She asked me how we were doing and I told her we were getting by day by day and working through our loss, together, the best way we know how. She asked me if D was home (which I thought was a bit odd) and I said, no, he is on his way from the office (it was 5pm ish that she called). Then she said the words we have been waiting, what seems like our whole lives, to hear…. THERE IS A BABY!!!!!!!
Now, I have imagined getting THE CALL hundreds, if not thousands of times over the past year…I avidly read blogs and other people’s accounts of when they received THE CALL and, in my head, I burst into floods of happy tears and float off to baby city with D to spend thousands on stocking up the nursery, before heading out to meet our destiny, our baby.
What I felt in reality though, was just shock. Complete and utter shock at the timing and it wasn’t tears of joy that fell, but rather more tears of pain and loss. This was not right…why weren’t we, after all that we have been through, even allowed to experience the joy that THE CALL should bring?? Without hesitating at my shocked silence, Zoe said immediately that it was a Baby Boy and went on to explain that she hadn’t even wanted to put our profile forward but, as there were 11 other profiles being put forward, she knew our chances of being picked were slim. She said she never would have put us forward for a girl, as she knows it would’ve been far too difficult for us. Finally I found my voice and asked if he had been born yet and she said yes, he was born on the 8th December, was currently in a place of safety and the earliest that we would be able to pick him up, would be the following Tuesday (this was a Friday). She went on to say that D and I must discuss it fully, as the timing is obviously very soon, when our hearts are still so very broken and that, if we felt that we weren’t ready, there were 2 other families lined up, so we didn’t have to feel guilty about saying no, but that the birth mom had been delighted with our profile (later on I discovered that this was due in part to our age and my big family, as well as the similarities she picked up on with our lifestyle). I said that I would talk it through with D and would call her back in the morning.
I hung up and called him straight away. When I told him that I had heard from Zoe, he knew from my tone of voice that it wasn’t just for an appointment to see her, I told him there was a baby boy out there and he said that he was around the corner and would be home soon. He walked in with a pale, shocked face which mirrored my own and said he was in complete disbelief… could our dreams have been completely obliterated and then go on to come true, all in the space of 3.5 weeks??
We stayed up all night talking it through, we needed to make sure that we could cope with the demands of a newborn, as well as process the grief and properly mourn Eloise. The conclusion we came to was that this baby had been sent directly to us, by our little Angel. She had answered our prayers to her, asking that would come back to us one day, by sending us this precious soul. We also think that, maybe the Lord sent her to us for such a short time, to see if we were ready to be the most special of parents… Adoptive Parents… and, by showing complete selflessness in letting her go, He has rewarded us.
So, we met with our SW on Saturday 15th December, talked it through with her, heard about the BM’s circumstances… and agreed to pick our Son up on Tuesday 18th Dec!! He would then be 10 days old. The next 2 days were spent frantically shopping and borrowing stuff for the nursery that we had just dismantled. Thank goodness our nephew was only 5.5 months old and so we could have a lot of his newborn clothes and moses basket and one of my friends had kept her cot and compactum from her kids, even though her youngest is now 4. Coupled with my special friend Sim tracking down a pram and car seat and a boatload of bottles, we were pretty much set!
On the 18th, we first took a trip to Thom Kight funeral home, to pick Eloise up and bring her home… it was only fair that she be home first. We had bought her the most beautiful trinket box with Dragon Flies on it, symbolic for us as we have seen so many of them over past 3 weeks and we live nowhere near water… plus they are symbolic of a short life, well lived, just as hers was. We also found a gorgeous heart locket, so we had some of her ashes sealed in that and the rest in the trinket box… she will now forever be near my heart, as well as in it. We spent some time at home with her, before setting out to pick her brother up. It was a very bittersweet and emotional day, during which, both our babies came home.
(At the time of writing this) he has been home for 6 nights and we are slowly finding our feet. He is obviously bottle fed and so DH and I have been taking it in turns and the place of safety he was in had gotten him into the most marvellous routine, so it really hasn’t been too hard. We have managed a few hours unbroken sleep a night and I have mostly managed a snooze in the day too! He is a little star. My emotions are at times all over the place and I have the odd little cry over the fact that it is not Eloise who I am tucking in at night, who I am comforting and raining kisses on, but I know that is normal and I let the emotions out when I need to, as it is the only way to deal with it properly. I didn’t have the instant flash of love, as many of you have experienced, but I know that is normal for our circumstances too and I will grow to love him in the same all-encompassing way that I love E, I just need to give it time. There is also obviously the remainder of the 60 days which we have to bear in mind and, after the “bad luck” that we have had recently, my head can’t stop telling me that this could all come crashing down at any point before the 6th Feb… also the birth father is not in the picture, so we actually have 90 days to wait till it can become official. I really do hope that I won’t let the fear of the “what if” and the hurt and pain that could come, stop me from bonding fully with him.
We are relieved that he is a bouncing boy, as shopping for baby girl things, would currently be too much for our battered hearts to bear. Also, as he is a boy, there is less of a feeling of “replacing” Eloise and more comfort to be taken in the fact that she sent him to us. We have to accept that this is God’s will, we will never forget her, we will tell her brother all about her, we will buy a decoration for her every Christmas and a present every birthday and Christmas. When we are ready, we will donate the presents bought for her, to a Children’s home, in her name. More than likely, we will take a family trip to Cape Town, where there is a home for children with Hydrocephalus and we will give the toys to them…. it will be nice to wait until her brother is at an age to understand (and, by then, we will have a nice pile of toys to donate!). She will forever remain a part of our family.
I will post an update soon, as to how our beautiful Ashton has integrated himself into our family, in such a way, that we know he was always destined to be our little boy.
Thanks to all of you out in the blogosphere for all your support and messages over the past few months, they were always lovely to read and, during the difficult times, gave us the push we needed to get through another day.