Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coming Home and Saying Good-bye.

(This is a continuation of my last two posts about our process of bringing home the son we were adopting and having to say good-bye. )

Tuesday


We got up and took our time getting ready for the day.



A photographer friend of mine that lives not far from where we were met us at the hotel to take our first family pictures.  We were tired, but you can tell we were so happy.  Here are just a few.









We actually had to check out of our room, but the hotel was really nice and let us use their lobby.

We finished up there and had a couple hours before Samuel's follow up doctor's appointment, so we decided to get some lunch.  The waitress asked how old he was and I  told her 4 days.  She looked at me and said, "Shew girl you look good!"  I told her we were in the process of adoption, but she didn't hear me.  She went on and on about how he looked like my husband and how she hopes he gets Ethan's big blue eyes.  We just smiled and placed our order.  I literally could not stop smiling.

After lunch, we drove back to the hospital and met A (Samuel's birth mother there).  We got right in to see the pediatrician and Samuel's bilirueben levels looked great.  He had some mild baby acne and the Dr. ordered some cream for it.  The doctor asked lots of questions about his delivery and A answered them.  Then he asked questions about how he did while in the hospital and about the night before, which I answered.  Then he asked us if we were friends.  I'm sure he was wondering what the situation was with us.  We told him about the adoption plan and he said that one of the nurses had mentioned that.  He asked if we had any biological children and I briefly told him our story.  He commended A and told her what a great thing it was she was doing for us.  Especially after having a c-section.

We had to go to the on-site pharmacy for the cream and that took about 45 minutes.  Then, we were on our way home.  The almost 3.5 hour drive went great.  We both made some calls to let people know we were finally coming home and I talked with our pastor about Samuel's dedication at church.  There was already a baby dedication planned for the next Sunday, but our Pastor said if we wanted to wait and make his a special day just for him we could.  He also asked us to tell our story and share our testimony that day.  Many of our church family know our story, but we attend a very large church, so many still do not.

As we got back into town, we had to stop at my Mom's house and my Grandmother came over.



His socks are off because my Mom and Grandma always have to see baby feet.  I mean, who doesn't love baby feet?

Mom had cooked dinner for us so we stayed a while, then went home to get settled in as a family of four!  The night went well and the next morning we were refreshed and ready to really get into a routine.

Wednesday


There were many things that were so exciting about having him home.  We had decided to cloth diaper, so we started that and used the room in our house that has been a nursery two times before.  We used his new changing table and just took in every little look he gave us.  Then, late in the morning, my cell phone rang.  I was changing Samuel's diaper and he peed in the middle of the change, and he didn't like having to change his clothes again, so I had my hands full.  Ben told me it was A and answered it.  She must have asked for me, so Ben and I traded places and I took the phone.

The first thing she said was, "Mattie, I don't know how to tell you this..."  My heart immediately hit my stomach and I knew what she was going to say.

"I can't do this.  I tried, I really did, but I just can't do it."

I started crying and didn't know what to say.  I won't share our whole conversation.  But the short version is, she had bonded with him even when she was trying not to.  He looked so much like her first born, it was too painful to not parent him.  I had told her from the beginning we were going to try to make this whole process as easy as we could for her.  I asked her if she even had a carseat to take him home.  She said she was borrowing one.  I told her we had to make some arrangements and we would call her later.

I bawled in my bedroom with the door shut until my husband came in.  I straightened myself up a little.  I didn't have to tell him what was going on, but after him, came Ethan.  He climbed up on the bed and asked what was wrong.  I told him A called. I told him she really wants to be Samuel's mommy now and we have to take him back to her.

"NO!!" He yelled and buried his face in his hands.  "That will make everything broken again!"

He laid his head on my shoulder and cried.  He told me to call her back and just tell her no.  Tell her that I am his mommy and he is his brother.  I was holding Samuel and Ethan asked if he could hold him again, so I let him.  Ethan said, "Mommy, it feels like he is passing away."


Ben stayed with Ethan and Samuel and I began to pack his things.  All the clothes we had bought for him (except what he had already worn), a few packs of diapers, burp clothes and bibs and receiving blankets.  I packed the little socks and paci's and bottles.  The little Bible that we had for Samuel.  The one just like Ethan's little Bible.  The one I wrote 1 Samuel 1:27 in the front of.  "For this child I prayed and God granted me what I asked of him."

Ben called our attorney who told us we had to wait for the custody order to be vacated by the judge, because until that happens, we were legally responsible for Samuel.  I asked Ben to call Ashley and tell her.  We drove to my Mom's to leave Ethan because it would have been too hard for him to say good-bye like we were going to have to.  A little while later we heard back from the attorney and the judge was not going to be able to vacate the order until the next day.  I texted A and told her and she said she figured we might need another night and that was ok with her if we just waited until the next day.  We went home and sat together as a family.  All of us took our turns crying.  We also took turns feeding, changing, dressing and holding sweet Samuel.

I didn't sleep much that night, I could hardly take my eyes off of him.

Thursday


About 10:00am we got the call that it was over.  Samuel was no longer ours.  We took Ethan to Mom's and she gave us a bag full of things she had purchased for him for us to give to A.  Ethan kissed Samuel and my Mom prayed over him and us.  We texted A and her friend was going to drive her half way to meet us.

We had to stop before we got there to feed and change Samuel.  We were to our meeting place first and I snapped just a few more pics of this sweet face.



He made some really sweet eye contact and I talked to him and prayed over him.

When they pulled up my knees went weak, but I knew what I had to do.  Ben got the bags and bags of baby stuff and I carried Samuel to her and told her where his medicine and formula were.  I told her about the stuff in the bags and I held it together well for a few minutes.

Then I kissed his little face and placed him in his birth mother's arms and the tears started.  I hugged her quickly and hugged her friend and told her to take care of them.  I peeked in the back seat of the car and said something to Samuel's biological brother and turned my back and quickly walked to our van.  Ben was right beside me.  As soon as we shut the doors, I began weeping uncontrollably facing away from them.  I just couldn't stand to watch them put him into that seat and drive away, so we left quickly.  It's been a long time since I cried like that, but I recognized what kind of cry it was.

***

It has been almost two weeks since we left that parking lot.  I have been emailing A and they are now back in her home state.  Samuel is doing well.  She kept the first name we gave him and appreciates all the stuff we sent.  We have gotten the bill from the attorney and decided that one of us should have went to law school.  We will continue to try and keep in touch with Samuel and his family, A said she knows we have bonded and would like for him to meet us someday.

28 comments:

Angie said...

Can you make A pay the attorney bill, especially given everything she put you guys (and poor Ethan!) through? It seems like the least she could do. It sounds like you are probably too nice to do that, but I would.

I am so so sorry that it didn't work out.

Caroline said...

I'm so sorry things didn't work out for you guys. So sad & my heart is broken for you all. I have been thinking & praying since I read what happened.
Love you my friend & {{{{ <3 }}}}

Melissa said...

My heart just breaks reading that. The part about Ethan is so hard. just like our Jonathan he has been through so much loss in his few short years. He is lucky to have such wonderful parents. Still keeping you all in my prayers daily.

Malory said...

My heart is so very broken for you & your family. Especially for your sweet son. I am so sorry. So sorry.

ccc said...

This is just so sad, and I am so sorry that this happened. I wish I had better words, or words of wisdom, but I do not. I will pray for you and for Samuel. I am so glad she kept his beautiful name.

Heidi @ Buttons and Butterflies said...

This was one of the hardest blog posts I have ever read...your heart breaking one more time. I know God has enough bandages to keep it together for you, but I sure wish there was a way to take away the pain and the scars...
God bless you all, Mattie!

brigette said...

Reading this just breaks my heart!!! Your poor Ethan and you and your husband... I am so sorry. I know those words dont mean much but I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I am praying for you and your sweet family. I have so much admiration for your strength.

Holly said...

My heart breaks that you and your family had to go thru this. It isn't fair but then again we both know life isn't fair.... keeping you close in prayer xoxo

Kristine said...

Wow. though I only know you through your blog, my heart breaks for you. Adoption is such a heart wrenching thing for ALL involved. Our prayers are with you.

Brittany said...

I am so, so, so sorry for you guys! What a heartbreaking experiance. My family will be praying for you!

Rachel said...

My heart is breaking for you. I will be praying for you and your family.

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry. I don't know what else to say. What a tough, emotional roller coaster to ride. I especially feel for Ethan as I know he's at the age where he is really starting to understand loss (like my Ethan) and it's even more difficult seeing our kids go through it. Much love and healing thoughts your way.

In Due Time said...

I am so sorry. I know what it's like to drive away (different kind of custody case, our niece) but it was so very hard.

I'm sending prayers your way. Much love.

Elizabeth :: Bébé Suisse said...

I read your news on LFCA and wanted to say how sorry I am. As well as how outraged - what a terrible situation for to be put in to. I am so, so sorry that Samuel was taken from you. I know it must also be difficult for the birthmother, but it's so incredibly unfair for you. I wish you peace in the future.

Elizabeth :: Bébé Suisse said...

I read your news on LFCA and wanted to say how sorry I am. As well as how outraged - what a terrible situation for to be put in to. I am so, so sorry that Samuel was taken from you. I know it must also be difficult for the birthmother, but it's so incredibly unfair for you. I wish you peace in the future.

marwil said...

What a story, I'm so sorry you have to go through this kind of loss. Just heartbreaking to read.

sharah said...

Lfca, I am so so sorry that you had to go through this. Huge hugs to you and your family.

Gil said...

Here from LFCA to shed tears right alongside you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. And with his birth mother too. Much love to all.

Delenn said...

Here from LFCA and my heart is just breaking for you and your family. I especially feel bed for your son--it must be so hard to understand when it is such a complex situation. Love and peace to you.

loribeth said...

Here from LFCA. I am so, so sorry. :(

Marianne said...

Here from LFCA to say how sorry I am.

Elainna said...

Mattie I wish there were words, but I'm at a complete loss. I'm so sorry. My heart breaks for the pain and loss you, Ben, and Ethan have experienced. Continuing to pray for you all.

DrSpouse said...

I'm also here from LFCA to say how awfully sorry I am.

Nat said...

Mattie, its just so heartbreaking. I am praying that God will hold you, Ben and Ethan during this hard time. So unfair.

Lori said...

Mattie, when I read this at first, I just couldn't even respond to because my heart was just weeping for you. It has been for a bit now...and you are truly on our heart and in every prayer we offer.

I just don't have any words, still. This post just grips me. I'm so, so sorry for the pain you and your precious family are going through and just pray for God's continued sufficiency.
xoxo

BumbersBumblings said...

I'm so so sorry. What a heartbreaking journey. You will be in my prayers!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Sweet Mattie...I have no adequate words. There are none. My heart is aching with you still. Even as I know His grace is sufficient...this is just so much.

When I read Ethan's words about everything being "broken again", I came undone. So, so sorry sweet beautiful friend....

Love and continued prayers...

Leila said...

I got your comment on Life as Leels and had to stop by and check out your blog... I have now been on both of your blogs for well over an hour reading your posts.

You are the strongest person I have come across. I praise you for your strength to get through the days! I do not think I could go through the loss you have.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Ben and Ethan. If you have a facebook fan page, please let me know! I would love to keep up with how you are all doing.

Hugs to you!