Friday, December 9, 2011

Emily's Birth Announcement or "It Really Is a Wonderful Life"

Tonight is the one-week anniversary of when I began to let go.  In my last blog post, I shared that last Friday I decided to no longer live in limbo and, instead, started to act as if the birthparents had decided to parent Emily.  It was a very hard night for me as a grieved the loss of a dream.  Bill found some support articles from our previous adoption agency as I'd asked our current agency and they didn't have anything.  I was in such pain when I called them and it upset me that they didn't even offer to try to find us support materials.

The materials Bill found from our former agency (The Cradle) were so very helpful to me.  I re-read them a couple times and really consider that my turning point in beginning to let go and starting to heal.

In fact, before going to bed that night, I checked facebook from my phone. A friend from my Mom's Group had posted that she was enjoying a favorite drink while she thought of all the people around her who had a bad week.  She then asked for someone to please send me some good news.  Many of her friends had already shared bits of good news. I found myself typing the following:
I'm sure I'm one of those near the top of the "bad week" list (especially since I arrived sobbing to the playgroup you hosted this week). But my life is full of blessings and good news including my amazing husband and daughter (who started saying "love you" to me today); my wonderfully supportive friends and family through all of this adoption uncertainty; and regardless of whether or not we end up adopting the baby, on Tuesday I saw a baby born and could coach and support the birthmom through the delivery. And the baby girl is healthy and beautiful. This waiting sucks but it was still a pretty amazing week.
I can't believe I wrote that so close to the time I was in so very much pain.  Yes, I had definitely begun to let go and see the blessings in my life. I woke up the next morning at 4 a.m., wide awake from the stress (as I'm so not a morning person).  Bill and I had been calling Emily "E" on facebook and hadn't shared any details of her birth other than that she was healthy.  Our hope had been to share her full name, her birth details, and her picture after the papers had been signed and we brought her home.

Thus, posting the following "birth announcement" on facebook was another sign of surrender:
Received a few texts from the birthmom last night and I believe we may find out today whether they chose to parent or place the baby. They were weighing their options last night and are speaking with their social worker today but my feeling is they are going to parent. So Bill and I have decided to share this now. 
At 2:49 p.m. this past Tuesday, November 29th, we were blessed to witness the birth of Emily June* Audrina. She is 19 inches and six pounds, three ounces. She came into this world surrounded by the love of two couples who care for her deeply. And she is beautiful. ♥
I followed up this post with additional information in the comments:
We love the name Emily. ♥

*June is a family name on my maternal grandmother's side of the family. My mom's middle name is June, my great aunt's first name was Mary June, and it is a surname in generations past.

The birthparents chose Audrina the first time we met them in person. We shared with them that we favored Emily June and invited them to choose a second middle name.

Cora's full name is Corinne Joy Diana. She spent the first ten weeks of her life at The Cradle nursery as Diana--the name her birthmom had chosen. Thus, it was never a question to us that Diana would be part of her name.

We wanted Emily to also have a middle name chosen by her birthparents. ♥
Later that morning, I read the comments on my post.  A couple of friends were defending us saying that Bill and I were in a better position to parent and that Emily belonged with us. I knew they were supporting us but I wanted to share a alternate viewpoint: 
I really appreciate all the support, thank you. I also think it's natural for some of you who care about me to be upset with the birthparents. But I am not. Really. Bill and I consider the birthparents friends, we respect them, have spent hours with them, and have no doubt that pre-birth they truly planned to complete the adoption.
Of course we wish they realized they wanted to parent in mid-September but birthparents need to make that decision once again after birth. Nor due I believe that a child should go to the family better able to provide for her.
A fellow adoptive mom told me last night that she'd heard that birthparents change their mind after birth in one third of adoptions. It's much more common than I thought. So there is an inherent risk and Bill and I were aware of that--we just didn't believe it would happen in our case.
The facebook birth announcement was a casual one.  But in the weeks prior to birth, I had carefully reviewed dozens of formal, mailed birth announcement designs and had decided upon the perfect one.  We'd planned to use a picture of Cora and Emily and include Emily's birth details.  

Here is the design I'd chosen (the photo and text are the artist's):

While we're not entering the holiday season with a new baby and while I still have hard days where I cry...more than once; I am blessed with a strong faith and amazing family and friends.  And I still very much believe that "it really is a wonderful life."

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