June 11, 2016- 15 Days After The Call

It’s amazing the difference 1 day can make.

Picture this- you get a phone call that a birth mother picked you and she’s due in 3 months. You think to yourself- WOW! 3 months to get ourselves ready. That’s not a lot of time but we can do it! Then, 2 weeks later, you get another phone call that the baby came 10 weeks early and it’s time for you to get to Pennsylvania and be her parents. Here’s the story of the day we got THAT call..

I had been up, sick, all night. I needed to go work a fair but there was just no way I could do it. So, instead of a no show for my business, Sean went. He’s such an awesome husband. I’m a very lucky person in so many ways- on the top of that list, is that I get to share my life with him.I really can go on and on about how awesome he is but that is not what this story is about… So, I heard my phone ring around 10:30 but couldn’t get to it in time. I saw on the caller ID that it was our adoption agency. The voicemail said something like this- “Hi Liz. It’s S (our social worker). Something has happened and I need you to call me as soon as you can. I’ll call Sean’s phone, too.” Her tone of voice was quiet and almost somber. My heart sank. I instantly thought that she was calling because the birth mother had changed her mind. It wouldn’t have been the first time we got that call. My phone rang again. It was Sean. I took a couple deep breaths, braced for impact and answered the phone. He asked how I was feeling and said that Susan had tried to call me. Then he said- “The baby was born last night” My head was spinning. I started crying because I thought that with that somber voicemail in combination with how very early she was, she didn’t make it. When, in a situation like that, always start the sentence with- “everything is ok!” That would have been very helpful. LOL Then Sean said. “No, no, no. The baby is ok. We have a daughter!” The waterworks had already started and there was just no way to stop it. Through the tears we had a crazy conversation. “The birth mother thinks that we might not want her because she was born so early” My brain was swimming but all I could think was- are there actually adoptive parents who change their mind?! How is that possible? That is my child!  It didn’t matter how early she was or how much care she would need or that we were moving to another state for an indefinite amount of time. We told our social worker that we absolutely wanted her and that we’ll be on our way as soon as we can. Then we were told that they wanted a name for her right away. We had discussed several names, previously, so I told Sean to pick 2. He chose Gloria Kay- for my grandmother and his mother. 2 of the strongest women we ever knew. Then we got a phone call saying that the birth mother asked if we would use the name Ciara as her middle name. And that’s when we decided that we would hyphenate her first name as Gloria-Kay. Both women were equally important and inspiring.. it made more sense to have both of them, as her first name. I was so happy! I don’t know if I had ever been that happy before. I called my mom- crying my eyes out. Of course, she thought the same thing I did- that something went wrong. Through the tears, I’m trying to tell her that everything was ok. I needed to take a lesson from my book of things to do. ALWAYS START WITH, EVERYTHING IS OK! LOL.

So.. now, we had to figure out the next step(s).

Step 1- Sean packed up at the fair and came back to Guilford. Doing all of that on the phone and not being together, was very tough. I couldn’t wait to just hug him!

Step 2- Champagne at Ballou’s- because, why not?

Step 3- Call the rest of our immediate  family and closest friends to let them know what was going on. It was only 2 weeks since we found out that we were going to be parents. We hadn’t even met her birth mother yet and we certainly didn’t tell many people. It was fun to call people up and tell them that our daughter was born the night before.

Step 4- Pack up. We were headed to Pennsylvania and we had no idea for how long… we had to figure out when we were leaving, where we were going to stay, what we were going to do about our pups and what we were going to do about work. We had no idea how long we were going to be down there so it was a lot of just guessing and speculation.

We had a couple people over for a fire pit and cigars and wine and celebration. We went out to dinner and out to see a band at our local spot. We laughed and cried and shared the amazing news with so many people. After 12 years of disappointment and heartache of trying to start a family (in one form or another)– we were finally parents. It was such an amazing day! I’ll never forget it!
Pictured- after 3 hours, finally getting to see each other after hearing the news 😊