Barbara, Like Sadie, I feel like an ambassador for open adoption. My husband Jeff was adopted in 1963 and we adopted a domestic newborn in…...
Adoption Blog: Improv Mom
Third Birthday Thoughts
I think of my daughter’s biological mother, Kim, practically every day. Sometimes I think of Kim when I hear the weather forecast. With all the mild temperatures we’ve been having this winter, I wonder if Kim, summer person that she is, has broken out her favorite footwear -- flip-flops.
The other day it was as I picked up the dozens of photographs that my daughter, Beth, had pulled out of her treasure box and scattered about the living room. Even as I lay on the floor, hair in my eyes, arm stretching under the couch for a runaway snapshot of Kim, I could clearly see the Indiana family resemblance in Beth’s pretty face.
Today, I’m thinking about Kim because Beth’s third birthday is fast approaching. I’m assembling all the necessary items for a proper “Come Dressed in Your Favorite Color” birthday party (right now, the birthday-girl-to-be’s favorite is blue), and I can’t help but revisit memories of my daughter’s birth and reflect on the young woman who is at the heart of every family celebration, big, small, blue, or otherwise. Here’s a small sampling of those memories:
An hour or so after her scheduled c-section, Kim was resting (somewhat) comfortably in her hospital room with the baby at her side. The baby’s father, brother, and Kim’s sister, Kate, were also there. I asked Kim if I could hold the baby and she said, “Of course, she’s your baby!” And that’s when I held my daughter for the first time.
After a long morning and afternoon at the hospital, my husband, Tony, and I went back to the hotel to take a nap and give Kim and her family some space. We had barely fallen asleep when the phone rang. It was the head maternity ward nurse. She asked if we wanted to have a hospital room, free of charge, right down the hall from Kim -- and have the baby room with us. Naptime was officially over!
While Tony and I were learning how to bathe, feed, and burp the baby, Kim was filling out enough paperwork to fill a short novel. This was the paperwork that would be filed with the court to terminate her parental rights. It was a monumental juxtaposition of events, for sure.
When Tony and I bathed the baby in bathroom sink at the hotel, I was so nervous that I was going to jam her tiny head into the faucet. I thought, “How will I ever be able to do this all by myself?”
After 10 days in Indiana, we got the phone call from our attorney telling us we had permission to leave the state and go home with our daughter. You never saw four people (my parents made the trip with us) move so fast. I felt like the woman in the Ikea commercial, running to her car loaded with packages yelling, “Start the car! Start the car!”
On the drive home, we were excited about making good time through New York City. We were confident that we’d beat the rush hour traffic and make it home in no time! That is, until we realized we had to make an emergency stop in Soho to feed and change a crying baby. She’s been in charge ever since.
- I called Kim as soon as we got home to let her know all was well. I love the way she says “hello.” It has a lilt to it, “Hull-lo.” There’s just something about it that makes me smile every time.
What are some of your memorable moments?
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Barbara HerelNew York
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