After we got the news of our match, we scheduled another call with Mama W and the social worker. The plan was for the twins to be born on December 12, but we learned that Twin A might have Hydronephrosis, or fluid on the kidney, and might need to be born early. The appointment with the specialist was for the next week, so we had to make the decision if we wanted to go early in case she was induced. Our social worker said from past experience that if we traveled, they wouldn’t be born and if we stayed home, they would be born. We decided not to risk it because we knew she was exactly right!
We traveled on Sunday and had a dinner scheduled with a social worker, Mama W and her family for that night. We were a little worried about how Carson would be at dinner after traveling for the entire day, but we had a private room and he played by the table with trucks until our food came. You always want your child to behave in public, but especially when you are meeting someone who has chosen you to parent her children! I’ll be honest, I said a quick prayer for good behavior! We were even more nervous for this dinner than we had been for the initial phone call, but Mama W walked right up to me and gave me the biggest hug. We spent the next few hours talking and getting to know one another and it was honestly so comfortable. Toward the end of the night, we did get into some serious discussions about the future and how open she wanted the adoption to be; I’m so glad we had the chance to have this discussion in person. She had also just seen the specialist and the kidney wasn’t bad enough for an immediate delivery, so we knew they weren’t being born that week.
Before we left, she asked if I wanted to come to her doctor’s appointment the next morning. Leading up to our match, I had prayed for a relationship with her, but my prayers were answered beyond what I could have imagined. From the very beginning, she was completely selfless and included us in everything and allowed us to have the chance to get to know her. We had to wait about 45 minutes, which I know was a God thing because we had the chance to sit and talk, just the two of us. I am so, so grateful for this time together because I can tell the boys about her when they are older. I did stumble when we were taken back and the nurse asked who I was. I just completely froze and didn’t know what to say-I wasn’t sure if the office staff knew about the adoption and I wanted to be respectful of Mama W. When Dr. C came back, Mama W and I had a laugh together when he first asked the same question, but she took the lead and explained to him. He was wonderful and we talked a little about the birth plan for the hospital and he kept reassuring her that everything would be done to her wishes. He offered to do an ultrasound, so I got my first glimpse of the boys! After the appointment, we went and had ice cream. We both love ice cream and ordered almost the exact mix at Marble Slab. It’s a small thing, but I know it was another God thing. We headed home that afternoon, but had plans to be back very soon because Dr. C moved the birth to December 5, which was only two weeks away. Two weeks!! We had months to prepare for Carson, but only had 14 days this time. My type A personality nearly had a heart attack thinking of all we had to do, but we just went home and focused on the basics: tie up work, get cribs for the boys and make plans to travel. As crazy as it was, another prayer had been for a short wait once we were matched and God clearly answered with this timeline. I knew I would be a wreck if we had several months before a birth, worrying about things changing, so I just had to embrace the craziness since I asked for it!
For the birth, Carson stayed with my Mom because he wasn’t allowed at the hospital since they weren’t biological siblings. We also weren’t sure what the situation would be at the hospital. We had been told they would give us a room to stay if they had one available, but we might have to stay at the hotel and go back and forth. Our social worker and FAC were both amazing and talked us through all possible scenarios for the birth and hospital stay, including that the birth plan could change at the last minute. This was hard. Going to the hospital with Carson, we knew we were his parents, in charge of all decisions and leaving with a baby. This simply wasn’t true this time and we had to face the reality that they weren’t our babies yet. I struggled with this the entire time we were there; even though she didn’t give any signs of changing her plan, it was always, always in the back of my mind that there was the possibility she could choose to parent.
When we arrived on Sunday, we took Mama W to dinner, just the three of us. We talked about the upcoming birth off and on; she said we were welcome to meet her there as soon as she checked in. We went back to the house we had; our plans were to enjoy one last night of sleep, but we both woke up before 5 with nerves. She said she did the same thing that morning!
last photo of the two of us as parents to 1 child
When we got to the hospital, the staff was amazing. We had been warned that hospitals were not always great with adoptions, but this staff was fantastic. They checked with her to make sure she wanted us to come back and then we all hung out while she was being prepped. Before they took her to the operating room, we had a prayer with us, Mama W and her grandmother. As I’m writing about that moment and remembering it, it brings tears to my eyes thinking about our two families joining together to pray for these boys that we both share and love. I wish I could have a photo of all of us joined together. They took Mama W back to the operating room to get her ready for the C-section; the plan was for me to join her as she invited me to be in the operating room so I could see the boys as soon as they were born.
Her Mom came to the hospital a few minutes later and we had the chance to meet for the first time. I’ll be honest, this was a hard moment. She was having a hard time with what was ahead and seeing her grandchildren placed for adoption. Even with that, she was so, so nice to us. She went out a few minutes later and I just completely lost it. Our head nurse and Nick sat with me while I cried (heck, I’m crying while I write this and think about it). It was just such a reminder of the conflicting emotions of the day; something that was such a joy and gift to us was so different for their family. As we started our adoption journey, I continually saw the phrase “adoption is hard and adoption is messy” and seeing her emotions made that hit home so much in that moment. It made me grieve for their loss.
A few minutes later, we went outside with her mom and grandmother and then the nurse came back to take me to the operating room. They got me dressed and went over a few details. They said if I felt sick at any point, to let them know and they would tend to me when they could. I was a nervous wreck that I would pass out or something; I gave myself a strict talk before going in because I did NOT want to pull that type of stunt in the OR with everything Mama W was going through. I went in the OR and sat up by her head and we talked for a few minutes. I think we were both incredibly nervous while we waiting on Dr. C to arrive. As soon as he got there, things started rolling and I heard a small cry when Baby A came out! Dr. C held him up so I could see him and I got my first glimpse of Parker. He was a tiny little peanut at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. The nurses took him and Baby B, Campbell, came out two minutes later. Dr. C held him up and he weighed in at 5 pounds, 10 ounces. They told me I could come look at them and I asked Mama W if she was okay if I went over. I got to spend a few minutes with them and was thinking, “I am never going to be able to tell them apart!”
I came back to her a few minutes later to check on how she was feeling before I headed out of the OR to the nursery. She originally wasn’t sure if she was going to see the boys or not, but asked to see them. The nurses loaded them both in my arms and I brought them over to her. The next minute was one of the most special ones I have ever been a part of; I had no idea how she would react to seeing them and I’ll be honest that it was a little scary. Mama W looked right at me and said, “I’m so glad that I could do this for you guys.” I could barely even speak to tell her thank you or any of the other things I wanted to share, it was entirely too emotional. I am so grateful we had a private time together to see the boys and share how beautiful we thought they were. I hope one day they understand that they had two mothers from their first breath that loved them deeply. It was the most selfless moment I have ever witnessed from anyone.
The nurses took me down to the nursery where Nick was waiting. Now that was a scary walk juggling two newborns! I probably walked at a snail’s pace. Nick was waiting in the nursery to meet them. I definitely couldn’t tell him which baby was Parker or Campbell at that point, so luckily they each had a nurse who knew who they were. They had to spend a little time on the warmer to get their body temperatures up, but everything else checked out healthy, which meant no NICU! We had been told it was a possibility with twins being smaller and a few weeks early. We spent the normal two days in the hospital. That evening, we left the babies in the nursery so we could go visit with Mama W. The staff was so wonderful to watch the babies so we could spend some time with her. She was released before the boys, but came to our room to see them again.
They were born on Monday, December 5 and we got to leave the hospital on Wednesday. We knew that we were in town for at least ten days for the mandatory waiting period the state gives the birth parents to change their minds. I’ll be honest, it was a long, hard ten days. The count didn’t start on the day they were born as they consider day one the day following the birth. We were already missing Carson and it was a little overwhelming having two newborns with no family around. We were very happy to see my Mom and Carson arrive the following Monday! He was instantly in love with the boys and just kept checking on them.
I knew that Mama W was confident in the adoption plan and had shown no signs of wavering, but we still had the possibility in our minds for the entire ten days. I loved these two boys instantly, but I was so afraid to refer to myself as their Mom. Looking back now, I wish I could have separated that a little more. If things had fallen through, we would have been devastated either way, so I wish I could have let go of some of the worry. There were moments I didn’t let it get to me, but I didn’t feel comfortable talking about certain things until after I knew the ten days was up. We met up with Mama W for ice cream on Thursday and I almost made myself sick I was so nervous about meeting that afternoon, but she just wanted to spend some time together while we were still in town. I felt guilty after for feeling that way and questioning why she wanted to meet, but I know it was just the situation and I think anyone would feel the same. Still, once we knew it was midnight on day 10, I felt so, so relieved.
Our lawyer had requested a court date once they were born and had warned us that we would be lucky to get a date on Friday. I sent out a prayer request that it would happen so we could head home that weekend and another prayer was answered! We had a court hearing on Friday, December 16. The birth parents went in first and then we went in separately. We had to answer some questions and then the judge announced the adoption official. He gave the BEST speech and no surprise, I cried through the entire thing. He talked about how the world views sports stars as heroes, but he thinks adoptive parents should get that title instead. He talked about the hard side he sees in his job and how much of a joy it was to help bring a family together. It was such a sweet speech. The police officer and court reporter all hugged us after and everyone just helped us celebrate!
Isn’t Carson’s face hilarious?! I didn’t notice until I sent it out to our friends and family and everyone commented on it.
An official family of 5!!
One of our social workers and our lawyers that all helped us with tons of paperwork and walked us through each step.
We met with Mama W after the court hearing and she got to see the boys one more time. The night before, I had written a letter to her that said all the things I was unable to get out at the hospital. We also had a small gift for her and we spent a few minutes talking before hugging and all leaving. The ten days was long, longer than most states require, but we finalized our adoption before we headed home. We walked out of the courtroom with two boys that shared our last name, so it was completely worth it.
Looking back on everything, we had a dream adoption. We were matched with a wonderful mother and family who let us experience everything with her. We started the process in June and brought our boys home in December. I wish I would have had more faith throughout the process. I was terrified of how long the process would take and if we would wait years for a baby. The cost was overwhelming and I had no idea how we would come up with the funds. Everything that could go wrong, and there is a lot, I worried about. Instead, God used adoption to teach me so much about trusting him. There were so many times when we struggled with infertility that I just wished we could just be pregnant already. Now, despite the failed fertility, heartache and tears, I’m grateful for it. I learned so much during these past few years and gained more empathy and understanding because of it. It changed me in so many ways and I’ve never seen a bigger demonstration of God’s love and plan for our lives. And obviously, we wouldn’t have Parker and Campbell if it weren’t for infertility and adoption, so the path was meant to lead us to them. Adoption is hard, adoption is messy, but adoption is so, so worth it. We had so much support, from people buying t-shirts to help with funds or sharing their adoption stories, that made the process so much easier. So to each of you that helped, prayed, and supported us-THANK YOU! It meant the world to us and I can’t express how much it helped along the way.