Monday, November 22, 2010
I’ve held off on writing a description of “the moment” for a good reason. (“The moment” of course is when Mia placed her daughter into our arms giving us permission to raise her as “our” daughter). Joy prepped us for this moment as best she could – “it will be surreal and emotional and difficult. You’ll never be in a room so full of mixed feelings. You’re filled with gratitude and elation; meanwhile the other people present are in deep grief. It’s tangible.” Later, when I asked Joy how our “moment” compared to the others she’s witnessed she said it was probably the fastest hand-off she’d ever seen (Mia wanted to get it over with), but it was full of the most raw emotion she’s ever witnessed.
We stood with Joy out in the hallway waiting for Mia’s counselor Alethia to tell us they were ready. As if you can ever be ready for that moment. I tried so hard to be present and yet it was a bit out-of-body at the same time. Part of why I don’t want to describe this moment is it isn’t solely mine. It is Kayliana’s. It is her birth mom’s. It was a shared moment, and I want to respect that. I’ll just say that Mia – placing Kayliana into my arms – was the most intense awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching moments I have ever – and probably will ever – experience. After exiting the room, we walked down the hall. I was crying tears of joy while her birth mom cried tears of grief. I gazed at my daughter’s face and watched as Kayliana opened her eyes and looked at me – her mom – for the very first time.
I am thankful that we’ve had biological children because it makes me so much more able to understand – to try to imagine – the painful decision that Kayliana’s young birth mom faced. How do you give up your baby? It takes a very special and strong young woman to make such a loving sacrificial choice for her child. It seems pointless to say thank you to Mia (which we have); we know it will never be enough. It seems pointless to give Mia a gift (which we will); we know it will never be enough. We will send her pictures and updates, and when she’s ready she’ll get to see us and Kayliana a few times a year. That will never be enough. I’ve heard from birth moms that they know they’ve made the right decision in choosing adoption. They never regret their decision. The days do get a little easier but that a tiny piece of their heart will always be missing.
My heart breaks for Mia even while it’s bursting with joy and love for our Kayliana. It’s an interesting feeling – this joy-grief thing.
After we got home from the hospital after that “moment,” I finally sat in the rocking chair in “Baby Girl’s” room holding Baby Girl. I had it – the (other) moment that I said I’d have when I could really believe that this was true. She is ours. I rocked Kayliana in my arms in her room, in our house, and just let the tears of joy and the sighs of relief happen. She really is here.
To say that we all fell instantly in love with her is an understatement. I’ve said this several, several times, but Matthew did really sum it up best when he said, “I like her MORE than love…like I just don’t even know the word.”
And yes, I did put the first bow on Kayliana. And yes I happened to also have one in my hair. And no, I didn’t ACTUALLY match us on purpose. (If I had I would’ve had a red one on for crying out loud)!