As the minutes ticked by, I was starting to lose my mind. I had practically worn a hole in the floor of the waiting room, pacing back and forth. We couldn’t call the adoption agency to see if they’d heard anything because it was so early in the morning. We were at a stand-still.
In my mind, they had changed their minds. They’d gone to a different hospital. Or they were simply waiting until we gave up and went home. I was miserable and anxious, and I didn’t know how long we should sit waiting before we admitted to ourselves that this wasn’t going to happen.
Finally, at a couple of minutes after 8:00, we heard the bing of the elevators, and in they walked. After checking in at the front desk, they came and told us they had slept through their alarm. We, of course, hugged them and acted like we weren’t worried at all!
Once S was taken back and settled into her room, she invited me to come back for a while. I noticed that the birth father (J) was acting a little bit differently around us, but we figured he, like all of us, was just nervous. S was extraordinarily nervous. She had never had any type of surgery before, and her blood pressure was through the roof. The doctor decided that they needed to get her BP down before they could do the C-section, so they scheduled it for late afternoon, and we left to give her time to rest.
When we arrived back at the hospital, we were seated in the waiting room (because of the concerns about her blood pressure on top of the already present issue of the gastroschisis, it was decided that I would not be in the delivery room after all). Our case worker was supposed to be meeting us at the hospital, but was running a little late. Unlike in the wee hours that morning, the waiting room was full and noisy. We sat, anxiously awaiting any news. After about an hour, J came out into the waiting room, dressed in scrubs. He glanced in our direction, but then turned toward the small crowd of people in the waiting room and announced that the baby had been born and taken directly to the NICU. He spoke to everyone a little more in Spanish and gestured in our direction.
Once he disappeared back through the Labor and Delivery doors, the crowd, which we rightly assumed were family members, turned toward us and let loose.
They started yelling –
“How could you do this?”
“Who do you think you are?”
“What makes you better than everyone else?”
“What are we supposed to tell the other children when their momma doesn’t bring a baby home?”
We were speechless. We had no response for them. They looked at us like we were villains. We weren’t trying to tear their family apart. We weren’t trying to steal their baby. S chose us. She made the decision. We said nothing, but within a few seconds, there were tears streaming down my face. Jay put his arm around me and addressed the family by simply saying -
“We are going to leave and let you all have time together as a family. Please excuse us.”
As we were walking out of the hospital, we ran right into our adoption worker. We told her what had happened, and she agreed that it was best for us to leave, and she would call and give us any updates.
Texas State Law requires that a birth mother wait 48 hours after the birth to officially place a baby for adoption. We were only three hours in. (Let me just pause here to say that not too long ago, a friend said to me, “You are SOOOO lucky that you never had to go through labor.” I may qualify for sainthood just because I didn’t trip her or punch her in the nose).
Finally, on Thursday, 49 hours and 7 minutes after the baby was born, the phone rang.
It was our case worker. She said only one sentence…
“S wants to speak to you.”