Introducing Miranda Hope
Hebrew Name: Shoshannah
8 lbs, 3 oz
21 inches long
The last time I blogged was Good Friday. It was a hard day for as as just 2 years before, that was the day we delivered Allie still. It will always be a hard day for me. It was the day I lost my baby, a piece of my heart and certainly all of my hope.
Fast forward 2 years and on the same day, we discovered that the birth mother who picked us to raise her child thought she was in labor. Turns out she was wrong and was sent home, but I knew only good things were on the way.
On Easter morning, bright and early, our little rainbow came into this world. We were not there. We found out from our social worker. At first it felt so awkward that she was here and that we had not met her yet, but we trusted the process and our agency as they advised us to do. And so far, so good.
We spent the holiday with Gary's side of the family and it was the perfect thing for us. Had we stayed home and stared at each other all day, we would have gone crazy! Early the next morning as we prepared to head to Delaware where our baby was born, we got word that the birth mother wanted us to come over that evening. We were going to meet our baby!
We checked into the hotel and made our way over to the hospital. It's hard to describe the emotions of meeting your child for the first time. Would we feel the same connection even though she did not come from us? How much did we miss out on my not getting those 9 months to bond with her? Was she really ours?
Turns out, much of that worrying was for nothing. The minute we laid eyes on her, we knew she was ours. And that was the end of it. We have the rest of our lives to bond with her but sure as I sit here and type this, I know that she is ours. She is the best kind of gift - given to us by a woman so strong and so courageous what she knew that choosing us to raise her baby was the best gift she could give this child. She was sad and emotional and discharge that next day took hours and hours as she could not say goodbye. But in the end, she was able to say "see you soon" as we promised monthly emails and letters and pictures and that our daughter would always know where she came from. That she was loved so very much from before she was even born. Miranda's Hebrew name is Shoshannah which is the Hebrew name for Lily. Liliana was the name our baby's birth mother called her when she was in her womb and we wanted to honor that name.
Leaving the hospital with our baby was surreal. They wheeled me out in a wheelchair even though I had not delivered her. I was now her mom and that's was protocol. I was smiling ear to ear. From there we went to our hotel and just stared at her. And cried. And stared some more.
We were supposed to have to stay out of PA for 7-10 business days (some said longer) until the Interstate Compact was signed. This is the document that needs to be completed with a child is adopted outside of the state in which they reside. For some reason, ours was signed in 24 hours. They said it was a record. We got to Delaware on Monday, got our baby on Tuesday and by Thursday, we were heading home.
The birth mother signed over her parental rights, but she has 14 days to change her mind. After talking to her and spending time with her, we are not really that concerned. She knows that we can provide for this baby in a way that she could not. Still, we will feel better once we know she is "ours".
After that, it takes up to 6 months for "finalization". There, we will sit with a judge and he will give us a new birth certificate with her name on it as well as ours. Then it will be "official".
It's hard to be reasonable and rationale when to us, she is already ours. Her sister made sure of that. Allie pulled some kind of strings to ensure that we would be parenting by her 2nd birthday. I just know it.
I am more tired than I have ever been in my whole life. And I love it. A few mornings ago, around 3am, I said to Gary, "Do you think our lives will ever be the same? He replied, "I hope not". Indeed that is so true.
I am taking 12 weeks FMLA plus 2 weeks vacation. I want to be home with my rainbow as long as I can. Gary is home with me this week and we aim to put the nursery back together again. We had grandparents and uncles and aunts over on Saturday to help us start moving items from the basement to the nursery. Our house has been a revolving door of guests and while we are so exhausted, we can't deny our loved ones the chance to meet our miracle. One close friend brought over some clothes last night and said there was no gift receipt...she had bought them for Allie and then saved them hoping and praying that one day she would be able to give them to her sister. It melted our hearts.
The road ahead is bright but we still need to proceed with caution. Until the adoption is finalized...until we learn how to deal with there finally being a baby in this house...until we really understand this chance that we have been given.
We have found our hope. Miranda Hope. Our miracle. Our happiness. Our joy.