Sunday, June 29, 2008
Red Letters Campaign: Gotcha!
Do you have any tips / advice / suggestions for your "Gotcha Day" for people preparing to travel to pick up their little one. This could include things that made your day special, an easier transition at home, etc. Tell us what worked (and what didn’t) for you.
For our family, our "Gotcha Day" was Cate's birthday. We had been going with the birth mother to appointments since she was 25 weeks pregnant. We had built the kind of relationship with her that made her feel comfortable inviting us to the birth. So she called us when her water broke and we headed to Bloomington, Indiana. Later that night, Cate was born. And very early the next morning she was in my arms for good.
We got her.
What worked for us: We adore the birth mother, and not because she literally gave us the baby we had prayed for. We adore her, especially her sweet spirit and her bravery to live life even in the midst of yucky circumstances. All of this to say, developing a personal relationship with the birth mother worked for us, and I believe it worked for her. We respect her that much more and feel bonded with her that much more because she wholeheartedly let us into her life. It helped me, a soon-to-be mother, feel like I was part of the preparation story. I heard my daughter's heartbeat and knew how she was growing. I saw her, thanks to the ultrasound machine, twice before I met her.
These preparations, for us, helped us transition because we were as emotionally as invested in the pregnancy as we could be without physically being pregnant. Plus we knew that what we were doing by bringing this baby home was the right thing for us and the right thing for the birth mother.
For the first eight nights of Cate's life we were away from home. The first night we were in the hospital and the next seven we were at the southern most edge of Indiana waiting for people in Frankfort, Ky., and Indianapolis, Ind., to give us the green light to go home. We used that time to introduce Cate to family and friends that came to visit us and to bond as a family. Even though we weren't home, Cate was home with us and us with her.
I can honestly say that this process, a deeply personal approach, worked for us. And I wouldn't change a thing.
I do know that our next adoption might be different. Because every adoption is. But I am thankful for the experience we had, for Cate's story. And I'm already praying for the next adoption story we'll have as a family.