Ben and I sat in an empty conference room with our caseworker anxiously and nervously signing placement documents and trying not to cry, even though our eyes were already puffy and red from the drive. Luckily, a random woman in a hospital gown wandered into the room and sat down at the table with us and began listening intently. Our caseworker awkwardly slowed her speech as the three of us turned to inquire of the intrusion by another patient in the labor and delivery ward. She said, "Oh, keep going, I just have a question when your through..." To which we replied, "Um, about...adoption?" She turned all red and left in a hurry when it was finally established that the breastfeeding class slated for that room had indeed been cancelled. Comedic relief to lighten the anxiety of the moment. Our papers were signed so quickly it seemed odd that such a simple act could alter our course so profoundly. We left the room and walked down the hall to where Cassie stood, rocking little Isla back and forth with her family there for support. The spirit was so strong in that room, and I felt instantly that the hundreds of prayers from those we love were being fulfilled. It was peaceful, and emotional, and love filled the room up. I knew angels were there sustaining us all. We hugged and cried and made future plans with our new extended family. It felt like a little piece of heaven on earth had been restored in that room. Heaven as it should be, no pride or harshness, just unconditional love and mercy. I cannot tell you how it felt to leave that room where we all shared so much. My heart was bleeding for Cassie and her selfless act for us and this tiny baby we carried away. If it wasn't for the residing peace and comfort we all felt, I don't think it could be possible to have performed such an act, a testiment of Cassie's true character. We made it down the elevator and out to our waiting car with a nurse in tow to check out our carseat, a new mandate. We had planned to leave quickly so Cassie didn't have to see us drive away, but her Dad happened to be going out to get his car as well. He leaned in as we awkwardly strapped in the carseat for the first time and said,"So, how bout a BBQ in few weeks?" And it felt as natural as ever. Relief and assurance that indeed this was not a final goodbye, but a new start for a beautiful baby girl who has all the love in the world.
June 2, 2010
I realize that it's been some time since my last post. I have hesitated to write the second part of the story as it is so dear to my heart and hard to share such tender feelings. When people describe placement day in the adoption world more often than not you hear the word bittersweet. Such a fitting word to describe the heartbreak and overwhelming joy you experience simultaneously. No one prepares you for the emotion you will face when you sign those papers and walk into that room.