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One year ago, I was finishing up my work day.  It was a Friday which meant we closed up at 4, but as per usual, I was still wrapping stuff up and was the last to leave.  I was about to head out the door to get some groceries.  I had just put the code in on our office security system and was struggling to carry all my stuff, including an Edible Arrangement that one of my students had brought me as a thank you gift, when my cell phone rang.  Seeing that it was Adoption STAR, I pretty much literally dropped everything and answered the call.  

The worker on the other end asked me if I was ready for some info on a baby.  Nope, I absolutely was not.  Par for the course, all writing utensils had been absconded with from the front desk, the downside of working within a college tutoring center.  I had to grab a key from the key box to unlock one door and then unlock my office door before I could hear what she had to say.

I was treating this like it was just another profiling because that's what I believed it to be.  At that point, we'd been profiled so many times that it was just very anticlimactic.  She was giving me all the info and then a few minutes into the conversation, she finally informs me that we've actually already been picked for this case.  

Um, what?  I had to ask her to clarify that a couple times to make sure I wasn't hearing it incorrectly.  This baby was ours if we wanted him.  And I wanted him, but they won't take an answer from just one parent, no matter how sure I was that John would agree.  So I called John, filled him in, and then I believe he called there to tell them we're good.  I honestly can't remember how exactly that part went.  But we agreed to it.

Ohio's laws require a waiting period so the baby was not going to be released to us from the hospital until Tuesday.  This worked out because John was actually supposed to work Saturday and we clearly had some affairs to get in order.  There was also some confusion with the agency for a while about whether we'd have to take care of paperwork here in Buffalo or if we could do it with the worker in Ohio.  Turns out we could take care of it in Ohio, which meant we could head out first thing Monday morning.

Good thing, too, because all of Pennsylvania was under construction, I swear.  We finally got to our hotel in Cincinnati and raced to the hospital to visit with our baby.  Before we had even left, we were told we needed to pick his name and let them know ASAP.  Now we know that the birth mom had picked out a name for him.  We didn't know this at the time and it was disappointing.  We didn't know much of anything about her or her family at that point.  We wanted Henry to be his first name, but we had wanted his middle name to represent where he came from.  Not knowing anything about his birth family, we tried to figure out a good option.  One of my co-worker's husband pointed out that there's an Xavier University in Cinci.  Xavier is a name that we both were fond of and it was actually very close to the hospital where Henry was born.  And that's how he came to be named Henry Xavier.

But back to meeting him.  What a sweet baby he was from right off the bat.  And he was wide awake.  I swear Nora slept for the first three weeks of her life so I wasn't expecting this at all.  We stayed for about an hour before deciding we had better go and get to bed.

We were a bundle of nerves the next morning.  And then there was Nora's struggle with having her world shaken up.  When we got the hospital, she insisted on riding in the stroller.  We finally agreed, but made it clear that she wasn't coming out in it.  There was a lot of waiting and watching.  Some girls were looking in the nursery window next to us while they were waiting for someone.  Some info about our situation was shared and they asked which baby was ours.  When they saw him, they declared that we had the prettiest baby there.  True that.

Lots of stuff happened that morning, some of which are Henry's story to tell should he ever choose to do so, but the time finally came that we could take him with us.  And we completely forgot how the infant carrier worked.  Oh yeah.  We forgot to refresh ourselves on those details.  Oops.  

But we figured it out and took off for my friend Jackie's house near Dayton.  I don't know what we would have done without Jackie and her husband letting us stay at their house.  We were there for a week.  They saved us money on a hotel, fed us (fabulously, I might add), and gave us a place to let Nora go trick or treating since we got stuck there through Halloween.  We finally got leave to cross state lines with Henry late in the afternoon the following Tuesday and despite the late hour, we loaded up and drove straight through home.  For future reference, we are not the type of people who ever want to do that again.  Especially sleep deprived with a newborn.  But we finally got home.

And that is the story of how Henry came to be our little man.  Happy birthday, Henry!

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