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Ethan Philip - The Hospital Stay

Thursday morning we woke up sort of in limbo – torn between visiting Ethan and visiting his birth mother. We called and chatted with her and decided to go up to see her first. It was the first time we had been alone with her without any adoption workers – she had a friend with her who sat quietly and let us talk. We talked about many things…the baby’s delivery, how we anticipate the openness of our relationship growing over time, her hopes for a better future for herself, and our excitement and honor to have been chosen by her for this baby. It was priceless, that time with her, and I’m so very grateful we had it. We filled out his birth certificate together – officially naming him Ethan Philip and then she urged us to go see him. We hugged out goodbyes and planned to meet up later when she was discharged.
Making our way to see the baby we were hopeful and excited. Everything with his birth mother seemed on track for a positive adoption. We couldn’t wait to get there! When we arrived we had official bands linking us to him and his birthmother – which allowed us to hold him and be with him even though she wasn’t there. Finally! We held this tiny bundle in our arms…and I couldn’t stop the tears from finally coming. I had held back so much emotion waiting for this very moment – and here it was. The nurse got me some Kleenex as she teared up as well. It was a moment I’ll treasure forever. We passed Ethan back and forth taking pictures and shaking our heads in wonder and amazement. He was here. He was tiny…and perfect. She handed me a bottle and I was able to feed him for the first time. Is this real?
He snuggled in and snorted down his 20 ml with no issues. After a few hours we received word that the birth mother was ready to be discharged from the hospital – and preparing to sign her consent for the adoption. We left the baby and returned to the other hospital to be there for her. We sat in the lobby while she worked with the adoption agency to go through her paperwork. Time seemed to stand still…holding our breath. Would this go through? Would she change her mind? Would there be any drama/issues/concerns?
After what seemed like an eternity she approached us with the social worker – ‘I’ve dotted all my I’s and crossed all my T’s for you’ she said with a smile. She sat next to Matt and we chatted for a few minutes. I showed her pictures from our visit with the baby and she smiled. She was tired and hurting and was ready to go home. We waited on the agency workers to come back with copies for her – and they walked outside with her to wrap up. We sat waiting with the social worker. I thanked her for all her hard work and support she had provided the birth mother. She said she thought this was the perfect adoption. And a few minutes later the agency workers returned to let us know things were completed and we could go back to be with…our baby.
We ran back to our hotel room to grab some supplies and made our way back to see baby Ethan with anticipation rushing through our bodies. Oh the traffic…it took FOREVER! When we arrived back at the hospital all three of us were re-banded…linking us and mother, father, and baby. The hospital put together a family room for us to stay in and we settled in to be with our son. Our.Son. I still can’t hardly believe it!
The next few days we spent holed up in the hospital together – just the 3 of us. Matt and I hardly left the hospital. After the first night, he was medically stable and didn’t need to be in the room by himself, so they moved him in to the room with us. Hooked up to heart/oxygen monitors…otherwise he was all ours. Nurses would check in on him every 3 hours; we’d change his diaper, take his temperature and they’d check him over, then I’d feed him. We took turns snuggling with him bare chested – skin on skin. Bonding and loving on this tiny little boy. Day by day he was exceeding all their expectations. He was eating well, sleeping well, all signs were pointing to an early discharge and we were elated! By Saturday the doctor was confident that he’d be able to leave on Sunday. We watched a CPR video, and Ethan had to pass a 3 hour car seat test…which of course was no issue for him. We were excited to be able to move on to the next chapter in our new role as parents…freedom from the hospital.
Sunday we had a visit from the photographer for newborn pics – while a splurge I know we’ll treasure them forever. The agency worker arrived and we signed all the papers…and eventually walked out of the hospital with our baby – ELATED that he’d done so well and we were finally on our own!!
While driving in the car Matt said ‘I used to think those Baby on Board signs were so stupid…but now…I kinda want one!’ He’s such a protective Daddy – I can’t even tell you. Our hearts are so full…so overwhelmed and overflowing with love, adoration, praise for God, and gratitude for this amazing gift we’ve been given.
My words will never seem adequate. I know a million people have had children before me…many people have successful adoptions of their own. I just can’t believe…it’s finally happening to us. We.are.Parents.   




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