I decided I wanted to write about our adoption story every day for about a week. I am doing this to try to preserve the memories I have because I know I will forget so many details later and I really want to remember them for Alayna some day. I also hope that by sharing our story-and by saying that I mean my side of the story (there are so many others involved in this story, but I can’t tell their story) I can somehow help someone. There are a lot of things no one told me about how I may feel and I know I’m not the only one that has felt the way I did, but it was so hard to go through feeling like you are alone.
While going through the adoption process I always heard adoptive moms saying how as soon as they saw that baby it was love at first sight and how they just felt like their mom and that baby was just theirs all along. It all sounded so amazing. Well, that really isn’t what happened with me. When Alayna was born I did feel love for her and and overwhelming love for Lauren. But honestly she didn’t feel like mine. I looked at her and just saw Lauren’s baby. I had always said when talking about Alayna I would say to Lauren, “your baby” or to other’s “Lauren’s baby”. I know that it was probably a defense mechanism in case Lauren decided to parent, but I’m really not sure. Anytime the thought that she would be my baby would come into my head I would get really mad at myself. She wasn’t mine. She was Lauren’s baby. In my heart I knew that it would all work out, but I was physically ill over what Lauren and Matt were about to go through and I felt like it was my fault. The guilt I had overwhelmed my entire being.
The day after Alayna was born we were going up to visit for an hour with our boys so they could meet her for the first time. I had only slept a couple of hours and was emotionally and physically drained. When we got to the hospital I was super stressed out. I wanted to make sure we didn’t stay more than an hour. I didn’t want to take any time away from Lauren and Matt that they had with Alayna. I had my friend Davey come and film the first meeting, which was the BEST thing for all of us. I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted to get some cute pictures of Alayna so I could have them printed the next day and give to Lauren and Matt to take home. It was stressful.
Davey and I went into the room so I could take pictures and he could film the boys coming in. The thing that seriously helped me out SOOOOO much that day was something Matt did. When the boys walked into the room and saw her he said, “Is that your little baby sister?” The boys were so excited. They really were in love with Alayna at first sight. They usually are very talkative, but were just so quiet and calm. It was beautiful. It was just one of those things that just helped me see that this little perfect girl was supposed to be my boys little sister. Matt did that. It was just what I needed at that moment-this was their decision. They were choosing to place Alayna in our family. Although the guilt did not go away for quite some time, that moment started the healing process.
Lauren wanted to do gifts that night instead of at placement. We are both SO glad she chose to do it this way because if we did it the next night at placement, it would have been awful. We all gave gifts from the heart. Of all the gifts that Lauren has given me (obviously besides Alayna) my favorite so far was the letter she wrote. It is sacred to me, so I’m not going to share it, but the things she wrote gave me such comfort in knowing that she felt like Alayna was supposed to be in our family. I wasn’t taking her–Lauren and Matt chose to put her in our family. I’ll write more about how long it really took for me to really feel like Alayna’s mom later, but again those two things that happened the day after she was born were things that I would cling to in moments of doubt and sadness.
I rewatched this video–I hadn’t seen it for months. I cried…like cried a lot while watching it. This one is SO emotional for me for a lot of reasons. Again, I just can feel all the LOVE 😀