Part 2 - Waiting
Part 3 - A New Goal
Part 4 - Comfort
Part 5 - Chosen
Part 6 - Charlotte
Part 7 - Expecting
Part 8 - Shopping
Part 9 - Birthday
Part 10 - Hospital
Part 11- His Will
March 18, 2005
Exhausted, we sleep deeply. The next morning, we follow our plan. Getting my job back isn't so easy. My bosses are on vacation --- out of the country! I explain our situation to my old supervisor and give him my request about wanting to be hired back on, full-time --- and, then, be given maternity leave. I've NEVER considered cellphones a miracle in my entire life! Unfortunately, he can't get a hold of the bosses --- but, he can leave a message. I am LOVING technology!
Eli and I go back home --- and wait. We sit in front of the TV, not really watching it. We don't say much. We just wait. Finally, the phone rings! We jump. It turns out I have to go back in and explain exactly what I want from my old job, again. We head back into town. I am careful to be clear in that I won't be coming back to work after "maternity leave" in case that legally changes things. (We are so careful to do everything EXACTLY right because we don't want anything to come back and bite us in the butt at some random time in the future.) Their only request, that I work full-time for one week to make the full-time requirement legit. I can do that! He signs the employment form. Eli and I take the form to the adoption agency. It turns out Eli has spring-break next week, the week I will work full-time. He will be able to stay home with the babies that entire week! Another small miracle --- but, truly one.
Mary faxes my signed employment form to Headquarters in Salt Lake City. While she's faxing, we ask her if she'll let us know if we qualify. She tells us to just head back to Albuquerque and she'll give us a call when she knows. We obey. After a long drive and only ten minutes left to the hospital, we still haven't heard from Mary. We call her. No luck. Eli calls Brenda. She answers, but before we can ask, she is already talking, telling us she's got the babies in her backseat and to meet her in her office. Soooooo --- we qualify then? I have to ask. I cannot explain the euphoria I feel at this moment or the wonder of the miracle we are witnessing.
At Brenda's office we see our babies dressed in sleepers that actually fit. They don't match, but, I don't care anymore! Hardly daring to believe this is real, I hold them close, breathing them in. I can't let go again. The reunion is incredible. "To good to be true for someone like me," is a repeating thought. In the meantime, we re-sign a ton of papers and I take more pictures. Brenda gets Charlotte on the phone and Eli and I sit ear-to-ear, on the love seat, with arms and hearts full; but, all are at a loss for words. We let her know we are taking the babies home with us now. We thank her again.
Yesterday, when Brenda told Charlotte that her babies didn't go home with us and that they had a plan for foster care while they found another couple, Charlotte had said, "They go home with Eli and Corinne, or they go home with me." Brenda said that without her pulling for us that way, we wouldn't be bringing them home. We are ever so grateful she stuck with us. (Another miracle.)
I can only imagine what it must have been like for Charlotte... choosing a couple to raise her babies, we believe she must have felt good about her choice, and, then, to suddenly have all she felt secure about in her adoption plan being replaced with the unknown --- by those who were suppose to be supporting her. How must that have been for her?
It's dusk now and it is a strange, but wonderful feeling to drive back home with babies in the backseat. My family is all celebrating a wedding right now. I call them to announce our good news. For some reason my brother, Rob, tells me to call the groom. I do. I tell him we're bringing our babies home. He can't talk, he's suppose to be doing the garter belt! Brothers! So, I have to call Rob back again and tell him to let the family know. I'm so happy I could burst while sharing our triumph. I am also anxious to get home. The babies are so quiet that for short moments I forget they're in the backseat. When I remember again, I get sort of an creepy feeling for having forgotten. I must have been exhausted.
At home, the house is empty, quiet. Eli's mom is working at the Albuquerque temple (she put us on the prayer roll earlier this morning). Eli's dad is working on the road tonight. When I realize we'll have the house to ourselves for the first night of being a family, I feel greedily thankful. However, soon Eli's grandma is over. Then, Eli's sister and her family show up. They love on our babies big time. This welcome home is so precious, perfect really --- it's wonderful to see their instant love and acceptance of the babies into our family. And, then I am glad we are not lone. I have to take more pictures. I believe these pictures will mean a lot to our babies someday. I want these pictures for Charlotte too. I want her too see her babies' arrival home being celebrated. However, Eli has had enough of the picture taking. I haven't taken nearly enough! But, I happy oblige, setting the camera down. It's so much more exciting to be part of this event than to be behind the camera.
Soon enough, we discover the diapers I had purchased for a newborn baby, are way too big! So are the tiny cloth diapers we made. Eli goes out to buy diapers for preemies.
When everyone goes home, and the house is quiet again, we tuck our brand-new babies in their tiny blankets and lay them side-by-side in their huge crib. Then we scoot them a little closer, so they are just touching. We stand and watch them sleep before kneeling down beside each other and offering a prayer of gratitude. We plead with our Father in Heaven to comfort Charlotte. We also know that any day she can still change her mind. This nagging bit of terror gets pushed into the back of my thoughts. We pray, perhaps a little selfishly, that she doesn't.
And that is how the first, of many, long sleepless nights began.
It is by many small and great miracles that Payton and Alyssa came to us. Looking back to certain events leaves no doubt in our minds that Heavenly Father's plan, from the beginning, was to place them with us. I could not bring their spirits to earth through my body, but Charlotte could. She, fortunately, had the wisdom and selflessness to trust her heart and chose to make one of the biggest sacrifices a mother can make for her unplanned baby, a plan of adoption. Charlotte wanted a mother and a father to raise her tiny babes. She recognized that her love for them was not all she hoped to give them. She desperately wanted more for them that she could give. She became our angel and will forever be part of our family. We love her and our children know that she loves them too.
Adoption is not selfish. It is the most selfless sacrifice a mother can make for her unplanned baby. It is a dream come true for the hopeful couple she chooses; and, gives her baby a stable, loving family and promising future. Adoption, however tragic it can seem, is a beautiful way to make things right again. Adoption blesses me daily through the joys of motherhood, a gift of which I will be eternally grateful for.
6 YEARS!!! We brought our babies home 6 years ago tonight! I LOVE being Mommy!
Our Adoption Story - Part 13 - Photos