Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Surprise Addition - Part 2

One thing I forgot to share in Part 1 of our story was how we came about choosing a name. On the way to Portland we started talking about names. We have had a list of our top choices for a long time now. Well, both Barry and I didn't feel like any of names on our list was the baby's name. When we talked to her birth grandmother we found out the birthmother's name. Barry thought it was simply beautiful and I thought so too but I was hung up on that her nickname would be the same name as one of Barry's cousins. I suggested the name "Emma" since it started with "Em" like her birthmother's name. Barry wasn't convinced and wanted to wait when we saw her to know for sure. Coincidentally enough I had been reading Jane Austen's "Emma" for my book club on the way there.

Back to Sunday morning...
We got to the hospital to find the caseworker there. Shortly afterwards, the birth parents arrived. They had been discharged Saturday night. I have such admiration and gratitude for them. Despite their own emotions, they both made us feel at ease. Placement is always a tender time for everyone. As an adoptive parent you feel excited and anxious yet sympathetic and grateful for the birthparents all at the same time. After hand shakes and hugs they lead us to the nursery to meet baby girl. My first thought when I saw her was how she was so tiny even more so than when Owen at birth. I loved her dark hair and big eyes. Her hair reminded me of Owen's dark hair before it fell out (by the way she is loosing her hair too). Her birthmother asked about her name and Barry quickly piped up and said it was Emma. He told me later that when he saw her he knew she was Emma. Her birth family really liked it.

The hospital gave us an empty room so we could have some privacy. Initially they said we would have to stay in the nursery to be with Emma but they quickly sorted that out. I have to say that the hospital was simply wonderful and very adoption friendly. The nurses, OB, and pediatrician were at completely at ease with the situation and so friendly and caring to all involved.

While we waited for the notary and the other witness to arrive, we got to know each other better. We all took turns holding her. They shared why they decided upon our family. Her birthfather identified with Barry growing up doing farm work. He also liked that Emma would have a big brother. He is a big brother to a little sister too. He apologized for being so emotional but it was so touching to know how much he loved her.

Emma's birthmother liked that we had good family that was close by. She liked that we had a house with a big yard for Emma to run and play and that we lived in a neighborhood with lots of other kids. I think Emma looks a lot like her especially her eye shape and her nose. Emma has a birthmark (her pediatrician said that her particular birthmark is a called a stork bite) on her nose just like her birthmother did when she was born. Though originally they wanted a closed adoption, we all agreed to an open adoption. So we have been texting, emailing and posting pictures.

Each state has different laws when it comes to parental rights can be relinquished. Owen was born in Idaho so his birthmother had to wait 48 hours after birth, relinquished in front of a judge, and upon her signing it was irrevocable. In Oregon, a birthparents can relinquish her parental rights anytime after birth. They can relinquish in front of a notary and two witnesses. Also, once signed it is irrevocable. Both her birthmother and birthfather signed. It was such a tender mercy that she was born in Oregon. We didn't have a couple days to worry if her birthparents would sign and once they did we were able to enjoy spending one-on-one time with her instead of worrying about her birthparents coming back and changing their minds. Her birthparents knew of our past and recent heartaches and they told us they couldn't have dreamed causing us to go through another heartache.

After everything was signed, we took Emma to the hotel and stayed until Monday. Since we had an interstate adoption, our adoption was subject to Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). Basically we had to wait for both Oregon (the sending state) and Idaho (the receiving state) to clear us to leave Oregon and enter Idaho. Luckily Oregon and Idaho make up the Northwest Adoption Exchange so they have plenty of experience working with each other and they both work electronically. We then traveled up to Portland so we could be near the agency if they needed us to sign anything else. We stayed there until Wednesday when we got the clearance from Oregon. We drove all day until reaching Ontario, Oregon.

We had hoped we would have clearance from Idaho by that time but we didn't get clearance until Thursday. On the way home we took a couple pit stops to feed Emma and get her changed. We stopped in Meridian at my uncle's home and had a good visit with my aunt Tiffani. Then we stopped in Burley at Barry's aunt's home and visited with them. Emma was so good the whole way. Of course being a just a week old she just slept.

We rolled into Idaho Falls that evening. We were so glad to be home and to see Owen. He seemed so big too me after being with tiny Emma. For a second, I wondered who had taken my little boy and replaced him with this big one.  Owen held her and just loved her.  It was an especially special time for our family to be all together again.

That's Emma's story. Like Owen, she is our little miracle and not a day goes by that I don't thank her birth parents and Heavenly Father. I would be so ungrateful if I didn't acknowledge both of them in this story. From Emma's birth grandmother finding our profile to adopting from Oregon, it couldn't have been just luck. It was God in his mercy making everything align and having Emma's birthparents courageously make the right choice even when it was hard.  Truly it is by small and simple means that great things come to pass.  We look forward to be able to finalize Emma's adoption soon.


  1. Jeremy and I are so happy for you. What a perfect story. It just makes me cry and smile thinking of you with your baby girl.