Wow – the day was here! We were on our way to the hospital to visit with the birth parents (who we had only met two days prior) and meet our son! We were incredibly excited, yet probably the most nervous we have ever been! What do we say? What if we cry? Is it ok to hold him? What if they change their mind? A million scenarios were racing through our minds.
When we walked into the hospital room, they were standing at the end of bed behind the bassinette, so excited and proud for us to meet him. They couldn’t wait to show us all of his hair – he had so much hair! They had also requested an extra copy of his foot prints; one for them, one for us. We were touched by their thoughtfulness to share their excitement, as we were excited to see all of them as well and hold this precious baby, count fingers and toes, and talk about the labor and delivery.
What we didn’t anticipate is how these two people would grab a hold of our hearts so quickly; we felt their sadness in a room filled with such joy. It was immediately evident that we all were not sure what our roles were. When our son started crying, I remember vividly thinking to myself, “Is he hungry? Is it time for him to eat? Do I feed him? Does she feed him? Where are the bottles? Do I pick him up? Does she pick him up?” It was initially a moment of discomfort that quickly turned into a moment of delight when she said, “It’s time for him to eat. Would you like to feed him?” We had additional moments of joy and sadness that we navigated through as friends as we got to know each other better.
Getting through the hospital visits had its ups and downs but in the end, we kept telling ourselves to be ourselves. We wanted to feel connected to them and we wanted them to feel connected to us. The reality was that these connections would not take place over night; they would take time outside of the hospital.