Monday, December 27, 2010

Adopting Our Twins: Part I

I have moved heaven and earth and finally figured out how to blog from The Ronald McDonald House in Tucson, Arizona. Now I get to tell the story of our twins birth! It's ongoing. Just so you know.


We were in our church meetings when we got a text from the babies' birth mother that she was going to the hospital. A few minutes later, she said the doctor was taking her in for the C-section and the babies would be here in about an hour. We hurried home and packed for a three day trip ("I don't want to over-pack" Brian said), dropped Bridget off at Grandma's and started the Incredible Journey to Tucson, Arizona. It's far. Past the whirly twirly gumdrop land, through the terrible storms, and it was at a Subway in Scipio that we learned our boys had been born. Emil Brian weighing 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 19.75" tall. Colin Lloyd weighing 5 lbs. 11 oz. and 18.75" tall. They started out very healthy and well - we just needed to get to Tucson and everything would be great.

We spent the night in Kingman ("Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino...") and it was another five hours to Tucson on Monday, the 20th. We visited the babies' birth mother and they brought Colin into the room. So tiny! And wrapped up like a burrito. Among the many people who kept coming into the room was a surgeon who began discussing Emil's health with us. Little Emil's tummy had gotten hard and they suspected he had a disease that would require surgery. The room seemed very crowded at the time - nurses, hospital social workers, doctors, surgeons, a lawyer, birth mother, birth father, me, and Brian. The next few hours are a blur of nursery wrist band controversy and discussion of power of attorney. Also some freaking out. Brian and I somehow remained peaceful, though. My only shaky moment came when the hospital social worker refused to recognize our plan to do a Utah adoption (birth mothers need 24 hours to sign papers in Utah and 72 hours in Arizona) and the lawyer cheerily told me we could be in Tucson for up to a month while our interstate adoption compact was reviewed by the state. My hopes of being home with the babies and being with Bridget for Christmas were dashed, so I cried.

Brian and I left the hospital that night unsure of what was going to happen next. We didn't know if the adoption was happening still. We thought we'd have to stay in a hotel for several nights and that was yet another expense in this adventure. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself - entertaining thoughts I haven't visited in years. After eating dinner, we came back to say goodnight to the birth mother. A nurse stopped us on our way back out and said she had a room for us to stay in so we could be near the babies. Separate hospital beds with a curtain to pull between us?! One hundred thread-count sheets?! A tiny shower with a chair in it?!! Oh YEAH! (Seriously - we would have slept on the bench in the hall if it meant being near the babies and not paying for an extended stay at a hotel.)

The next day, Tuesday, was my birthday. We held Colin, visited the birth mother, found good tacos for lunch (one of Tucson's two redeeming features), visited Emil in the NICU. The day went by. The nurse who had given us a room came in to see us in the early evening to ask us if we would have Colin in our room all night. She was worried that he was feeling lost. Of course we wanted him in our room, but we also wanted the birth parents to have the access to him that they needed. We were assured that they were fine with the arrangement. We got Colin's blanket out and some clothes that we brought for him and just as I was finishing dressing him, a different nurse rushed in and took Colin off my bed, wrapped him quickly in a hospital blanket and explained that the birth parents wanted to see him right then and they were upset.

We spoke to the birth mother later that evening when Colin had returned to our room. Emotions were running so high and it seemed like everyone on the hospital staff had a different vision for what should happen. The birth mother wasn't changing her mind about placing the babies with us - our relationship with her and the birth father was always good. We had Colin in our room that night. He woke up every two hours and I told him each time that I was happy to see him. :)

Wednesday the 22nd was our signing day. For some reason I got the impression that the signing probably wouldn't happen that evening. I can't remember why. We were coming back from the nursery and NICU (I had a wrist band for Colin in the nursery and Brian had one for Emil in the NICU) when the new charge nurse stopped us and said, "I need you out of that room now." Sheesh. We were out in five minutes. An angel named Clare saw us going and set us up at the Ronald McDonald House for as long as we need to be here. (All along the way there were little miracles like that.) The signing went as scheduled. No tears, no freaking out, everyone smiling and at peace with this adoption. Later that evening a kind NICU nurse agreed to our idea of taking Colin into the NICU to visit his brother. When she saw us visiting, she suggested I do a kangaroo hold with Colin (skin on skin so he could hear my heart beating).  We spent that evening in a parent room with me holding Colin and Brian watching a game with my feet resting in his lap. Colin was the most content baby in the world for those few hours. He didn't move, only let out a few satisfied sighs. It was heaven.  Brian and I were officially the twins' parents that night and nothing has ever felt so good.

(I'm breaking this story up because I'm using a laptop and the old version of Blogger so that I could post pictures.  Sorry they're small pictures.)

15 comments:

Jess said...

Congratulations! I am so excited for such incredible news! Those little guys are so sweet and cute. I am glad that everything worked out. It has renewed my faith that Heavenly Father really does bless us with little miracles. Congrats again.

mommymae said...

how wonderful! i remember those first days with twin babies like it was yesterday!

i'm just up the road in phoenix & wish i could do something for you guys while you're here. if you want a rest stop on the way home, i'm here!

Kristina P. said...

Oh my goodness! I had no idea. I am so happy for you. I think about you guys a lot. I've been given a lot of Pass ALong cards, and I've wondered where you have been in your continued adoption journey. Congrats!

Jill said...

Your adventure has begun. Your babies are beautiful! Congratulations to you and the whole family.

Karen said...

Congratulations on the two new additions to your family. Just wonderful news.

Kristi said...

Currently bawling my eyes out. Thank you for moving heaven and earth to update your blog. I am beyond thrilled to read Part 1 of your babies' arrival. Those boys are so precious and lucky to be with you and Brian. I'm happy to know that there are little miracles keeping you safe and sane. Missing you and praying for you to be home and safe very soon.

Sara said...

What a wonderful story, I'm so happy that everything worked out. What a great Christmas. :-)

amylouwho said...

yay! i'm crying too. I couldn't be happier for you! such beautiful babies!

Chillygator said...

They are so, so beautiful! I can't wait to see a picture of them with Bridget. I bet she'll just be a darling big sister (o:

Rae said...

Seriously...choked up! You sure know how to draw the emotion out! I am so glad you guys get to experience this wonderful blessing. We pray daily for you guys and that things will continue to go as needed. It will be nice to have ALL of the Kunzes back in the neighborhood. Be safe...and sane!

KQ said...

Thank goodness for sweet baby boys and for heaven and earth being moved to blog about them! Can't wait to hear/see more!

allyn said...

how did i miss this post!! so many pictures of the boys that i didn't know about. i can't believe you even have the energy to blog after all of that emotional roller coaster riding you have been doing. they are so sweet. i wish i could be there to help you when you get home, but i think there will be many willing to do whatever you need.

much love

Katy said...

Oh, Nicole! Such beautiful pictures of beautiful little babies. I, too, wish I could be there to help you but I know you have wonderful people around you who are helping. You are in our prayers constantly and we hope you get to go home soon.
Love, love, love you!!!

melissa said...

I heart them so much! What a joy it will be to finally have them home. Those pictures are so beautiful and they look happy to have you as parents. And me as an aunt.

Kellie said...

Love the pictures! So excited and happy for you both - for all 5 of you! Please keep posting - I love to see the pictures! Bringing back great memories!