Sunday, January 9, 2011

Adopting Our Twins: Part II

 I left our story after we signed placement papers on December 22nd.  That morning we were unceremoniously kicked out of the hospital room we'd been staying in.  We thought we'd have to get a hotel room and it was looking like we'd need to stay for at least another week.  (Our adoption papers had to be approved by the Arizona interstate adoption blah blah blah and everyone in the universe was on vacation.)  Another miracle occurred, however, and the NICU social worker set us up at the Ronald McDonald House in Tucson.  It was a fifteen minute drive, but an optional $15 a night with homemade meals provided every evening.  (Every time something good like that would happen I would cry.  And every time something bad happened I would cry.  It got to be where I didn't realize I was crying because it was almost all the time.)  So we had a nice night sleep on Wednesday the 22nd and we checked Colin out of the hospital on the afternoon of the 23rd.


Some time on the 22nd we asked Brian's parents to do us the biggest solid in the history of favors - drive all the way to Tucson (13 hours) with our 4 year-old so that we could be with her on Christmas.  It would have been ok if they'd said no, but lucky for us they dropped everything, gave up their Christmas Day and drove down to Tucson.  When we knew they were coming, I talked to the house manager at RMH, Cheri, and explained that Bridget's Christmas presents were at home and Brian's parents had been unable to get into our house.  I wondered if she would leave a note for Bridget from Santa explaining his dilemma.  Cheri wouldn't hear of it - she took me into a room filled floor to ceiling and wall to wall with donated gifts.  She gave me a giant box and told me to fill it for Bridget.  I had a moment where I couldn't speak because I knew it would be the ugliest happy cry anyone had ever seen.  I was very conservative - a package of play dough, some dollar store jewelry.  I looked back at the box and Cheri had added a huge princess art supply kit, two or three dolls, a tea set.  Yikes.  Santa isn't that generous where I come from.


On Christmas Eve I was on my way to the hospital to feed Emil when we got a call that Brian's parents were in the parking lot.  I took Colin with me and Brian had the camera to capture Bridget and Grandma and Grandpa meeting Colin for the first time.  Bridget was asleep in the car and when she opened her eyes and saw me, she started gathering up all the little pieces of chocolate she'd "wrapped" for me for Christmas.  After dinner that night we let Bridget spread the reindeer food (one of the many items locked in our house and something Bridget had been looking forward to doing) that Cheri had provided for us.  (If you can't tell, I am in love with the whole idea of Ronald McDonald House.  They took such good care of us during the most emotional time of our lives and I can't say enough good things about them.  Please volunteer or donate to your local Ronald McDonald House!)


On Christmas morning we got a loud knock on the door at 7:00.  We had to wake Bridget up, but we let her open the door.  I don't think she was expecting much and I know she wasn't expecting the giant box full of stuff that was sitting outside the door.  There was also a box of presents for Brian and me and the babies.  It was strange, but still nice to be near a Christmas tree opening gifts on Christmas morning.

Bridget and Brian's parents stuck around Ronald McDonald House (Harold and Denise were across the hall from us) for the next few days while Brian and I were back and forth between the hospital and RMH.  It would have been relaxing if the circumstances were different.  Emil was getting better every minute and the doctors told us on Sunday the 26th that we'd be able to check him out of the hospital on Monday morning, which we did. 


We figured we'd be on our way by Thursday, December 30th, so we decided that Harold and Denise could drive our car back and keep Bridget at their house for a few more days and we'd follow with the babies.  It's funny to see that plan condensed into one sentence.  I dropped Emil's release papers off at the lawyers office on Tuesday the 28th (they were on vacation on the 27th, naturally) and that's when the lawyer's assistant told us they couldn't hand deliver our application to the state until the next morning.  BAH!  Our original plan was to drive home with all three of our children, but we didn't know how long the review would take.  We hoped it would be one day, but we learned to plan against the best case scenario.  That's how Bridget ended up going home with Grandma and Grandpa.  I think she sensed her parents' stress level and it was making her anxious and almost as teary as her Mama.
So we had to say goodbye to our girl once again.  The only thing keeping me from falling apart was knowing it would only be a few days.  We'd be together again by New Year's Eve and we'd have a Re-Christmas at home and it would be the best.


But that was the best case scenario, and we never did get the best case scenario...

11 comments:

KQ said...

Why am I crying when I know this is going to have a happy ending? I guess I'm just so happy for you and your gorgeous family!

Sara said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, it really made my day :-)

Jen said...

I want to be just like Harold and Denise when I grow up. They are seriously awesome. Look at every picture of them! I love Harold with the sunglasses pushing Bridget. What an amazing experience.

melissa said...

I didn't actually know what the Ronald McDonald Houses were for until you had this experience. I must say I'm a huge fan now. That Christmas morning story is straight out of Chicken Soup for the Christmas Soul. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that but how wonderful to have such great inlaws and even strangers to help you get through it.

Bridget holding Colin brings tears to my eyes.

P.S. How do you have time to blog? You have two newborns, right?

Nicole said...

Ha! Somehow the babies were sleeping and I wasn't tired (thank you Dr. Pepper), so I wrote more of the story while I had the chance.

Bridget is holding Emil in that photo. I should have labeled that...

allyn said...

sobbing...give me a moment. i know how this ends, too. maybe that is why i am crying. amy and i were discussing how getting babies the natural way and getting them the miraculous way both has it's extremes, but this is one extreme that i have never had to experience and it sounds so grueling. you are such a tough cookie.

i hope you are getting that picture of bridget and emil framed. it is priceless.

Angie said...

People at the RMH are great! And I love that Bridget has her earrings on first thing in the morning. The boys are very sweet. I'm dying to know if you're home yet.

mike Woods said...

Hey, it is great to see you at home with Bridget being the BIG helper, and a happy smile on your face. We hope that everything keeps progressing for you with the boys.

Kristi said...

You are such a great writer and know just how to bring tears to my eyes. I'm so happy for you guys!

Kellie said...

Sobbing. I'm so proud of you! I love your in-laws and I love Cheri and I love Bridget's earrings. I love the little boys - how cute are they??? I love feeding reindeer in pj's and no snow! I'm so happy right now! Thanks, man!

hOLLIANN said...

I am so glad you guys are home. It is funny because I was thinking the other day, I am so glad all these lawyers (who I work for) take the week after Christmas off for vacation...it gives me a break. I will never think that again! I have officially repented...those blasted lawyers!