The social worker told us that she did not think that the baby’s birth grandma or aunt were in a situation where they could care for him. She assured us that no one had said anything about taking custody of him. She also assured us that the birth mom seemed very certain about her decision. Then she told us that the birth mom wanted to meet us, and that we would be meeting several other family members as well.
We were fine with meeting the birth mom (in fact, I was a little disappointed when we were told that we would not meet her), but this was unexpected. Not only were we terrified after everything the social worker had told us, but we were comepletely unprepared. We took a few minutes to talk to the social worker about what we should and should not say, should and should not do, etc. It was also a little scary to think about meeting her whole family. The social worker explained who was who and who was sitting where to help prepare us.
We walked down the hall and into her room. We were introduced to the birth mom (Amy), her sister, her mom, her two nieces, her nephew, and her best friend. They all seemed normal. And nice. And just as nervous to meet us as we were to meet them.
Amy was sitting in her hospital bed holding the baby when we saw him for the first time. He was beautiful. We could not believe his head full of black hair. Amy asked if we wanted to hold him, and she handed him to me.
We sat and chit-chatted for a while. I don’t even remember what we talked about. They were all very obviously sad, but not angry or upset with us in any way. There were lots of tears, theirs and ours. Amy’s mom cried the whole time, and kept saying, “Please take good care of him.” Amy kept saying to us, “I just want you to know that I love him.” We told her that we knew she loved him, and promised her that he will know she loves him.
Amy’s sister asked if they could take some pictures with us. Amy invited me to sit down on the bed next to her, and I handed the baby back to her so she could hold him for the photos. Her sister gave me an e-mail address so we could exchange photos (we set up a special e-mail account for this, but more on that in another post).
They asked what we were going to name him, and we told them we honestly didn’t know. Amy told us that she didn’t know she could give him a name, but that the social worker told her that morning she could. She said she knew that we would change it, but that she had given him the name Brenden Michael. Brenden was just a name she liked and Michael was after her uncle who had passed away. Christian and I had talked about Michael as a middle name earlier in the day, though we had decided the middle name would be William. As we stood there in the room we looked at each other, whispered, and agreed that his middle name should stay Michael. I think Amy was very happy when we told her this.
We talked some more. We told them about Noah and Zoe, and they told us about Amy’s other two children, a son Jason who is ten and a daughter Hailey who is eight.
One niece who was there was only a baby, but the other niece and nephew were probably six and eight. They were a little confused, so that was tough. The nephew said, “Please don’t take our baby.” His mom shushed him and apologized to us. The niece said, “They’re taking the baby? Are they taking Jason and Hailey, too?” Amy explained that only the baby was going to live with us, and that we were going to give him a good home.
Eventually we decided it was time to go. We told them that we would let them have their time alone with him and that we would see them all later to say good-bye. We also promised to let them know what his first name would be before we left that night.
To be continued…