Before we can begin the story of the incredible things that happened on January 21, 2020, we need to rewind about seventeen hours. Monday, January 20, 2020. I had been watching a foster baby for another foster family I am friends with. They needed babysitting overnight, so I took the baby from Sunday afternoon until Monday night. She was about 2 months old. She was amazing, and beautiful, and she was SUCH a good baby. Yet, when her foster mom came to pick her up, I said, ‘I loved having a tiny baby in the house, but I don’t think I could EVER do multiples…’ Let me repeat that. A mere seventeen hours before I found out about TWINS being born, I said I could NEVER DO MULTIPLES. Can we talk about manifesting the future???
Ok, let’s resume. January 21, 2020.
Just like any other ordinary Tuesday in my life, after my girls went back to their biological parents. I dragged myself out of bed, forced myself to put clothes on, drove to the gym, and worked out with Franz. It had been a serious struggle, and I would spend a lot of my work out time almost in tears. I just had enough of the bad news and sad moments. It was all consuming.
I had recently forced myself to interview with a new family, to be their nanny. I really didn’t want the job. Like- I REALLY didn’t want the job, yet there was nothing keeping me from saying no. I needed to get myself back in a routine, and out of bed, and give my life some sort of purpose again. After all, it had been almost 4 months since the girls left. I really had no excuse.
After a tiresome work out, I grabbed my jacket, and took out my phone. The notification of a missed call from the family who I had interviewed with, lit up the screen. My stomach dropped. I needed to say yes to this job- but I just COULDN’T! I didn’t want the job. I didn’t want to start over with yet another family. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. So naturally, I decided to wait to respond. At the very least, I needed be in a better head space before talking to them. Procrastination at it’s finest.
Instead, I drove home, and did what I did every other time I went to the gym. I showered and climbed my sad ass back into bed. It was quite the life I was ‘living’.
At 12:54 an email pinged my phone. It was from my social worker. ‘Do you have a minute to chat today?’ Without hesitating, I called her. No answer.
A couple of hours later, she called me back apologizing that she had been in a meeting. She told me I should add Mike onto the call, so we can all talk about the information. I did. Then she said it.
“There is a case that came to me. The babies were just born last week. They are on the adoption track’ …..and everything started to go blurry. BABIESSSS??? ADOPTION TRACK??? She didn’t have much information about the babies, but knew they weren’t named yet. Before she could even tell me all about the medical needs that these two boys had, I already knew it was a yes. In fact, before Mike could catch a breath, I said, ‘we don’t need to talk, Mike and I are in’. She laughed and said, ‘No way. Talk about it and call me back.’ Guys, she hung up the phone, and I called her right back. This was at 3:41 pm.
‘We’re TOTALLY in’.
At 6:15 we walked into the hospital, and went to the Special Care Nursery where we were greeted by nurses who were so happy to see us. They kept saying how amazing these boys were, and how they would miss them when they left. They were one week old, itty bitty, one covered in wires, the other with a brace, made by the nurses, around his foot. We looked at these tiny humans and there was zero hesitation. Zero doubt. These boys belonged with us.
A social worker, whom I had just met, walked into the room and said, ‘Let me take a picture of the new family!’ and I am forever grateful that she did. It felt a little awkward. We had just found out about these boys mere hours earlier, and yet here we were… ‘a family’. That picture is my favorite picture of 2020.
That night we learned more about our boys. We knew we were up against hearing loss, a club foot, and many other things that we couldn’t predict in that moment. Nothing mattered. There was nothing that made me stop or hesitate. Nothing made me nervous, at all. Until the nurses said, ‘So, they could go home tomorrow….’
Umm, what? Tomorrow? The room that the babies would be living in was FAR from ready. It was like a memorial to the girls. Their remaining clothes, toys, beds, art… it was all just sitting there. I hadn’t had enough energy to even think about disassembling it, yet. I felt like I was in a negotiation when I asked, does it have to be tomorrow? Can it be Thursday? In all reality- I’m glad I asked for the extra day, even though I would have strapped them in the car THAT FIRST NIGHT, and brought them home!
The next 48 hours were a blur. Between telling my parents we were bringing TWIN INFANTS, ‘Yes, mom- I said TWINS!!‘ True story: my mom didn’t hear me say ‘twins’ on the phone when I called to tell her the news. All she heard was baby and then THEM. ‘THEM?? What do you mean them? There are two?’, ‘Yeah mom, twins!!’ ‘WHAT??????’ Definitely a phone call that I’ll never forget.
The next day, my mom happily called out of work, and we spent the day shopping for these two babies whom I had JUST met. I try to explain the situation to people like this; You’re pregnant and you have 9 months to prepare, except accelerate that to ~50 hours to find out, and prepare. OH, and there are two of them…. you know, like that. No problem. Every preemie outfit we could find went into a carriage. Blankets, burp cloths, sheets, bottles, and a ton of swaddles. I remember throwing a package with three swaddles into the carriage and my mom said, ‘Umm.. you’re bringing home twins’. She promptly grabbed another package, and in the cart they went. She wasn’t wrong. It felt like I needed 300 of everything.
That night, I drove the hour back to the hospital to see MY boys. Walking into their room was still such a strange feeling. I belonged there… but did I really? There were two tiny humans in two tiny bassinets, in a huge room. They were so loved. Someone had already brought tons of clothing. Someone else donated car seats. It was all just waiting for them. I also found out that despite the nurses not knowing, the boys had been named by their biological parents. The heaviness and fear of thinking of names for children I only just found out about was replaced with ‘…I like those names, but do I LOVE them?? Is that what I would have chosen?’ Again, it didn’t matter. All I saw were my two perfects G’s.
That night, I planned to surprise my brother and sister in law, since they worked just a few minutes from the hospital. They had no clue what they were going to walk in and see. A nurse helped me keep the look out for them, while I propped up my camera. Then I stood directly in front of Greyson’s bassinet, holding Gage. When they walked in, I introduced them to their new nephew… and then I moved to the side to surprise them with another nephew.
We spent the rest of the night digesting what was happening. We ordered food, ate while holding babies, changed diapers, got peed on, and made a surprise FaceTime call to the boys’ other aunt and uncle, and two very special cousins in New York. After that, Auntie N and Uncle B went home. I sat in the room, alone, with my boys. Quiet sounds of fans playing on the TV, and little whimpers of babies. I had waited a long time for this, and it was really happening.
That night, when I was leaving, I felt such a deep ache in my stomach. I didn’t want to leave them there alone. My babies were in the room, alone. I couldn’t do it. I had to remind myself that for the first seven days of their lives, they didn’t have me. The nurses had done a wonderful job caring for them, and they will continue to do so until I take them home- TOMORROW. I whispered, ‘Goodnight my babies, I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow’. I kissed their tiny faces, shut the light off, and walked out of the nursery. That was the last time I would leave alone.
IT’S TOMORROW! FINALLY!! Thursday, January 23, 2020.
Thursday was spent gathering all of the information for doctors and specialists and checking off lists for social workers and the hospital so we could take the boys home. When we got to the hospital- the last time my car would be empty- we went through all of the feeding and safety lists, and packed the babies up. Guys; In two days, I managed to buy matching twin outfits for the boys to wear home. However, the outfits were HUGE- and it was going to be a bigger pain in the butt to change them, instead of leaving them in their warm clothes and bundling for the winter weather outside. But wait…. to bundle, you need blankets. Something I DIDN’T bring. How did I remember outfits that were FAR too big, but not blankets?! First fail is now complete. The hospital kindly provided us with hand knit blankets from a local group of women. We cozied the tiny babies into their (what seemed like) HUGE car seats, and we were off. A family of four.
One year later, and I am writing this for so many reasons. I’m writing to finally be able to share the details of this crazy story. I’m sharing to remember. I’m sharing to remind people that if you know someone going through adoption, fertility issues, etc… things take time. Support them. Questions of ‘why’ or ‘when’ or ‘how’ are hard to answer. Be sensitive.
I will NEVER be able to truly thank the people who were on this journey with me, in any capacity. I will try- but my thank yous will never compare to the support, love, help, and so so many gifts that so many people gave us. We are fortunate, and so excited to be at the other end of this long long long long
Fun Fact #1: This has taken a week to write thanks to four chubby little hands grabbing the computer every time I tried to write. It’s a struggle.
Fun Fact #2: When my social worker called to tell me about this case, she mentioned that it wasn’t in her district and that she randomly met with another SW who told her about the case. She also realized she had missed a note about it while she was on vacation. I chalk that up to my babies waiting for me to find them. It was meant to be.