In that moment, quiet surrounded me. It was as if time actually stood still. My breath caught. My heart stopped. Slowly, gently, I wrapped you in my arms. I felt the steady rhythm of your heart next to mine. Softly, I pressed my cheek to yours, closed my eyes and exhaled... In the stillness of that quiet miracle, I held you, my son, for the very first time. In that moment at last, the journey of many hearts beat as one. And you were home.
Samuel's first few days with us were "trial and error" ... but considering the life changing event "he and we" went through, we all did phenominal, really. It seemed none of us slept that night, literally. Since I hadn't actually slept much since "The Call" on Thursday, I was rather wiped out.
I was falling in love with Samuel and feeling over the top overwhelmed! Brian and I had gone from a couple to a family in just a few short days. Well wishers meant well, so well ... everyone was falling in love with Samuel. But, I went through a day of feeling smothered, tired, worn out and I just needed some time to gather my thoughts and get some rest. My brother and sister-in-law were here from Cleveland. They stepped in and managed the home, baby, phone, etc. while we attemped to catch some rest. Notice I said "rest" because I don't think I truly ever went to "sleep".
Since then it's been all up hill. We couldn't be happier. Samuel is a good baby - I mean so good I feel guilty! ;) He's pleasant, happy, smiley (for real, not gas, ha), content.
I have experienced "Mom instincts" I didn't expect. So surreal. I find myself wanting to protect him and love him FOREVER! We spend alot of time bonding. We sing, cuddle and kiss as much as we can. I can honestly say there are absolutely NO bonding issues, as a matter of fact, I find it to be quite the opposite.
Samuel is a miracle from God. Our wait was long and painful, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I can see now, God was busy perfecting our son. I thank God every day for this baby. . . we have been richly blessed.
Once Samuel was introduced to us we were given a few moments quiet time. We fed him, changed him and prepped for the ride home. I had taken a special newborn layette outfit, but it was TOO big for his tiny little body.
The ride home was great! I sat in the back with Samuel while BT drove. From the moment Samuel was placed in my arms I felt fine, great actually. No more tummy ache. So our first stop was Wendy's drive-thru for a single burger and diet coke!
We stopped at a service area for gas, and to feed, change and hold him. The drive home seemed to take forever. Baby slept... I spent time texting pix to family who were all waiting for his arriveal home. When we arrived home, Samuel was greeted by a stork on the lawn and a sign in the window.
Inside our immediately family was waiting to meet him. Everyone was so happy, so excited, so in love. I wish there were words to describe the emotions!
My sister decorated the inside of our home for Samuel's homecoming. Everyone stayed for dinner. We had Olive Garden lasagna, tossed salad and garlic bread. My mother-in-law brought a cake from Wegmans. So fun and so yummy!
At approximately 12 noon, Baby Samuel Riley was placed in my arms.
I'll do my best to explain how the moments enfolded . . but I know my words won't come close to the joy we experienced.
Barely able to sleep the night before, we were up promptly at 6 AM, with plans to leave for the agency by 7:30 AM. All the stress, nervousness, etc. caught up to me and I got a nervous stomach that not only caused us to leave late, but required a few unexpected stops on the New York State Thruway. Our appointment was for 10 AM. We were late. I felt horrible. But the ladies at our agency were great.
We were greeted at the door and taken back to the counseling room to read, review and sign necessary paperwork. I vividly remember trying to sign my name for the first time. My hand was so weak and shaky! Once the adoptive parent worker went over everything with us, the birthparent worker came in to talk to us.
She told us about Samuel's birthmom! She's a brave, strong, loving woman who wanted the best for Samuel. Her plan was solid. She wanted him placed with a couple who waited a long, long time and had no other children. She chose not to have contact of any kind. No phone calls, letters, cards, etc. We loved all the things the agency shared with us regarding her life, wishes, future goals, etc.. I can't stop thinking about her and the gift she gave us. I may never be given the opportunity to thank her myself, but she will forever be in my thoughts and prayers.
One thing the worker stressed over and over was how much she loved Samuel and that we should always assure him of her love.
Then it was time for Samuel's foster family to bring him in! I remember the room quickly filling with people and camera flashes all over the place, but what I remember most was this image of the foster mother walking into the room with our boy.
Once Samuel was placed in our arms, things were pretty quiet as we all shared a loving, emotional moment. Samuel's foster Mom talked to me about his likes and dislikes.
Once things calmed down everyone stood in a circle holding hands as a prayer was offered.
Samuel squirmed and made his presence known during the prayer (too cute).
I am so glad we had the opportunity to meet the family who cared for our son for the first two weeks of his life. They're a fine, Christian family whom I am sure took very good care of him.
I must admit, my heart went to my throat as they said their "good-byes" and I heard one of them whisper to Samuel, "Have a good life" with such sincerity.
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3
My name is Pep and I am married to a wonderful, wonderful man, BT. For 7+ years we've enjoyed the perks of marriage and have walked a long journey toward bringing a child into our home through adoption! We're from Western New York where we enjoy the 4 amazing seasons God has created. BT works in the media as a writer, producing new casts. I am a child day care director, truly the most rewarding job on earth.
As a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, partner, boss, caretaker, bookkeeper, etc...I love life and enjoy the people around me. We believe God is the author of our lives and it's in Him we place our trust believing all things work for the good to those who love God. We are sinners, saved by God's grace.