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Thursday morning (January 22nd):
Now, I only go to the hospital in the morning before clinic if I have an inpatient, which is infrequent; however, earlier that week I happened to have an OB deliver so I had both a Mama and babe to see. At about 8:20 on Thursday morning I arrived at the hospital and first noticed there was a baby in the nursery (that wasn’t the baby I was there to see). It is not uncommon for babies to be in the nursery during rounds in the mornings but in general they stay in the room with their Mama as we practice rooming-in at our hospital. I went about my business, seeing my patients and sat down at the nurse’s station to chart.
Some of the staff were mumbling quietly behind me. The nurse’s station is never, ever quiet but this morning it was. I finally turned around in my chair and asked what was happening? Someone quietly said that the baby in the nursery doesn’t have a Mom. I was shocked and started weeping for this sweet child without a name. Crying, I asked the doctor that delivered her what I could do to be able to be considered by the birth mother for this baby. Knowing my emotions were running high, he reminded me we needed to keep everything in perspective. He was right. Everything needed to be done correctly and the birth mother needed to be the one in charge. I knew I needed to leave. Being there would only jeopardize any chance we had of even meeting this child’s birth mother. I left the hospital crying and called Adam telling him, through sobs, about a baby in the nursery with no mom. He now says he could barely understand me and at the time all he said to me was, “call an attorney”.
I had no idea what to do or who to call. I went straight to the clinic, grabbed my nurse and went into my office. I quickly told her what happened while searching for the surrogacy attorney’s phone number that I had spoke with over a month ago. She answered my call! I asked if she remembered me and she did. I told her I didn’t know what else to do, who else to call so I called her. She then explained that there are only two attorneys in the state that are certified by the American Academy of Adoptions—and she was one of them and that she said she had a lot of experience counseling birth mothers. We quickly talked about what was happening and she questioned me about where we were at with our home study. If you’ll remember we did start that process back in December but got spooked by the many unknowns affiliated with adoption so we put things on hold for a bit. But, the point was that we had started the process. And, both my rap sheet and FBI record had already returned clean (Adam’s FBI form needed to be redone-darn dyslexia! He switched around a couple of numbers in his social security number!)! It is important to remember that the FBI clearance can take several weeks and until this very basic step is completed a person cannot take a child into their home!
The attorney advised me to contact the social worker through which we were doing our home study and stated that she would call our hospital and visit with the social worker there about the situation. I called my Mom and Adam called his parents asking them both to call the family and ask for prayers. I called the social worker through Adoption Consultants that had been to our home in December who stated that since I had been cleared through the state and the FBI and since we had started the home study process that we could move forward with things if the opportunity continued and that if anything came of this we were just to update her and we’d get the home study done after we had the baby. Meanwhile all of my exam rooms were full of patients to be seen! Gah! What a morning it was shaping up to be!
The birth mother was presented with all of her options but she knew what she wanted, having soul-searched her entire pregnancy. Having had other children she knew first-hand how important bonding is between parents and a new baby and she wanted her baby to have parents that day! This is why she wanted a private adoption. She also wanted a couple with no children and one in which the Father would be very involved. She had the opportunity to speak with several attorneys, only one of which was able to truly answer her questions. The attorney she was most comfortable with was the one we had contacted!
In between patients, I received a call back from this attorney stating the birth mother wanted to meet me and that the social worker would be calling me to discuss setting up this meeting. She also said that she happened to have a clear afternoon and was going to get in her car and drive the three hours to come meet with the birth mother and us! She explained to me that from that point forward she was actually going to be representing the birth mother. She would certainly speak to us but her job would be to be sure the birth mother’s wishes were met and that if anything came of this we would need to hire a different attorney to represent us to avoid a conflict of interest. It just so happens that the other certified adoption attorney in Nebraska was her mentor 15 years ago when she started her practice and therefore she would contact her and tell her our story so we had an attorney in place in the event we needed one.
The hospital social worker than called asking if I (not Adam) could come meet the birth mother at noon. Now, remember it was just three hours earlier when this all started! I think I knew then that something magical was happening. That God was there and completely in control. I called Adam and told him to come to my office and told my nurse that I was going to finish all of my patient notes and reply to all of the patient phone calls I had before I went to meet the birth mother as I hoped I wouldn’t be back for a long time. I hoped I would be going on maternity leave!
I was scared and excited all at the same time! The social worker stated that there was a lot of “buzz” happening in the hospital about this child in the nursery that was being placed for adoption. She felt it best that she meet us at the door and escort us to the room to see the birth mother. What a tough spot this social worker was in as she intimately knew of Adam and my situation but ultimately she was there to do her job….which was to care for this birth mother and her child, which she did wonderfully. She also told us that the birth mother had decided she did want to meet Adam….
*more to come!
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