Today is Brae’s 6th birthday. In honor of my Halloween baby, I thought I’d share his birth story for those who may not know.
We had been on the adoption wait list for nearly 7 months before we got the call that Brae’s birthmom had seen our profile and wanted to meet us. She was the first birthmom who had actually wanted to meet us. We’d had numerous “false starts” before her.
We drove nearly 3 hours to meet her for the first time. It was September, and she was due in early November. We met at a Mexican restaurant for lunch. It was us, our case worker, her, her sister, and her mother.
I remember thinking she was radiant. A petite young girl, age 23, with a basketball under her shirt. I was so nervous, I didn’t eat a thing.
We all stumbled through the conversation, clearly in uncharted territory. We gave her a small bag of gifts we had brought – magazines, books, little things to occupy her during her labor.
At one point, she asked us if we had picked out names. She had decided to not know the gender, so she asked if we had a boy and a girl name.
We told her we did not yet have a boy name, but we had a girl name. It was Hannah.
The room fell silent.
Oh no, I thought. She doesn’t like our name. What could that mean? Will she still allow us to adopt this baby?
Then, she broke the silence with a smile.
“That’s my last name.”
Chills. Up to that point, we had only known her first name. To have our chosen girl name be her last name was truly a God thing.
The next day, she chose us to be the family for the child she was carrying.
Fast forward a few weeks, and we got the call that she was going to be induced. On Halloween. It was a Friday. The same as this year.
We had our last supper as a family of 2 (we hoped!), and drove the 3 hours down to the hospital. We stayed in a hotel on October 30, and the next morning, went to the hospital.
She allowed us to be present for the labor and delivery. When I walked in the room, she looked at me and smiled, “Are you ready to be a mom?”
I lost it.
Over the next several hours, we talked with her and her family, prayed with her, and otherwise encouraged her as she made her way through the labor process. At one point, she turned to us and said, “You know, I never asked if you had a boy name picked out.”
Tygh and I looked at each other. We had just decided the day before.
“Well, it’s a little unusual. But we like Brae.”
Again, the room fell silent. The familiar feeling of “Is she going to like it?” raced through my mind.
She again broke the silence with a smile. “My middle name is Rae.”
God was present.
I held her hand as she pushed our baby out, and then when the doctor revealed it was a boy, watched as they placed him on her abdomen.
I cut the cord.
Our birthmom is an incredible woman. For many reasons. But all could see it that day, from the nursing staff, to the doctors, to the caseworkers.
She allowed us to completely assume the role of his parents from literally his first breath. We bathed him. We fed him. We changed him. We held him.
And, as the night wore on, she asked if I would sleep in the room with her and Brae.
Not much sleeping went on that night, however. She and I just talked. It was magical.
The next day, she was discharged, and he was officially ours.
The hospital put him in a pumpkin costume, and we saddled up for the ride home. I sat in the back with him, holding his hands the whole way.
Six years later, and I haven’t stopped.