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Although the day Jayce was born was one of the happiest days of my life, it also came with a lot of unwanted fear, anxiety and doubt. We have jumped over many hurdles since the moment we brought him home, and I’m finally ready to reflect on the entire experience thus far and share with you all.

June 20th was the day our lives changed forever. It was a typical Tuesday afternoon at work. Around 2pm, my cell phone started ringing and I noticed our adoption agencies number appear on the screen. Normally, this would be a moment of excitement and anticipation. I however wasn’t phased at all when I seen their number appear. Every year you are on the waiting list to be placed with a child, you have to undergo a routine home study review. We were coming up on our one year anniversary of being on the waiting list and I was expecting to get a call from our social worker to book our yearly check-in. What I wasn’t expecting to hear on the other end of the telephone was that a birth mom has chosen us and would like to set up a time to meet. The social worker wanted to set up a Skype meeting in the next couple of days to go over the details of this potential placement (birth mom/dad’s ethnic background, age, where they live, how the pregnancy was going, etc.) before we had a chance to meet both the birth mom and dad in person. I immediately called Drew to share the news with him. Our meeting with the social worker wasn’t until the next day around 4pm. We spent the next 24 hours wondering what the birth mom was like? When was she due? Why did she choose us? Out of respect and privacy for the birth mom and dad, I am not going to provide details of what the social worker told us, however I can tell you we had never been more excited than in that moment.

We scheduled an in person meeting with the birth mom and dad middle of July. We travelled to Calgary to meet the two people that would forever change our life. Our connection with them was instant and we felt like we had known them both our entire life. Before our meeting was officially over, the birth parents wanted to make the match official. At the time, the birth mom was 31 weeks pregnant and she shared with us she was pregnant with a boy! It was all starting to become so much more real. In approximately two months, we would become parents for the first time.

We left the match meeting feeling like a different couple than the one that arrived. Along with our excitement came a sense of panic. In a few short weeks we will have a newborn and we have absolutely nothing for him. We spent the next day driving around Calgary picking up/ordering all the necessities we would need. Although it was an exciting moment finally being able to purchase a stroller, crib, baby clothes, etc. it was also extremely overwhelming. We wanted everything to be perfect (and safe) for our new arrival. The next two months were spent preparing a nursery, and staying in touch with the birth parents. We made several trips to Calgary during that time to connect and get to know them better. I even got to attend her last ultrasound appointment where she let me keep the picture of our little miracle. As we got closer to her due date, we got more and more excited to meet our son.

A week past her due date, the birth mom told us she was scheduled to be induced on September 29th (the day after our anniversary!). The night before she was scheduled to be induced, we travelled to Calgary to go for dinner with the birth parents. We wanted to enjoy this time with them, and share our excitement and gratitude we had for both of them. We got a hotel room that was five minutes away from the hospital to ensure we had close access. We spent time at the hospital with the birth parents while she was being prepped to be induced, and throughout the labour as well. On September 30th at 10:10am, Jayce Arthur was born. When we received the text that he had arrived, and was healthy as can be, I felt like my heart stopped. It was almost as if I couldn’t believe this was all finally happening. In that moment I had become a mother, Drew became a father and for some reason it felt too good to be true.

The next few hours were the hardest. We didn’t get to officially meet Jayce until around 4pm that afternoon. We wanted to provide the birth mom some time/space to go through recovery, get moved to a new room, and spend some time with Jayce before we arrived. I’ve imagined what this moment would be like for years, now the moment was going to become real and not just a dream. I know many have asked me if the connection with Jayce was instant or did it take time. The moment I held Jayce in my arms for the first time my life changed forever. As I looked down at him, I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion. I knew I would never be the same again.

Since the birth mom had a healthy delivery, Jayce would be able to be discharged the next day. Drew and I would be able to take him home from the hospital once the lawyer received written consent from both the birth mom and dad. I tried to prepare myself as best as I could for the hours we were about to endure between delivery and discharge. In that moment I just wanted to hold my son, and enjoy his first 24 hours with Drew. Unfortunately, with adoption this isn’t always the picture perfect scenario we hope for. We wanted to respect the birth mom and dad’s time with Jayce, as we knew we would have a lifetime with him. I can honestly say those 24 hours were the hardest, and only the beginning of the fear we would have to endure for approximately the next two weeks. There were many moments during those 24 hours that we were unsure the adoption would officially go through. Adoption is a very emotional process for all those involved. Although it was a day of celebration for Drew and I, it was a day of loss for the birth mom and dad. The hours leading up to Jayce’s discharge can’t be put into words, but at approximately 5pm on Sunday, October 1st, it was finally time to travel home from Calgary.

Most would think we would be able to breath a sigh of relief the moment we exited the hospital doors, but unfortunately this was not the case. The birth mom and dad have 10 days immediately following discharge to change their minds. So although this should be a moment of celebration for Drew and I, we had to spend our first 10 days at home with Jayce with fear in the back of our minds that our child could be taken from us at any moment and there was absolutely nothing we could do.

So here we are, two months later, and loving every moment with our sweet Jayce. He has added so much joy to our lives. I love his bedtime cuddles, his funny expressions, his chubby belly and his good morning smiles. He’s absolutely perfect in my eyes, and I’m so thankful God chose me to be his mom.

This journey wasn’t easy, but in life, anything worth having is worth fighting for. I forever will be grateful for Jayce’s birth parents for choosing us. Their selfless act provided us with the greatest gift in the world.

Image courtesy of Sonya Brown/mywaitingroom.ca

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Sonya Brown
Sonya Brown, B.Kin, is a Health Promotion Coordinator and works with School Divisions in Southeastern Alberta to improve healthy eating, active living and positive mental health initiatives and policies. Her passion is building healthy school communities where children and youth can live happy, healthy lives.