The day had finally arrived for me to receive my baby. My mother had flown to San Antonio the day before in order to accompany me when I picked him up. She also planned to spend two weeks with me to assist with the adjustment process. We were both nervous and excited as we made the two-hour drive to the agency.
When we arrived at the agency, I spent approximately an hour completing paperwork and paying the agency fee . Finally, after all the administrative details were done, the agency staff began taking pictures of my mother and I while we waited. Next, the foster mother entered the room carrying my baby. What a moment! Words can not explain the emotions I felt. Suddenly, I forgot about all the uncertainty of the past 19 months. All I could focus on was my beautiful baby boy.
He was three months and two days old when he came to me. He weighed five pounds and six ounces at birth, and eleven pounds the day the agency turned him over to me. He was (and is) a beautiful Hispanic boy with thick dark hair and the biggest brown eyes I had ever seen. The foster mother placed him in my arms and I was mesmerized.
The following hour was spent talking to the foster mother and familiarizing myself with his routine. The agency staff took still more pictures. The adoption mother presented me with an adoption book she had prepared for him.
The next day, I attended the agency’s orientation session for prospective parents while my mother stayed at the hotel with my baby. It was pretty exciting to meet these prospective parents and I delighted in showing them pictures of him. I think it gave them hope to meet someone who had actually made it through the process.
My mother and I drove back to my home in San Antonio the next day. As soon as I returned home, I busied myself with arranging for him to be examined by a pediatrician, adding him to my insurance, arranging daycare, and transferring his Medicaid to me (adopted children are entitled to Medicaid during the period prior to adoption finalization). I also discovered that since he was on Medicaid, he automatically qualified for the WIC Program which provides formula for infants under one year of age and solids for older children. As a social worker who had always referred clients to these programs, I found it interesting to be experiencing the frustrations associated with the bureaucratic social service system on a first hand basis.
After attending to the many administrative tasks associated with bringing home a new baby, I spent the remainder of my one month maternity leave time proudly introducing him to my friends, going to baby showers, and buying a new sports utility vehicle. In a short time, I had discovered just how much “stuff” a tiny baby requires. Gone were the days of driving a sports car. I also discovered the joys of bottle washing and diaper changing.
I was amazed at how much support I received from my family and friends. Even friends who had previously questioned my decision seemed genuinely interested in making sure that the adoption placement was successful.
It is my belief that our children are our most valuable resource and that parenting is our most important and rewarding task.