It was the worst of years, it was the best of years.
(I am going to apologize now because this may get lengthy because I have never really told all the whole story of our time in New York at the beginning of the year.)
This year started out so promising - we got a call at the beginning of January that we had been matched with a birthmom from New York (way, way upstate New York) and we were so excited. The baby girl was due in March and we had only a little time to get prepared for her. My friends Laura and Rhonda threw me the nicest baby shower and so many people showed up and showered us not only with gifts, but love as well. It was amazing.
March came along and it was time for Tony and I to make our big trip to Plattsburgh, NY and you couldn't even begin to imagine all the stuff we took with us. I think we each had two bags, a pack and play, a stroller base, a car seat, a backpack and my purse. We probably had more, but that is all I can remember. Luckily we were flying Southwest Airlines so most of that flew free...or else we may have had to mortgage the house to get all that to New York.
We arrived a few days before the scheduled birth of Kinley so we could meet the birthmom. Tony and I went to dinner with her and her sister and were there for almost 3 hours and then we received the nicest email from her afterwards about how she was so happy she picked us to be the parents of her baby girl. Tony and I went to see a few movies before Kinley's birth and when we left the theater on Sunday night it was snowing. We went to bed pretty early and when we woke up (EARLY!) there was 2 feet of snow on the ground.
The snow caused all kinds of problems - it took us forever to get out of the parking lot at the hotel where we were staying. Luckily a nice man helped us shovel all the snow from behind our car and we ended up giving him a ride to the hospital as well. Our birthmom was stuck at her place too and she couldn't get to the hospital because of the snow. Her sister had been trying to dig her car out for hours (and she ended up having minor frostbite on her finger tips). Our birthmom eventually had to have an ambulance pick her up and take her to the hospital and Tony and I happened to arrive at the exact same time and accompanied her up the elevator.
A beautiful baby girl was born on Monday, March 7th and we were so excited about her. A few hours after her birth, the town of Plattsburgh was under a state of emergency and the roads were only going to be open for 30 more minutes. The hospital gave us a room next to the birthmom and we were going to stay the night there and spend time with that sweet baby girl.
The rest of Monday went great - we had dinner at the hospital with the birth grandmother (I guess that is what I would call the birthmom's mother) and she seemed to be so nice, but looking back on it, there were things she said that should have raised some red flags. We held sweet Kinley, fed her, burped her, changed her diapers and spent a lot of time with the birthmom's family.
On Tuesday, the state of emergency was lifted and Tony and I left the hospital for a bit to get a shower at our hotel room. When we returned back to the hospital, again we had a great day feeding, burping and changing little Kinley...but before we left that night, our birthmom had her first breakdown (that we saw). We left the room while she was crying and when we returned she promised us that we would be going home with her little girl that it was just hard for her. I came back to the hotel that night and blogged and received so many prayers via voicemails, texts, Facebook messages, etc. We were so blessed to have so many people care about our situation.
Wednesday started off good, but the birthmom had a few breakdowns throughout the day. Her mom told me that she was afraid that Kinley would grow up hating her and wouldn't understand why she had done this and had asked me to talk to her about my feelings since I had been adopted at birth. I sat down with her alone and told her (through tears) that I have never hated my birthmom and that I know she did what was best for me. It was the ultimate act of love and bravery. My talk with her seemed to help and as we left to go back to the hotel, she again promised me we would be going home with Kinley, but I had a nervous feeling in my stomach all night.
On Thursday, our birthmom and Kinley were to be released from the hospital so we brought up Kinley's going home outfit, blanket and carseat. We were so excited to bring her "home" even if home meant a hotel room for the next several days. Tony and I were sitting in the birthmom's room and she fell asleep. Her mom and her sister started snooping through her phone and noticed she had texted someone the night before that "she wished she would just die in her sleep" and the bottom started to fall out then. The birthmom's mother started crying and left the room (the text was not only emotional for her, but she was remembering that her daughter had tried to commit suicide at the beginning of her pregnancy).
Our birthmom's mother showed up with the nurse manager and asked us to leave the room. At that point, my hands were shaking and I knew this was the end. I turned to Tony and said, "I can't do this again, it is too hard!" Several minutes later, the nurse manager came to speak to us to tell us that our birthmom had changed her mind and that she was keeping our sweet Kinley. Her mom was going to help her to raise the baby which is the main reason why our birthmom changed her mind. This meant we would be going home empty handed. Tony and I were in tears. We only had each other - there was no one there with us. It was heartbreaking and not a day that I would like to repeat. We sat in a room and cried forever and finally left the hospital. And, we got back to hotel and I spent the whole day in bed crying and crying and crying. I had the worst headache! After awhile, I got on the computer and booked us a return flight home for the next day.
As we were at the airport, an older lady asked about all of our baby gear and I broke down crying again. That poor lady probably didn't have a clue what she had done. It was that day while waiting in the airport for our flight that we would go ahead an throw our name in the hat again (even though I had just said I didn't want to do it again). We emailed the agency and we were activated again which meant potential birthmoms would start reading our profiles again. When we arrived in Dallas, we were met by Tony's family and mine too. It was too sweet. One of my best friends met us for breakfast the next day too. And, we received so many emails, texts, phone calls and were amazed by all the support we received!
Of course, that is why I would say this year has been the worst of years.
However, Tony and I decided we would get on with our lives and booked a cruise to Alaska for September, but God had other plans! Remember the decision we had made to put our names and profile back out there - well there was a birthmom that signed up with our agency just days after our heartbreak and she picked us and you all know the ending to this story. So Tony and I canceled our cruise to Alaska for a trip to Knoxville, TN to see our sweet Harper arrive in the world on June 20, 2011. What a difference a few month's make! She has completely turned out worst year to our best. We are so blessed to have this sweet angel in our lives. She made us a family!
Harper, we love you! We are so happy with had great friends and family this year! We are so thankful we put our trust in God because He obviously knew best!
We anticipate 2012 being an awesome year! We hope it is for all of you as well.