And at that point we gave up on conceiving. Something didn’t feel right about it anymore. Something in our DNA just didn’t mingle. We started looking at the possibility of adoption, and quickly started going through the process to get approved.
Throughout the process, we had to attend classes where they paint as grim a picture for you as possible about how long it might take to be chosen for adoption. At the agency we were going through, the average was two years. We decided we could wait as long as it took, so we signed up. It took a few months to get the home studies done and the paperwork approved, and then we were put on “the list”, ready to ride it out.
Less than three weeks later we received an email from a birth mom with a couple of questions. I don’t think my heart has ever leaped against my chest as hard as it did when we saw her message in our inbox. After only a couple of very cautious correspondences (all within an hour that felt like days), she told us that she’d like to place her baby with us. She wanted us to adopt her child. Then, she dropped equally flooring news… She was due in three weeks.
The whirlwind that followed was complete pandemonium. Every mother, sister, aunt, grandma, neighbor, acquaintance, and stranger within a 600 mile radius showed up for an “emergency baby shower”. My wife came home with so many baby clothes that for the first six months of his life, Noah never had to wear the same outfit twice (literally) and half of his clothes still had tags on them when we gave them away. We bought a crib, painted a room, decorated like crazy, threw parties, and in between it all made numerous drives to meet the birth mom who lived two hours away.
We became very close to the birth mom in that short span. The details of why she gifted us Noah are hers, and hers alone to share with the world, so please don’t ask. Just know that this girl was and is beautiful. She is stunning, in fact. She gave us something that can never be repaid. She brought Noah to us. To me.
A week before her due date (only two weeks after we got the news), she went into labor and we rushed to greet our new baby boy into the world with our brand new minivan, car seat, baby carrier, bags of blankets, baby clothes, gifts, flowers, and everything else we could possibly cram in. We went to the hospital where she had invited us to experience the birth of our son with her. Her labor went very smooth and very fast. At the last minute, one of the nurse’s freaked out and said that I shouldn’t be allowed to watch the birth. She didn’t think it was appropriate. I shook my head in disbelief and walked out of the room while the women discussed it. In the five minutes I was gone, apparently she went from 3cm to 10cm and had the baby. I walked back toward the room and heard a soft baby’s cry as I neared. My wife came out and said, “he’s here. You can come in.” The excitement quickly overcame my frustration at the nurse, and I slipped quietly inside to see what precious cargo lay within.
And when they finally laid his little swaddled body into my eager arms, an immediate bond formed with that boy. A mantle of responsibility and love blanketed me and I vowed in my head that I would be the best dad the world has ever seen. That this boy would never know a dad that didn’t love him. He would never not feel protected. He would always be mine. And I would always be his.
And that has never changed.
I love that boy. I love everything about him. Every tiny detail.
Every time he makes a funny face to every time he farts and laughs hysterically. I love when he cries. I love when he can’t do something. I love when he tells fragmented stories or spills his M&Ms all over my truck. I love when he scribbles drawings for me. I love when he can’t form a proper sentence because he’s so excited about something. I love when he wakes up from his naps completely discombobulated. I love when he can’t stop laughing because he just loves to laugh. I love when he insists that I watch his new tricks. I love when he falls off his bike and jumps back up to try and beat me seeing it. I love watching him climb our peach tree, and I love his fascination as I pick up all the dog crap in the yard. I love the way he calls Kit Kats “Kitten Kats”, and I love the way he will try any food without hesitation, just because dad thinks it’s good. I love how much he loves me. I love how much he wants to be like me.
Noah is my son, and this is just a small sampling of what I feel for him. Trust me, the internet isn’t big enough for me to post 100% of it. This is Noah.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
If you didn’t read yesterday’s post (How much did YOUR kid cost?) Please go read it. It got more traffic than any post I’ve ever written to this point, and is about the insensitive things people say to adoptive parents and children.