OUR ADOPTION "STORY"

IT ISN'T EVERYDAY A BABY FALLS OUT OF THE SKY AND INTO YOUR LIFE. USUALLY YOU HAVE SOME NOTICE. NINE MONTHS NOTICE. A BABY GIRL STARTED TO STIR IN OUR UNIVERSE OVER CHRISTMAS WHEN WE HEARD OF A FAMILY FRIEND IN A TOUGH SITUATION. SHE WAS PREGNANT AND HOPING SHE WOULD FIND A FAMILY TO ADOPT HER BABY GIRL. KNOWING THE EXTENDED BIOLOGICAL FAMILY, WE WISHED THEM WELL, AND MENTIONED THAT IF ANYTHING FELL THROUGH WITH THE POTENTIAL ADOPTIVE PARENTS THEY WERE LOOKING INTO, WE WERE ALWAYS OPEN TO ANOTHER BABY TO LOVE.

NOT FOUR DAYS LATER WE RECEIVED A CALL. THE POTENTIAL ADOPTIVE PARENTS FELT IN THEIR GUT IT WAS A NO. CURIOUSLY STACY WOKE UP AT 4 AM DREAMING OF A BABY GIRL. IT SEEMED WHATEVER MAGIC WAS OUT THERE HAD JUST SPUN ITSELF INTO OUR LIVES.

OF COURSE, WE SAID WE WOULD TAKE HER. WE KNEW IT WAS MEANT TO BE.

NOW... HOW DO YOU TAKE HOME A BABY?

IMMEDIATELY STACY WAS ON THE PHONE TREE SIFTING THROUGH THE VAST LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO PULL THIS OFF. WE NEEDED TO COMPLETE IN 20 DAYS WHAT TAKES MOST COUPLES ABOUT 18 MONTHS. OH, YES, DID WE MENTION SHE WAS DUE IN 3 WEEKS? EVERY DOCUMENT YOU COULD IMAGINE PROVING YOU ARE A LEGITIMATE MEMBER OF SOCIETY HAS TO BE DREDGED UP AND RECORDED. A HOME STUDY REQUIRES VIGOROUS BACKGROUND CHECKS, SCHOOL RECORDS, REFERENCE LETTERS, INSTALLATION OF A POOL FENCE, ETC. WE WERE NOW DOING ALL OF THIS WHILE OPENING A BRAND NEW COMPANY AND REMODELING MY SALON. STACY STAYED UP ALL NIGHT COMPLETING OUR BIOGRAPHIES AND COLLECTING THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTS WHILE I PULLED TOGETHER THE NEWBORN ESSENTIALS AND MADE TRAVEL PLANS. CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR NEWBORN TRAVEL ESSENTIALS.

WHAT IF WE WEREN'T APPROVED IN TIME? THE BABY COULD COME ANY DAY. FAILURE TO GET APPROVED WAS NOT AN OPTION. EXACTLY 18 DAYS LATER WE WERE APPROVED BY THE STATE TO ADOPT UNBORN INFANT HOUSTON.

LUCKILY WE STILL HAD ONE WEEK UNTIL THE DUE DATE, FEBRUARY 3RD. WE BOOKED A FLIGHT FOR FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2ND AND PLANNED TO WAIT HER ARRIVAL. TO COMPLICATE MATTERS THE BIRTH MOTHER WAS NOT ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH US DIRECTLY. WE WERE VERY LUCKY TO HAVE AN AMAZING LIAISON WITHIN HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER WHOM WE COULD SPEAK WITH ALMOST DAILY. THE MORNING BEFORE WE WERE DUE TO DEPART THE FAMILY MEMBER TEXT STACY AND ASKED IF WE PLANNED TO STILL COME THE FOLLOWING DAY. WE REPLIED, "YES, EARLY MORNING FLIGHT." HER RESPONSE... "OK, HER WATER BROKE THIS MORNING."

IT'S THURSDAY MORNING.

STACY CALLED ME AT WORK WHILE I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CLIENT. "STACY, OH MY GOSH! I HAVE A FULL DAY OF CLIENTS AND A LASH APPOINTMENT TONIGHT!"

WE BOOKED THE NEXT FLIGHT OUT OF SAN DIEGO AND STACY THREW TOGETHER THE REMAINDER OF THE SUITCASE. LUCKILY, I AM EXTREMELY ORGANIZED SO SHE MAINLY JUST HAD TO PLACE FOLDED OUTFITS IN THE SUITCASE. I HAD PLANNED ON FINISHING MY PERSONAL PACKING THAT NIGHT. I WOULD LATER FIND, I DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE SHIRT.

STACY BARELY MADE THE FLIGHT DRIVING FROM ORANGE COUNTY. I WAS AT WORK IN SAN DIEGO AND THE SOONEST FLIGHT LEFT FROM THERE. WE BUSTED THROUGH SECURITY AND RAN ON THE FIRST PLANE. WE WERE NERVOUS THE ENTIRE FLIGHT THAT WE WOULD MISS HER ARRIVAL. TWO FLIGHTS, ONE LAYOVER, AND A RIDICULOUSLY LONG CAR RENTAL LINE LATER WE STARTED THE HOUR LONG DRIVE TO THE HOSPITAL FROM THE AIRPORT. WE HAD NO UPDATES AT THIS POINT BECAUSE OUR LIAISON WAS NOT ALLOWED HER CELL PHONE ON THE LABOR AND DELIVERY FLOOR. STACY CALLED THE NURSES EVERY TIME WE GOT TO A PHONE.

WE ARRIVED AT THE ER IN THE SHEETING RAIN AND WERE DIRECTED TO WAIT. HURRY UP AND WAIT, INDEED. WE WERE USHERED INTO THE WAITING ROOM SURROUNDED BY TYPICAL EMERGENCY PATIENTS. COUGHING, VOMITING, THE OVERLY FRIENDLY HOMELESS WOMAN WHO "JUST WANTED TO SEE MY NEW IPHONE."

FINALLY AND SUDDENLY THE SECURITY MOTIONED TO US. WE HURRIED OVER, THE SECURITY GUARD HAD LONG AGO CHANGED POST AND THE NEW GUY WAS STARING INTO A SCREEN ON THE PHONE. "WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO SEND YOU IN THE NICU BECAUSE THERE IS NO ROOM THERE YET." SEVERAL PHONE CALLS LATER THE 12TH FLOOR ROOM MATERIALIZED INTO 12N6 AND HE PRINTED VISITOR STICKERS. THE STICKER PRINTER SEEMED TO TAKE FOREVER. WE SLAPPED THOSE ON, BUZZED THROUGH DOUBLE DOORS, RAN DOWN HALL AFTER HALL TO FIND THE TOWER ELEVATORS. TO THE 12TH FLOOR WE WENT AND ANOTHER INTERCOM WE WERE MET WITH.

"HI, WHO ARE YOU HERE TO SEE?"

"WE ARE HERE FOR THE BABY IN ROOM 12N6."

"A BABY? BUT WHO ARE YOU HERE TO SEE?"

"WELL, SHE DOESN'T HAVE A NAME YET. THIS IS AUTUMN AND STACY AND WE ARE HERE TO MEET OUR BABY."

"WHO? WHICH BABY? WHO IS THE MOM?"

"WE ARE."

SILENCE...

LUCKILY THE DOOR OPENED JUST AT THAT MOMENT. IT WAS THE LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE AND BIOLOGICAL GRANDMOTHER IN TOW (OUR LIAISON). THEY WELCOMED US RIGHT AWAY. THE NURSE SAID SHE WAS BORN AT 11:54 PM, JUST SHY OF MIDNIGHT. THEY HAD NOT FED OR WEIGHED HER. WE WOULD BE ABLE TO DO ALL OF THAT TOGETHER. THE BIOLOGICAL GRANDMOTHER TENDED TO HER DAUGHTER. WE COULD TELL THIS WAS VERY HARD FOR HER. SHE WAS SO STRONG AND HELPFUL THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS, WE COULD NEVER REPAY HER FOR BRINGING US OUR BABY GIRL.

AND THERE SHE WAS. PINK AND ALIVE, SWADDLED, EYES SQUEEZED SHUT, AND PERFECT.

WE IMMEDIATELY GOT SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT, WEIGHED THE BABY, AND FED HER. WE WERE IN A SMALL NICU CORNER WITH TWO OFFICE CHAIRS, THE SIZE OF A CUBICLE, AND HAD NOT SLEPT FOR 24 HOURS. SO, WHAT WOULD WE NAME HER...? NOTHING ON THE LIST REALLY SUITED HER. BUT SHE WAS OUR PERFECT "STORY".

THE NIGHT TURNED TO DAY AND SHE ATE, SLEPT, AND POOPED PERFECTLY. STORY WAS ALREADY AN EFFICIENT LITTLE HOUSTON AND GOT US DISCHARGED BY 7PM THE NEXT DAY, ONLY 19 HOURS AFTER HER ARRIVAL.

WE WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON STATE AND WOULD HAVE TO STAY THERE UNTIL THE COURT APPROVED US TO LEAVE. BEING A WEEKEND WE HAD TO WAIT UNTIL AT LEAST MONDAY TO EVEN FILE PAPERWORK. STORY HAD QUITE THE ADVENTURE IN THE RAIN FILLED SEATTLE. SHE WENT TO NORDSTROM, TARGET, AND THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY WHILE WE LIVED IN A HOTEL ROOM HER FIRST 5 DAYS ON EARTH.

WE GOT CLEARED BY WASHINGTON ON MONDAY TO FLY. ON TUESDAY CALIFORNIA CAME BACK WITH A YES TOO.

WE WERE ON THE NEXT FLIGHT HOME TO CALIFORNIA. BACK TO THE SUN, BACK TO OUR LIVES, AND WITH THE MOST AMAZING "STORY" TO TELL

PHOTOGRAPHER @THENEWBORNARTIST


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