Thursday, May 26, 2011

elijah grey: an adoption story {part 3}

i hope you'll enjoy reading this final part of our adoption journey!
{catch up with part one and part two}

we hurried to get dressed and out the door.
the hospital was only a few blocks away, the drive seemed hours long. we arrived, parked and headed for the fourth floor. i was sick from the billion butterflies fluttering around inside of me. to be honest, this day, the birth day, is mostly a blur. we were in a bit of shock, i believe. 
we stepped off of the elevator and found grace's room. nervously, i took a few steps in and knocked on the open door. she cheerfully beckoned me and patrick into the room. her sister and mom were there. grace introduced us to her mother. wow. i thought i was already a jumble of nerves, but this meeting made it too difficult to think clearly. grace's mother. elijah's grandmother. all smiles. the three of them were chatting away, to us, to each other. discussing how happy they were for us, how this was the right decision for grace and the baby. they all loved the name we'd picked out. although grace's mother was clearly happy and certain of this choice, i detected grief. this broke my heart. i prayed for her, grace and the sister too.
i wanted to just stare at these women. this was elijah's family. they are part of his roots. sometimes i wish that i would've written notes, i'm sure i have already forgotten so many little details. i do think their beautiful faces will never fade from my memory.
it was crazy, how patrick and i felt so at ease in that room. grace was in labor, she seemed to calm. her labor was simple so far, and nearly pain free.
the nurses that day were fabulous. they were completely enamored with the entire situation. they had prepared a room for us. right next door to grace. we went into our room to rest-from chatting-and to give grace a little space. we were getting hungry, we headed downstairs to get a bite to eat.

we called our lawyer, he was on vacation. grace's lawyer was on vacation. the hospital social worker, who handled adoption paperwork? was on vacation, too. elijah wasn't due until january 17, so no need to avoid vacation:) but here we were, it was two days after christmas. this could be tricky, legally speaking. our lawyer said it would get worked out. he made lots of calls for us and chatted on the phone with hospital staff. we really didn't worry at all.

grace was fully dilated by 12:45 pm. she was breezing right along. her labor seemed like no big deal at all. she looked amazing and only winced a few times. the dr. was planning to let her rest an hour or so before he made her begin to push. we decided to head downstairs again, for lemonade. we were so excited. even after the elevator ride, we were still floating. we got our drinks and made our way back up to the fourth floor. when we got to grace's room, the door was closed. lots of commotion behind the door. grace had wanted me in the room for the birth, but i just felt awkward waltzing in now,
it was happening.
the baby was coming!!
we scurried into our room, next door.
we could hear everything-this was especially easy because we had our ears pressed up to the wall.
grace complained loudly of strong pains, so the dr. checked her...the baby's head was beginning to come out! the dr. had her push...once...and out came the baby! we heard a tiny little cry. in minutes a nurse came into our room, holding the baby. elijah grey. a little miracle. we held him tightly. smiling and crying at him. his eyes were wide open. he had a funny little mouth. we fell in love with him. hard.

elijah grey
6lbs. 13oz.
21.5" long
1:27 pm
12/27/2008
the nurses came to take elijah to the nursery. we followed along. we watched them clean elijah's little body and put a newborn diaper on him. the diaper was too big, he had a super tiny heiny. the nurses showed us where we could go to hold elijah some more. again, we had the little room to ourselves. elijah had his first little bottle in that room. we stared and stared and held and held him. a nurse came back to get elijah, a doctor needed to check him out since he was an early baby. while elijah was being examined, we headed back over to grace's room.
she still looked amazing. i hugged her and cried thank you to her. what should i say? "thanks for giving us your baby" just sounded weird. she double checked the spelling of elijah's name, she wanted to write it on the birth certificate. a hospital social worker had been located (by phone) and had directed the nurses in writing relase forms. this would make it possible for elijah to come home with us. since no "real" papers could be signed-with lawyers on vacation-this would have to do. we all signed the forms. it was like we were designated babysitters for elijah until the necessary papers could be prepared. in maryland, you have seven days to get these papers signed, stating birth parents rights relinquished. once those are signed, the birth parents have thirty days to change their mind. we couldn't help but wonder, would grace change her mind?

the nursery staff allowed us to stay late with elijah. we practically spent the night! we did rush home to shower and collect ourselves, but then right back to that baby. our baby. elijah had a clean bill of health. praise the lord! they let him leave to come home with us that day, only 24hrs after his birth. it was terrifying, strapping his itty bitty self into a car seat and driving him home. does every new parent get so stressed out about this?

after praying and seeking advice, we had decided it wise to not have anyone at the hospital other than ourselves. we were home now, and the grandparents and cousins, aunts, uncles and friends wanted to meet elijah. over the next few days elijah had a ton of new friends.

elijah was the best newborn ever. in fact, he slept so well, i wasn't sleeping because i thought "isn't he supposed to be awake crying?"!! after two delirious weeks without sleep, all my own fault, we were feeling pretty comfortable. we were a mama and papa. we were just waiting for the legal end to be completed. grace had a death in her family, sending her out of town. this slowed things down a little in the beginning, but all was well. the thirty day wait felt like a five hundred thirty day wait. sounds crazy, but we were freaked and calm at the same time. freaked, because we are human and it is our nature to trust ourselves and worry. calm, because we know god has every minute of every waiting day under control. he was our strength, our peace. even when we let the flesh creep in and try to worry us to death. i'm so glad he's faithful even when we are not!

i will sing to the lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
psalm 13:6esv

the wait ended. grace didn't change her mind.
she had given us the most precious gift, a son.
we praised the lord for allowing us to steward this little sinner!!

next up, waiting for our court date.
march 17, we'd become legit parents.
a new birth certificate.
a new family.
a new life.

the sweet day arrived.
early on st. patrick's day, 2009,
elijah became our son.
forever.

elijah grey is our son. to laugh with, cry with, travel with, play with and eat with. praise the lord, we read together, pray together, sing together and learn together.we watched him roll over for the first time, take his first steps, and learn to run. these last two and a half years have been a delight. even the tough times, like the current toddlerville, point us to christ with a grateful heart. god chose us long ago, to be elijah's family. talk about beyond our dreams! we feel so unworthy of this responsibility of parenthood. that's great though, really, because his strength is perfect-and all we need.

elijah's adoption is partly open, partly closed. we know who his birth family is. we've even sent photos, by request, on occasion. always pleased to do so. they do not want to see elijah ever again. things could change though. so, if either parent were to decide to meet elijah at some point, we really wouldn't mind at all!
this is still new. elijah doesn't understand too much right now. we do know, he will always know that he is adopted. he will always know where he came from. he will always know that he is ours and we are his. and that god keeps us all in his care. we're unsure what all of this will look like in the future, how things will unfold and be understood. it's something to look forward to, not to fret about. a little bit scary, a lot bit exciting!

we can hardly wait for elijah to have siblings-praying they'll join us soon.

he gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
praise the lord!
psalm 113:9esv
 
 
 

35 comments:

  1. Yeah, I've been waiting for this! What a blessing for all of you, and I love all the pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So beautiful. What an incredible story. What a beautiful way for God to display his own glory - and what a treasure that he used you, and your husband and your son to do that. What an honor.

    Keep telling His story through yours, Hannah.

    And I was going to comment earlier that Elijah Grey seems to LOVE green! Perhaps his St. Patrick's day celebration is the reason why. :)

    And you are gorgeous. Your whole family is. I love seeing all of the pictures of all of you guys!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. His story, your story, and ultimately God's story, is just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. God's perfect plan for little elijah was YOU… my heart is so full for you! i love you friend! and i owe you an email but i wanted to say that i think you are truly an amazing woman of God.

    and, i too love the family pictures! i need more pictures of you on here, lady! annnd, can i hear more about your next adoption and the steps you are taking?

    ok, i am done ….
    for now :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. ooooohhhhhh....LOVE. absolutely LOVE the ending, friend. pure sweetness. God is so good! <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. love this beautiful story. love you. love that you say "heiny." now play a word. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. i love your story! it is so fun to see how good God is! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love you, my friend. So thankful that you wrote down His story through you, Patrick and Elijah. Hope to see you in Salisbury this summer -- haven't purchased tickets yet, so there's hope we'll overlap!

    Hugs to all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love, Love, Love this! Yes, all parents stress about the car seat. ;o) And you, my lovely friend, are such a sweet blessing. Sharing this story is a gift to everyone that reads it. And it's my prayer that your story will fall into the hands of a very scared pregnant teen girl. One that feels lost and alone. And she will see the light in your son's eyes. And the smiles on his parents faces... and she will know. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I LOVE THIS.

    praise the Lord! thank you for sharing with us, hannah! what a gift. from her. from Him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. thank you for sharing! the psalm is special. someone close to me not being able to give birth ~ i am going to share. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow! It was so good to read all of the little details and to have some that I did know refreshed! What an amazing journey God has taken you on. Can't wait to see how he provides more children for you:-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so glad you wrote out Elijah's adoption/birth story for us. What a beautiful testimony. God is building a faithful family!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I laughed and cried my way through this last segment of the story - loved it! You did a perfect job and I could completely FEEL what you were feeling in those moments at the hospital. God knows what He's doing. I love you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  15. so sweet. i love adoption. and how God chose you to be his parents way before any paperwork or anything like that. so cool. and of course, love his name.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have loved reading Elijah's adoption story. God is good!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. well i just found this and i am crying. just so beautiful. so beautiful. praise the Lord for your precious son and the gift of being a parent!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. thanks for telling your story, it's perfect. as my husband and i are still trying to conceive (21 months in...) it's easy to feel despair, but your story is so full of hope that i feel encouraged reading it. elijah's beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my goodness...this is such a beautiful adoption story. I'm so happy you stopped by my blog and now I have discovered yours. I always feel an instant connection with other adoptive moms. Elijah is so blessed to have you both as his parents. Many blessings to you and your sweet family.

    Hugs,
    jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  20. precious. loved reading every word of this. you are unbelievable...such a light and such an encouragement. he is a precious and blessed little boy to have such wonderful parents. thanks for sharing this. love you friend!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hannah, I am new to your blog and just read all of Elijah's adoption story. What a beautiful series of events that led to you becoming Elijah's momma! What a testament to giving it up to God, asking for what you want, and trusting that you'll receive. Amen!

    ReplyDelete
  22. He is beautiful. What a precious blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am blown away by this whole story.
    God is beyond amazing. OMGee. For once in my life I have no words.
    Awe. That is all. AWE!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I am in tears... Adoption is such a wonderful thing. What a blessing!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I am so happy to have read this. God is SO good and that is one beautiful boy!

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a testimony of God's goodness! What a beautiful picture of being adopted into His family! I'm so so so so happy. Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This so lovely and beautiful, and you have such a sweet little family. Thank you for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Finally read all three parts to Elijah's story. God is amazing and praise the Lord, He's so glorified here! I'm in awe and so blessed by this, and esp the verse from Psalm 113. Thanks for sharing, Hannah. It means so much.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hannah, your story is so beautiful. I love how everything fell into place for you and your husband. When I was 12, my mom and dad adopted my little sister, Cylie (my mom was in the delivery room). Then when I was 14 my parents prayed some more and our family was blessed with my little sister Cirrah...then just one year later, my baby brother Caleb. I just joked the other day ("If they weren't bi-racial and black, I think I'd forget that my mom didn't carry them in her womb.") I will definitely be sharing more of our story tomorrow on my blog. Happy Adoption Day!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you so much for sharing, my husband Jeff and I also adopted our two sons. I heart adoption! Your family is adorable. I'm your newest follower and I'm grabbing your button. It really is the heart of God to take these babies in and Love them with everything that is within us.

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

    A question, if you don't mind sharing...how do you plan to talk to Elijah about all this? My daughter's biological father opted out of being involved and I am concerned and praying for the day we have to explain to our sweet Adalia that she was 'unwanted'.

    ReplyDelete
  32. i read through this during one of my midnight feedings. not the best idea since i was crying by the end, but so glad i did. what a testimony to how great our God is. Caleb and I are planning on pursuing adoption in the next couple years and hearing your story really encouraged my heart. Thanks for sharing. (and we also name our son Elijah..the Lord IS God)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your adoption story of Elijah Gray. My husband and I are adopting & it is such a roller coaster of emotions and your story was so encouraging. It warmed my heart and makes me so excited to hold our precious little one someday soon. I pray that you will be blessed with a growing family...Your story has blessed me, so thanks again for sharing =)

    ReplyDelete
  34. I just read all part of this amazing story. WOW WOW WOW! I cannot even imagine 'grace' carrying a child and willing him over to you so easy. Truly HAD to be God's plan! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!!!! Praise the Lord for GRACE. In more ways than one. Bless you sweet lady!!!!

    So enjoyed this reading!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've just found and read your beautiful story of Elijah's birth and adoption. Wow, God is so good. I was adopted from birth and I was recently chatting with my Mum about how she told me and my sister we were adopted. She said her and Dad told us that "Mummy's tummy was broken" and that it was part of God's plan for us to be a family, that we just had to grow somewhere first. Though as I type this, I'm sure that you've already had this conversation with Elijah! x

    ReplyDelete