The day began like any other, but ended dramatically, in a night I’ll never forget. My husband, Michael, and I were out to dinner with my family, celebrating my sister’s graduation from nursing school, when my phone rang. One glance at the unfamiliar number on the caller ID told me it wasn’t an ordinary phone call. Somehow, I knew it was “The Call.”
The birth parent counselor from our agency said, “Hi, Melanie, it’s Julie. Are you driving right now?”
“No,” I replied.
“Well, are you sitting down?” she asked.
“Yes, I am,” I stated, my voice wavering. Julie’s next words changed our lives forever.
“We have a baby boy who was born two days ago. He’s healthy and will be ready to go home tomorrow morning. Do you want to be his parents?”
“YES!” I shouted, then asked if she could explain everything to Michael, too. When I looked up, my family’s faces were full of anticipation.
“We have a baby boy!” I exclaimed, and the room erupted. Laughter, tears, questions–chaos. My older sister literally jumped across the table and landed in my lap. My husband and I had waited 10 long years to become parents. We had had countless ups and downs along the way, and there was a small doubt inside each of us that parenthood would ever happen. To say we were completely shocked is an understatement.
Despite my intense feelings, it was important for me to continue the evening of celebration for my sister. We headed over to the campus for her pinning ceremony. While we were waiting for the procession to begin, my sister rummaged through her purse and gave me a “mother blessing ring” that she had clearly been carrying for a long time. The envelope was wrinkled and worn. I read the inscription on the ring, “To guide, nurture, and protect,” and I couldn’t stop the tears that I’d been trying to hold back.
As emotional as I was, practical matters had to be considered, too. We hadn’t wanted reminders of what we were missing around the house, so we had nothing for a baby. After the ceremony, we headed to Babies R Us, arriving 15 minutes before closing time. We got the basics and a lot of newborn outfits, including the special one our boy wore home from the hospital the next day.
After we got home, Michael went down to his basement workshop. I didn’t think much about that until he came back upstairs carrying custom-made glass “paintings” he had bought during the early days of our marriage–the sweetest “pregnancy pictures” I have ever seen. For the second time that night, I received a heartfelt gift that the giver had been holding on to for such a long time, as we all waited for that call. The love and support from those who matter most to me was precious. The tears, pain, waiting, and heartbreak were worth it tenfold. As the mother of the most amazing three-year-old boy in the world, I would do it all again in the blink of an eye!