On March 3, 2007- we drove to Waco for our adoption agency's training day. 8 long hours later, we sat in our agency office with the director awaiting the birthmother and family to arrive. Within minutes of them arriving we were in tears and excited laughter as we showed her our book and she showed us sonogram pictures. We talked for a couple of hours and she told us she wanted us to be in the delivery room and for us to be the ones to name the baby. We told her that we had chosen Vivianna Hope and she and her family cheered in excitement saying how much they loved the name. We all hugged and cried, and then we loaded up and drove back home. We anxiously awaited the weekend hoping she would go into labor. We had one false alarm on Wed night when they called to tell us she was back in the hospital. So we packed up and drove to Waco, finding out halfway there that they had sent her home. :( She did say we could come to her dr's appt. on Friday, so again we came back to Waco just 2 days later! There we were thrilled to hear the baby's heartbeat and the dr. set an induction date for Wed. March 14th. That morning, we drove to the hospital and arrived at 7a.m. We spent the next several hours chatting and watching reruns on the t.v. while she progressed. At around 11, we went down to eat lunch (Billy ate nothing...Daddy nerves!) Soon after we came back, the birthmother was very uncomfortable so I had the nurses come in and check her and she looked ready to go as soon as her water broke! Minutes later her water had broken and the nurses began to prep the room! Yeah!! The Dr. came in and just a few short pushes later at 12:07 p.m. on March 14, 2007, our daughter entered the world! They said, "dad, you got to cut the cord....Dad?" And Billy just sat there as we all said "Billy, that's you!!" He must have been in shock! But he jumped to it and did his fatherly duty. They cleaned Vivi up and did her prints and then her birthmother said, "her mom should be the first one to hold her." So they gave her to me and I sat in the rocking chair and sobbed over how beautiful and perfect she was. And the fact that this was my child overwhelmed me with so much gratitude for our God, who had comforted me through years of infertility and a year of foster care uncertainty to bring me to this moment where new life was given to me. It felt so much like the gospel, I didn't earn or deserve this amazing gift but God loves me so much that He gave it. And it gave me a deep love and appreciation for Vivi's birthmother who was strong and courageous enough to give this baby life and to hand pick the family that would raise her.
Our little precious one was the answer to our prayers for God to bring us a brand new baby to love and cuddle and raise into adulthood if He so desires. It felt so surreal!
We spent the next two days going back and forth from our hotel to the hospital spending much time feeding and loving on our new baby girl. We also spent hours everyday visiting her birth family. On Friday we arrived early to dress her in her going home outfit and have her hospital pics taken in the room with her birth family. She then spent the next 5 hours alone with them. Our agency had given us a great quote, they said that you have to say hello before you can say goodbye, so we knew how important it was for Vivi's birthmother to have lots of time to hold her and feed her and smell her sweetness. This would be precious memories for her to hold onto. Around 2:00, we waited in the lobby watching Roseanne reruns while our adoption agency presented the birthmother her papers. When those were signed, we went into her room and said our tearful goodbyes and took pictures of her holding Vivi and of us all together. We were then released to take our precious pink bundle of joy home!
So we spent the next 6 months loving on her and watching her grow too fast! On September 21, 2007, we went to court in Dallas to finalize the adoption. Her birthfamily came to court which was a very beautiful gesture. We gave her birthmother a necklace of a silver mary jane shoe with Vivianna inscribed on the bottom. I also gave her some onesies Vivi had worn as a newborn. Then we had a big party to celebrate that night.
Vivi's adoption changed us in many ways. She was the baby I had always dreamed about and longed for. She was our "newborn" experience, and exhausting as it was, it was much more rewarding then I thought it could be. She is so sweet and fun and adorable. We can't believe she is almost one years old! Oh where has the time gone?
Stay tuned for Isaac's Adoption story in a week!