I didn't want to leave the hospital.
In a weird way it felt like my sanctuary.
I felt like as long as we were there, I wouldn't have to face anything.
The nurses said I was ready to leave about 1pm.
I got the guts at three.
We first went to the mall because I wanted to have professional pictures done of Vivian to keep with me after she was gone. We went into Kiddie Kandids and they had an hour wait. Yeah, that hour turned into almost three but I wasn't willing to give up. The lady at the counter said to me the second time I went up to ask how much longer, 'can't you just come back another day?'
Now I know that she didn't know what was going on, but I was still thinking, 'how could she say something like that to me?' Didn't she know what I was going through?
We finally had our pictures done and arrived home around 7pm. Arrived home to many loving, friends, neighbors, and family members. Everyone wanting to lend their support, and take a peek and this precious little girl.
I sat on the couch and held her while people came in and out. Everyone was so respectful, not asking to hold her, just looking, and being so sensitive to my feelings. It may sound selfish, but I kept her in my arms because I wanted, needed, every second I had to have her close to me. Later people told me I was crazy to bond with her like that.
But I had to say hello, before I could say goodbye.
It was around ten pm when the last visitor had left and my family members went home. Vivian and I were still parked on the couch along with my good friend Heather who I'd ask to stay longer. Heather was amazing by the way. She really helped me keep my eye on the goal and kept me laughing so the hurt that threatened to take over would stay hidden for now.
My mom decided to get some sleep since Heather was with me, so after she went to bed we got out the video camera to make a little documentary of the evening if you will.
Heather and I tended to be very silly when we were together and this night proved to be no different. While Vivian slept we just giggled and made jokes, I would talk to the camera about the happenings of the past few days, or just say random things to Vivian. My last night with my little girl actually turned out to be the greatest of my life.
Around 5am Heather went home to get some rest because I'd asked her to be with me during placement later that day.
I took Vivian back to my room and lay down in an attempt to sleep. I was still afraid I was going to roll over on her, so I took her out to my mom who was awake and reading by the fire place so I could have just an hour to myself to try and sleep.
After about 20 minutes I couldn't resist the urge to just be with her so I went back out to get her. My mom saw that I was exausted so she made me up a little bed on the couch and put Vivian next to me. Next thing I knew it was ten am and I awoke to the phone ringing.
I could feel the sun shining on my face. But I didn't want to open my eyes. Because as soon as I did, it would be time to face the day in front of me. With my eyes still closed I reached over and felt Vivian next to me. Again I sent up a prayer for courage. When I finally opened my eyes, it was to my little girl wide eyed looking at me.
My mom came over with a bottle and suggested that I feed her so we could have her ready when the lady came to take moldings of her hands and feet. Then we would have to get ready because we had to be to the agency by one pm. The casting lady came and went and Heather arrived around noon. By that time I had gone back to my room, and was sitting on my bed with Vivian trying to talk myself into taking a shower.
At 2:30 my Aunt Karen, who I never see, comes into my room. Adoption has touched her family in many ways and she had come with a gift for Vivian and a hug for me. To this day I hardly remember her even being in the room.
2:45 My sister comes in just crying. She was afraid she'd missed me and wanted to give me a hug before we left. She was there for about five minutes then left.
I couldn't move. I just sat there holding Vivian. Staring at her. Tracing the lines of her little face. Feeling her soft hair. Was this really happening?
Finally I hear my name and look up to see my sweet older brother Scott standing at the foot of my bed. Just him. No one else was in the room.
My eyes filled with tears, 'I don't know if I can do this', I told him.
He asked me if I would like a blessing. I agreed.
He helped me off my bed and I sat in my desk chair.
Now, I'm a true believer that blessings are words straight from God through another's mouth, so I soaked in every word.
I was promised bravery, courage, strength.
I was told that He was aware of my heart on this day, at this very moment.
That I was doing the right thing.
I was told that my grief would be turned to grace and my sorrow to sweetness.
And hour later, we left for the agency.
When we arrived Chris and Emily were already there and waiting in a seperate room with their social worker and Susan greeted us at the door.
Now I had a whole entourage with me. My Mom and Dad, my brother Scott and his wife Jen, and my friend Heather. Susan asked Scott and my Dad to go in with Chris and Emily and Emily's parents while I went in Susan's office to sign my relinquisment papers.
yes my spelling has gone out the door.
When we got in there I asked to have a moment to myself before we got started.
As soon as everyone left and Susan shut the door I unwrapped Vivian so she would wake up and eat. She opened her eyes as soon as I took the blanket off and I gave her her bottle. While she was eating I told her that I had made all the choices thus far, but was going to need her help on this last one. When I was signing the papers she would have to let me know if this wasn't the right thing. I was counting on her for that.
After she was finished eating I changed her bum, and put her in a cute little dress I had bought for the ocassion and wrapped her back up and she fell right back to sleep.
Susan came back in a few minutes later with Jen my mom and Heather plus Chris and Emily's social worker and we got started on the paperwork.
Keep in mind that I had to sign about 15 different places and the paperwork was in triplicate. Susan had to read every word to me, and then I would sign where she told me to, the whole time keeping a sleeping Vivian in my other arm. And then we got to the final page, the signature that would end my rights, the last paragraph, and it went a little something like this:
"I Melissa Gold being of sound mind, do voluntarily terminate all parental rights to said minor, including all legal, physical, and spiritual rights. And do, by my own will, place her in the custody of (the name of the adoption agency)
Then she said, okay, whenever you're ready.
I looked over at Vivian.
And put down the pen.
*My next installment will be the last. I apologize for the shortness of this one. But this part is very hard for me to write. Thanks for reading!