4.07.2010

The Story of My Firstborn Pt.14

Now, up until this moment there had been nothing funny about this situtation.
But as soon as I set down the pen, everyone in the room gasped. And when I looked up it was like everyone had leaned in at least a few inches close to me.
I couldn't help but chuckle. And I told everyone to relax, and seriously everyone let out a huge breath of air. I guess you had to be there, cuz it was pretty funny.
So anyway.
I put the pen down and held Vivian up in front of me so I could see her face. She was out. But I said to her, "Okay, so this is it. This is the choice I've made for you. These people are going to take good care of you. I feel in my soul that you belong to them. Is this ok?" And my sleeping Miss Vivian opened her eyes for just a second and looked right at me, then went back to sleep.
I signed the last line.

Susan asked everyone to leave the room and go in with Chris and Emily. When it was just us, she told me that it was time to say my goodbyes and get ready to go join the rest of the group. She said I could have a little time alone with Vivian and left the room.
For a moment I just sat there. Vivian on my lap, still sleeping, thinking to myself, was this really happening?
I unwrapped her out of the blanket I'd had her in for days, and held her up against my chest. I rocked back and forth and hummed to her, smelt her hair, kissed her little head, played with her fingers, touched her soft skin, just drank her in.

told God I'd gone as far as I could. I'd made what I was sure was the right decision. I'd taken every step in total faith that everything would be okay. I said I was going to go into that room, sit down, go through the motions, but that when it came to the very end, when it was time to hand my precious child over to her new mother and walk away, that's when he was going to have to do the rest. I begged for the courage I was going to need to walk away.
When I said amen the Spirit that came over me was like nothing I had ever felt before.
After what I was told was about an hour, Susan came in the room and said it was time. My mom came in and kissed Vivian and me then went back to wait with the others.
I wrapped Vivian up in her new blanket and told Susan to go ahead I would be right behind her. She left the office and the door open for me. The room I was supposed to into was directly across the hall but just so that I couldn't see the door from where I was standing.
I got to the doorway and all of the sudden my feet were stuck. I couldn't move. And I began to cry. I couldn't do it. I just didn't have the strength. I was going to walk in the room with Vivian and come out without her. My Dad, who was sitting next to the door of the other room, later told me that he has never heard a cry like that. That it was a true cry of grief and sorrow. He said that he wanted to come and help me but the Spirit told him to stay where he was, that I could do it. Susan also told me later that she was just about to come and pull me back into her office and give me a few minutes but that a voice clearly said to her, give her a second, she can do this. Chris and Emily could also hear me crying.
As I was just about to turn around and go sit back down in Susan's office I felt an arm come around my shoulders and gently pull me from where I was standing and help me toward the room. Sure that my mom or dad had come to help me, I looked over, but no one was there.
No one that I could see anyway.
When I walked into the room, I had Vivian wrapped up and up against my shoulder so that no one could see her. Sobs wracked my body. Chris and Emily were standing up waiting for me, and both put their arms around me. Not asking to see the baby, or sitting down, but embraced me with such love and support for the pain I was feeling. oh how I love them. We hugged for a few minutes then they sat down on the couch and I sat in the recliner next to them with Vivian in my arms, still wrapped so they still couldn't see her.
So this is who is in the room. Chris and Emily, Emily's parents, who all wore pink by the way, their social worker, Susan, my mom and dad, Heather, my brother Scott and his wife Jen, and another witness from the agency.
After the tears momentarily stopped, I told them about the birth and a few details from the hospital. They were so excited, I could tell that they were having a hard time just sitting still because they had yet to see the baby. :)
Finally I unwrapped her and I will never forget the look on their faces.
They both looked her so sweetly. With total love in their eyes for their new little girl.

We talked for a little while longer about the past few days, then I went and sat on the couch in between them. We exchanged some gifts we had gotten for each other. I can't for the life of me remember what I got them. They gave me a gorgeous picture of the Salt Lake Temple that they had taken and had put in a lovely frame. And they also gave me a diamond solitare necklace because it was Vivian's birthstone and I could wear it close to my heart. I was so overwhelmed by their kindness.
As we talked for a few more minutes I all of the sudden had this overwhelming feeling that it was time.
I looked up at Susan and gave her the nod and she began with the formalities. She said that as soon as I handed the baby over, that my family would need to say their goodbyes and leave the room and then I would say goodbye and be the last to walk out.

Vivian who had been sleeping on my lap this whole time had woken up and was looking all around. I picked her up and once again she looked right at me. I told her how much loved her. That she was the greatest thing I'd ever done. That there wouldn't be a day that would go by where I wouldn't think about her. That I was doing this because I knew it was what was best and because that's what I wanted for her, was the best. I told her to remember that her parents prayed hard for her. That she was made just for them. I also said to remember where she came from and that she was loved from the moment we knew of her existence. I told her that she saved me, and for that I would be forever in her debt. And last I told her, that the last three days had been the best of my life, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in this world.

Then I kissed her one last time.

And finally, by the grace of God, I handed her to her new Mommy.

Emily held me for a moment before she let go.
When I pulled away Chris put his arms around me while I watched Vivian and Emily. Vivian had gone back to sleep but Emily just stared at her with an amazing look of love and contentment on her face. Just one more confirmation that I'd done the right thing.

After a few more moments, everyone stood up and my parents said goodbye and my family walked out of the room.
I gave Chris and Emily one last hug, touched Vivian's hair, and left.
I was over.
When I got outside of the agency, I was sobbing so hard that I couldn't walk. I fell to my knees and just sobbed. I felt arms come around me to help me up, but once again, when I opened my eyes, no one was there. Not yet anyway. After a few more seconds my brother came and helped me up and into my mom's car.
As we drove home, my mom had put a new quilt she'd made for me on my lap, and I just put my face into it and cried and cried.
After about ten minutes all of the sudden, I just stopped, sat up, looked at Heather and said...
"Wow...I'm hungry."

*ok so there is one more part after this, but this one took a lot out of me :)

8 comments:

Laura said...

Melissa I have to go redo my eyeliner now. Wow, your story really touches me to the very core. I am so lucky you are my friend! I love you.

angie j. said...

goodness! enough tears for one day...i literally just hang on your every word. your story is amazing and i know that it will help other young women who might find themselves in your same situation. the pictures just add even more to it. you're courageous and i've loved reading your story.

love ya!

Cynthia Mann said...

Wow, Melissa, I couldn't read that without crying. What an amazing experience! I've enjoyed reading your story, thank you for posting it up here. I know a lot of people who have had experiences with adoption, and it's been great to read about your experience.

Hales Family said...

You were totally right. I balled so hard I couldn't see through my tears.

I am simply amazed.

Sherri said...

Melissa -- I just want to tell you how I admire you!! Thank you for being a birthmom! I wouldn't have my sweet kids without 2 women just like you!!

Lesley said...

Oh dear! I have cried through your whole story but this one has left me sobbing. You are so strong and totally amazing. I can't even immagine what all of this was like. I am soooo very blessed to know you and to call you my friend. I miss you and I wish we lived closer. Love ya!

Kelli said...

Oh Melissa! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was going to say I don't know HOW you did it... but I realized that you had a lot of help from above. I admire you!

liza said...

Best Birth Mom In Existence!!! We love you with all our hearts!