As parents, we all have fond memories of the day our children were born. But many adoptive parents have a second memory to cherish--the day they met their children. Adoptive families are created in many ways, but for us and for the community of friends we have, open agency adoption was the method we used. We were chosen to be Sabrina's parents by her birth mother K. about 6 weeks before she was born. As we created our plan for her birth and contact beyond, K. offered to bring us into the delivery room with her to experience the event and to be the first to hold her. (I can't say enough the respect, admiration, and love we have for this amazing woman. She gave us something no one else on the planet could have, and did so with love for Sabrina at the forefront of her decision.) Timing, never one of Sabrina's strong points, was not on our side as we got the call that "It's time!" two days early at 9 PM and we couldn't leave until the next morning. Even if we left for L.A. immediately, the entire thing was over in about 2 hours anyway, so there's no way we would have made it. Add to that our nightmare drive and we didn't get to the hospital until that afternoon.
So we met our girl when she was about 18 hours old on April 19th, 2009. Today is our "3rd Anniversary" of becoming a family. Our relationship with K. is still very strong (she loved yesterday's bouncy house video) and though she will always have that sadness inside her, she tells us it's balanced by the happiness she has for us and Sabrina. Adoption is joyful, sad, fulfilling, and bittersweet all at the same time. Adoptive parents and birth parents both experience the full gambit of these emotions at one point or another. Today we concentrate on joy, and are grateful for K. and for those who helped us along the way. Today reminds us of how lucky we are.
(The fact that I'm typing this as our carpets and furniture are being professionally cleaned reminds us that we also adopted messiness, but hey, you get the whole package.)