I’ve been blogging the twins’ adoption story this week, celebrating their first birthday. If you missed the earlier entries, they are here:
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the adoption process. It’s not all racing through airports and across state lines. Up until now, all of our arrangements have been based on verbal agreements and heart to heart talks. While the State of Florida is gracious to adoptive parents, they prefer things to solidify a bit more before letting you go home with a baby born in their state.
Shortly after meeting the twins and their birth mom, we met a representative of the lawyer who agreed to take this on. She’d driven the nearly 200 miles to take the consent of the birth mom – a legal document stating that she wanted to do this.
Knowing the situation was delicate, our lawyer suggested we bring in a second lawyer to represent the birth mom while options were discussed. Preferring to pay the piper up front rather than run into problems later, we agreed. They met in the lobby and marched back to the hospital room. In ten minutes, they marched back into the lobby.
“The birth mom is tired right now. She’s taken some medication and is going to sleep for a little while. We’ll need to wait.”
There we sat. Kelsey and I on one side of the lobby, thinking of baby names. On the other sat both sides of this legal case, with one of them billing by the hour, getting paid pretty good money to drink bad coffee and sit in an uncomfortable chair.
Eventually our lawyer’s caseworker suggested we go grab a bite to eat and that they would call us. We drove across the street to a restaurant and picked at our food, too excited to eat. After not eating, we stopped at a book store to look at baby names. We decided that naming twins was more than twice as hard as naming one baby.
About thirty minutes later, we received a phone call from our legal team. Consent had been signed. We could come to the hospital and get the girls.
Elation turned to confusion when we realized that we had twins and no car seats. We raced to Target and bought matching car seats, a pack of diapers and a few bottles in record time, and then back to the hospital.
In an unusual display of trust, Kelsey went in to see the twins while I installed the car seats. I’ll never forget standing in the Birthing Center parking lot, unpacking car seats, and staring at instructions while strangers walked by, judging me for being such a slacker. I could almost hear them.
“What kind of dad waits until now to install the car seats?!? Did he not know this was coming?”
Uh….no. I didn’t.
Inside the hospital, Kelsey met briefly with the legal team. I came in and we stopped by the mother’s room. She was packed and ready to leave the hospital. She seemed quiet but resolved that she’d made the right call.
We were ushered into a room off the nursery where the medical team could give the girls their final once over. They were labeled ‘Baby A’ and ‘Baby B’. The nurse asked what we wanted to name them.
Blank stares. We had no idea. It’s not like we had a list of names. We had a blank white board and no markers. They chuckled nervously and said “Well, you can wait then.”
Gathering up all the supplies that they offered, we put the twins in their carriers and headed for the door like Pancho Villa made for the border. With the girls clicked into their car seat bases, we both rested our heads against the back of our seats and breathed a sigh of relief. I took a second to fire off a message…
We made two quick stops on the way back to the hotel. Backyard Burgers provided an in-car feast. Kelsey ran into a grocery store to pick up formula and a few other things.
At 6:30am on Thursday, we heard about twins. At 4pm on Friday, we were headed back to the hotel, girls sleeping and parents feeling like the adventure was coming to an end.
If we only knew.
Baby A and Baby B. Don’t ask me which was which.
Next up – The final chapter. ‘You go home when the State of Florida says you can go home’, the girls meet their crazy uncles Robert and Steve, and the triumphal reentry to Kansas City.
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