• Dana L. Butler

Maia’s Birth Week: Part 4 [In Which Maia Is Entrusted To Us, and Words Utterly Fail Me]

Hi Friends!

Well, it’s already been a week since I last posted.

I generally try to post more frequently than I’ve been able to lately.  Obviously though, I’ve had my hands pretty full.  The best possible kind of full. 🙂

At the end of  Part 3, Stan and I were heading to bed in the wee hours of the morning with our just-hours-old little girl.

We got up the next morning having had almost no sleep.  I think we were running on joy and adrenaline.

We showered, grabbed a surprisingly yummy breakfast from the hospital cafeteria, and made our way down to Amber’s room to spend some time with her and introduce Maia to her big brother “Luke” (Amber’s son).

We gave Amber a few meaningful gifts that we’d brought for her, and gave Luke a Nerf gun.  Boy toys are so fun. 🙂

Too Sacred For Words

Y’all, we had such a sweet time with them that morning.  Amber held Maia and loved on her.  Luke held her a bit as well.  He loves his little sis.


Honestly, I’m struggling to write about this, because those chunks of time we spent with Maia’s birth family (Amber, Luke, and Amber’s mom) in the hospital?  They felt sacred.

I don’t know what to say about them, and what not to say.  Those moments were just precious beyond words.

We grieved together and laughed together and got acquainted with Maia together.  We did our best to be supportive of Amber and her family.  Just to be a stable, loving, understanding presence for them as they grieved and processed letting Maia go.

I felt so blessed and humbled to be a part of those moments in the lives of that precious family.

And what undid me the most was Amber’s unwavering trust in us, that we would do an awesome job raising her little girl.  That we were the right family for Maia.

Her trust in us just wrecked me and blew my mind.

The Entrusting

Early afternoon on that Thursday, the day after Maia’s birth, a local attorney (who’d been hired by our adoption attorney) came over to the hospital.  Susan (the social worker from our agency who’d been facilitating many of the details of our adoption) was there also.

We had left to spend time with Maia in our own room, giving Amber some space to think.  I knew that the plan was for paperwork to be signed somewhere in that time frame.

But I was still surprised when the text from Amber hit my phone:

“Just got the paperwork signed. 🙂 Hope you get to feeling better…”   (I was still fighting a monster cold.)

It was done.  Amber’s end of the paperwork, her part in Maia becoming a part of our family, was complete.

It took a while for it to sink into my heart.  I know I keep saying this, but I couldn’t get over the level of trust she’d placed in us.  The courage and strength she’d demonstrated.  Her love for Maia.  Her love for us.

I texted back, told her I wanted to hug her.  Which Ipromptly made my way to her room and did.

{Side note: I’m finding myself frustrated over and over again as I write this post.  Words just don’t do justice to the depth and the sacredness of what took place that day.  Ugh.  Okay.  I’ll keep going.}

Susan came to our room soon after, and we signed our own pile of paperwork.  Our “we accept placement of this child for the purpose of adoption” paperwork.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to sign my name over and over again. 🙂

Happier, or more in awe of what was happening.  Was this really REAL?

Within the hour, we received word from our attorney that Maia’s birth father had also upheld his end of the plan.  He signed.

He signed.  

Willingly entrusted his baby girl to us.

Oh God.  Thank you.

Really, guys.  There are so few domestic adoptions that go as smoothly as ours has gone.  So few in which the birth father is a willing participant.  We were just so, so amazed and thankful.

Meeting Maia’s Birth Dad

It gets even better.

We hadn’t been certain that we’d get the opportunity to meet Maia’s birth father.  But he, along with his girlfriend, came to the hospital the next night to meet us.

And to meet his daughter.

He loves his baby girl.  Really, deeply cares about her.  It was written in his eyes and all over his face as he held Maia and stared at her.

And I love that we will get to tell Maia that when she’s older.  That her birth dad genuinely cared about her.

(I’m not sure yet what level of relationship we’ll be able to have with him through the years, but he has expressed a desire that we keep him updated on how Maia’s doing periodically.)

Y’all, this man sat with us in our hospital room and told us how he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we were the right family for Maia.  How he knew that this open adoption was in Maia’s best interest.  How he knew that we’d do a good job raising her.

When it came time for them to leave, Maia’s birth dad gave Stan a hug, said he knew Stan would be a great dad to Maia.  And “God bless you, man.”

Ugh.  My heart.  My heart.

I’m on the verge of tears now as I write.

Y’all, open adoption is the most gut-wrenchingly, profoundly beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.  Ever.

It is so painful and just tears at my heart to see the grief of both sides of Maia’s birth family as they let her go.

Simultaneously, their wisdom and the selflessness of their love for Maia impress me beyond words.

And I have to say it again – the fact that they have entrusted Maia to us, to be our daughter – it just absolutely wrecks me.

Like Gaining a Family

AND, you guys, in the case of Amber’s side of the picture, there is this sense of family being developed with them that is just about the sweetest thing ever.  And it’s not just because we believe it’s best for Maia to grow up knowing that her birth family loves her, though that’s part of the reason we’re pursuing friendship with them.

It’s also because we genuinely love them, enjoy them, and care about them.

I have this feeling of being so “in Amber’s corner.”   Cheering her on, desiring her success, wanting to see her do so, so well in life.

She is taking some amazing steps toward bettering her future, toward beginning a different chapter in her life and Luke’s.  She’s being proactive, not passive.  She’s doing awesome.  And even though she will continue to grieve for some time over placing Maia for adoption, she’s really excited about her future.

And I am so excited for her.

I’ve said it before:  I didn’t know I’d genuinely love Maia’s birth family.  But I so do.

At one point while we were all still at the hospital, Susan told Amber (within our hearing) something to the effect of: “Open adoption is really like gaining a family.”

It is so true.

I think I need to stop here.  Words are just utterly failing me right now.

Just……. wow.  Father, You are so, so sweet to us.  To all of us.

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