• Dana L. Butler

Maia’s Birth Week: Part 5 [In Which We Say “See You Later”]

Well, I think I’ve recovered, at least somewhat, from writing Part 4.  My goodness.  I didn’t realize how raw and undone my heart still felt from the gut-wrenching beauty of it all.

So, to recap a few practical details:

Maia was born on Wednesday evening, June 19th, at 11:52 pm.

Thursday early afternoon, the signing over of parental rights took place, and we signed our own stack of paperwork to accept placement of Maia.

The plan was for Maia to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday morning, so Friday we had some time to kill.  Well, not kill.  Rather, we had some moments to seize.

Moments with Amber and Luke.  Photo ops – all of us together with Maia, Susan (from our adoption agency) with Maia, Amber and Luke with Maia, etc.

Friday night after we met with Maia’s birth dad, Amber’s mom came back over to the hospital to hold her granddaughter and say goodbye (or rather, “see you later”).

It was a profoundly sweet moment.

Side note: Can I just say again that I love that we get to remain in touch with not only Amber, but her family as well?  Amber’s mama loves Maia dearly and I’m so thankful that Maia will get to grow up with her as a part of her life, in addition to Stan’s and my moms.

And while I’m on the subject of Amber’s family, she also has a sister and brother-in-law who live only about 25 minutes from us in another area of KC.  We had a chance to meet Maia’s aunt and uncle a few weeks ago and they are wonderful.  So thrilled we’ll be staying in touch with them as well!

Maia is one blessed little girl.  So many precious people who dearly love her.  And she’s not the only blessed one – we have really gained an extended family.

Have I mentioned that I love it? 🙂

Oh Yeah,  and I Was Really Sick

Anyway, back to the hospital.  Coffee was (and of course, still is) a lifesaver.  By Thursday night, the combination of sleep deprivation, a monster cold, and allergies had caused my eyes to swell noticeably.

I was just generally miserable.

The nurses in the labor and delivery unit urged me to take a Benadryl and let Stan have “Maia duty” for an entire night so that I could catch up on some sleep.

Stan willingly ran to Walmart for me, brought back Benadryl and ear plugs, and I crashed.  At like 8:30 in the evening.

Didn’t move again till sometime around 7 the next morning, and when I checked out my reflection, my eyes were no longer swollen.  I felt so much better.  Hooray!  Sleep and Benadryl are a miraculous combo.

[Almost as miraculous as having a husband who will fight for me to get sleep when my immune system needs it.  I so don’t take Stan for granted.  I’m ridiculously blessed.]

Kisses from the Lord

We had a few other really sweet things happen while we were at the hospital.  Things that just felt like icing on our already unbelievable cake – these little kisses from the Lord.

The local attorney that our adoption attorney had hired to facilitate the transfer of parental rights?  We’d been told to anticipate paying her $500.  She decided not to charge us.  Not a penny.  (!?!?!)

Then there was this hospital chaplain who’d been making rounds daily during our entire stay, offering to pray with people.  We’d always been too otherwise occupied to really give him the time of day, but on our last night there, Stan and I had an amazing conversation with him for about 45 minutes.

This guy really, genuinely loves Jesus.  He’s a children’s pastor at a church near the hospital, and get this: he believes in supernatural healing.  Meaning, that God might actually miraculously heal people as he makes his rounds praying for those who’re hospitalized.

Um, AMAZING.  And rare, based on my own (albeit limited) experience with hospital chaplains.  That guy could pray for me any time if I was in the hospital.

Stan and I so enjoyed talking with him, hearing some of his stories.  Just a really genuine, humble guy after God’s heart.

And there were other things that happened.  Sweet moments in which Stan and I just stared astonished at each other, often with jaws on the floor.  Moments in which we saw and felt the hand of God on our journey, His tender attention to the working out of every intricate detail.

His plans are just way too perfect – beyond our wildest dreams – down to the smallest needs and desires of every heart involved.

“See You Later”

So Saturday morning rolled around.  Maia’s doctor came in and let us know we were free to leave, and the nurse began preparing discharge paperwork.  Amber and Luke came down to hang with us in our room for a while.  They loved on Maia while we got her car seat ready to go.  We drank coffee, ate breakfast sandwiches, fed our girl a bottle, changed her diaper.

The discharge paperwork was ready in what seemed like no time, and by somewhere around 10 in the morning, we were ready to take off.

After a few more cuddles and kisses, Amber said bye to Maia, hugged us, took Luke and headed back to her room to wait for her own discharge orders.

Amber’s goodbye to Maia was definitely more of a “see you later.”  Not super emotional on either of our parts, though it was definitely bittersweet for me to say goodbye to her.

And while I know she has continued to grieve and process, I was happy to sense Amber’s confidence in the fact that she will continue to be in touch with us and with Maia, that she’ll be around to see Maia grow up.  That she’ll be a special part of Maia’s life.

Before we loaded Maia up and embarked on our 5-ish hour journey back toward KC (but not back home quite yet), I asked the nurse to clip Maia’s hospital bracelet.  I ran it around the corner to Amber’s room and asked her if she wanted to keep it.  She did.

I so want to honor Amber’s role in Maia’s life, and this was a small way for me to acknowledge the fact that she will always be Maia’s first mommy.

Our First Visit!

As I finish writing this on Wednesday afternoon, I’m also excitedly planning a couple of big, fun meals for this weekend.

Why?

Amber and her family are coming to visit!  We are so excited to spend time with them!  We’ll grill out, Luke and Isaac will play, we’ll chat and laugh and maybe cry and take turns loving on this sweet baby girl whose life is so precious to all of us.

Let me say it again: I’m excited!!

Open adoption has become one of the absolute most incredible GOD-experiences of my entire life.

Annnnd on that note, I’m gonna call this series done. 🙂

To all of you, thank you for your role in our journey.  Your prayers, your excitement, your investment in our lives.  In Maia’s life.  I don’t have words for how much we love that you’ve walked through this season with us, in whatever capacity.  Just – thank you.

____

PS – Reading via email or in a reader?  Click here to hop over to the blog if you’d like to comment or have a look around.  Oh, and there are pictures.  Just c’mon over and you can click through to my Instagram and see all of Maia’s latest cuteness.  Hint:  She’s SMILING these days! 🙂

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