When months went by without a phone call, I contacted our case manager. She said that they moved to a different office building and our paperwork was lost. We would have to start all over again if we wanted to continue with the foster to adopt. We were devastated!
We finally found someone to work with and were matched with a birth mother out of New Jersey. We then did the entire adoption through an agency and attorney out of New Jersey. We were matched in October of 2010, when a birth mom and her mother picked us from our profile.
My hubby was out of town when we received the call from our adoption coordinator. She said that the birth mom and her mother wanted to speak to us to make a definitive decision about choosing us to parent. I said that I really thought it was probably fine, but I needed to get in touch with my hubby first to make sure we were on the same page. It was so weird, but my hubby had flown to Philly and was driving about 70 miles from there for a conference. I was waiting to hear from him; he was driving in a noreaster! It took him hours to drive that 70 miles to his destination.
I spoke with the birth mom and her mother for several hours. It seemed as though we already knew each other. I felt like when they were telling stories about their family that they must be Italian. It was just one of those feelings. I came to that conclusion from certain ways they said things, emphasis on saints, wanting us to teach the baby to pray the rosary, & naming the child after St. Michael.
When Jim returned home the next day, he spoke with the birth mom only, and it went really well. We were told by our case manager that the birth family chose us unanimously! The birth mom had a few things she wanted us to do that would go above and beyond an adoption agreement, and we agreed to them all. She wanted his name to be Michael because she had a dream that God came to her and told her she was having a boy and would name him Michael. She wanted his middle name to be Robert after her father who passed away in his 50's. She wanted him to learn to pray the rosary. She wanted him to know who his birth family is and that they love him. All was doable. We added another middle name so that he has two. He is Michael Jameson Robert M. My hubby is James so he is son of James.
I have written about all the wonderful religious coincidences, or perhaps they were religiously meant to be. I won't go into detail since I have done that before. Many dates coincide with Saints' feast days, I prayed to St. Anthony and have been receiving rosaries and prayer cards, etc from St. Anthony's Chapel in Boston. Mick was due on the Immaculate conception, which was 12/8/10, and our hotel room number was 128 when we went to New Jersey for his birth! We were matched on the feast of the patron saint of mothers and childbirth! There is so much more!!! During the entire pregnancy, I carried with me as well as placed under my pillow at night a small satin sack that I filled with Michael's first onesie which read, "Mommy Loves Me." It also contained prayers to St. Anthony, St. Michael, a healing stone, a miracles can happen stone, a St. Michael medal, a rosary, etc. It was all held together with a satin ribbon on top. I would pray that he would be full term, healthy, and that his birth mother would be OK with everything. I prayed that she had a healthy pregnancy. I would talk to God, the Saints, Mary, Jesus, the angels and my Spirit Guide. I would also talk to Michael. I already knew him. I bonded with him immediately. I spoke to him as though he were inside of me. In a way he was though. His birth mom carried him in her womb under her heart. I carried him in my heart above my womb. I had that little prayer bag with me all the time. I still do because I still pray for Mick & his birth family. I also am very gracious. What a magnificent gift! The gift of life! We were given the gift of this sweet little person. Nothing can beat that! So I now say prayers of thanksgiving as well.
Mick's birth mother's family is Sicilian! My family that is Italian is Sicilian! His birth father's family is Irish! My family is also Irish! Mick looks so much like my family. Everyone tells me he looks just like me! I look more like Mick's birth mom's family than my biological family!
Mick has seen his paternal grandmother, Nana, twice. The most recent visit was in April. He has seen his birth mom, G-Ma, great-G-Ma and Aunt Christina twice and Uncle Greg once, most recently was the last visit to NJ in 2011 when Mick was only 7 months. We were there for the adoption finalization.
I am reminiscing because Mick turned 2 on 12/14/12. We are heading to NJ soon to see his birth mom, G-Ma, great-G-Ma, aunt Christina and uncle Greg. We want Mick to recognize them by their names and their faces. We feel it's important Mick knows he has a whole other family that loves him, thinks about him and prays for him.
Two is such an interesting age. He is beginning to ask questions. I had to take him to my doctor appointment the other day. He picked up a pamphlet about cord blood donations. He asked about the baby in the belly. I began to tell him that he was once in mommy's belly, but I stopped myself. Instead I said that everyone starts out in a mommy's belly until they are born. This got me thinking even more...
...Mick needs to have a special name to call his birth mom. It's the right thing to do. After all, he has so many other names of endearment for other people he loves. For the birth grandmothers, he calls the maternal grandmother G-Ma, and the paternal grandmother Nana. He calls my mom G.G. and my dad Pops and Jim's mom GaGa. He calls his Godmommy LaLa. He calls me MomMom and Jim DadDad. He calls my friend Sam YaYa because we think he thought all my friends were named LaLa, and he couldn't pronounce the "L". LOL, or YOY!
Mick received a birthday card from G-Ma, aunt Christina and his birth mom. It was signed: Love, Mommy, G-Ma and aunt Christina. I thought that would be really confusing for him. He doesn't call me mommy usually unless he is in bed and is trying to get my attention, "Mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommom, mommom, mom, mom, mommy..." However, when I am speaking to him and referring to myself, I call myself Mommy, "Mick, Mommy wants you to eat a couple bites of chicken and peas, and then you can play with your train." I did give him the card. It isn't confusing to him yet. He can't read who sent it to him right now. What I am worried about is getting to NJ and having his birth mother call herself mommy to Mick. He will likely call her out on it by saying that she is not his mommy and that I am. I would feel badly about that in a number of ways...
First, I would feel badly that we don't have a name already in place for the woman that carried him in her womb for 9 months. Second, I would feel terrible that Mick would be put in a situation where he would feel uncomfortable. Third, I would not want her to have a name that is less important than mommy because she did carry him for 9 months and go through labor as well as give birth. Part of me wants her to pick the name, part of me wants to see what Mick calls her after we explain who she is, but mostly I think we should show Mick the pictures of the birth family again along with the names we are calling them and then see what he calls everyone himself. We would call them, aunt Christina, uncle Greg, G-Ma, great-G-Ma, and Tummy Mummy because she carried Mick in her tummy for 9 months before MomMom and DadDad picked him up at the hospital and took him home with us so he could have a mommy and a daddy to take care of him.
He is such a smart, sweet good boy. We are all so blessed to have him in our lives. He loves to learn. He proudly says his alphabet, counts to 30+ in English, to 10 in Spanish, to 7 in Chinese, and to 5 in Korean. He knows sign language, ASL not the baby signing. He signs everything people say to him & what he says back so he really understands what he's signing and isn't just memorizing. The one thing he did that really got me as a mom and brought tears to my eyes wasn't his first word, first step or when he said mama. It was just on 12/21/12. This was the day many thought was their last day on earth. It was viewed very differently in our home. We believed that it was to be a day of change for the good of mankind and our planet. On that day, we were in a hotel in Nashville, TN (Opryland). Mick was in his PJs ready for bed. We already read a book, he brushed his teeth and he was about to get into bed. Just before, he began to recite the Our Father verbally and with ASL. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen and heard at one time. Again, I will say, we are so blessed to have Mick in our lives. He knew the entire Our Father, word-for-word and all the signs as well!
Michael was in my heart long before I ever looked at him, touched his soft baby skin, smelled his baby-fresh hair, or heard how loud his cries and his laughter could be. I felt him tugging at my heart already. I was his Mommy! I remember when we found out we were matched and knew that very night his name was to be Michael. From that day forward, he was Michael. It was Michael's room, his clothes, his bed and his toys. Michael was our little boy! Our baby boy. When I would pray at night, I would imagine what he looked like. I asked my Spirit Guide to send me something for me to see to picture him when I thought of him. We had never seen any pics of the birth parents so we had no idea what he could possibly look like even. I remember closing my eyes every night and seeing the most amazing eyes! They had every color in them, but were mostly green and brown, just like mine! The very first thing I noticed when Michael was born was when he opened those gigantic eyes of his with the super-long and dark eyelashes, they were the exact eyes I had been seeing every night as I drifted off to sleep. Hmmm...did my Spirit Guide send me a pic? Was Mick already bonding with me as well and was able to show me his eyes as I dreamed? I may never know, but the bond between a mother and a child is the strongest bond. If we were already matched in our blueprints, who's to really say what can and cannot happen or what can or cannot be true? I just know that I love him so much and always have that I often forget I didn't carry him for 9 months and give birth to him myself. Also, I have had 10 surgeries and 3 minor eye procedures. I could have easily popped out a kid or 2 during one of those joint replacement surgeries! Those were indeed awful surgeries. I believe anything could have happened and I would not have known, even labor and delivery. LOL!