We knew when we left for Chicago that we would need to be there for a little while. We were prepared for a wait. But...things were stressful at times and Chicago is COLD!!!
We went straight from the airport to the hospital. We couldn't wait to see our new little one and his mother again. We were nervous though and didn't quite know how to act. It was only natural that we wanted to get to the hospital ASAP and hold Declan immediately. All of our family wanted pictures of me with Declan to show it was sort of "final" and that everything was okay. We did take photos of the hospital and other scenery.
We arrived at the hospital and went to our Birthmother's room. She was very excited to see us. Her mom was there, her dad was there, her brother was there and her best friend. It was a crowd!! Nurses also kept coming in and out.
All we wanted to do was stare at Declan and hold him. But, we felt we couldn't because this was her family time. We waited until they asked us if we wanted to hold him. It seemed like hours. And, we felt awkward asking to take a photo since they were taking photos and sending to family and friends.
To make matters a little more uncomfortable, I had the flu!! Of all times to get sick right? I had to wear a mask, use tons of hand sanitizer and keep my cough in check. One of the nurses even asked me not to hold Declan since I was sick. I was devastated.
At one point, I had to leave the room and get some water. Her brother walked with me. when we were about to go back into the room, he stopped me and just talked to me for a little while. He wanted to get a sense of who Gary and I were. He also wanted to make sure that Declan would know he had an uncle who loved him very much. I was touched by this gesture.
Because Declan was born on a Wednesday and he was a little jaundice, the process of us being able to take him with us was longer than expected. In that state, the birthmother has 72 hours but we were able to take him with us when she was discharged. Leaving the hospital after seeing him for the first time was difficult.
We spent time resting up at our hotel and our nerves were in knots - would she still change her mind? It was hard to see her hold him for two reasons - she was having time to bond with him and we weren't and it was emotional for her which broke my heart. We took a back seat willingly to allow her that time. We knew we would have years to bond with him. The visits at the hospital were long since the family wanted us to spend time with them. We ordered the best Chicago pizza and ate in the hospital room. We also had Starbucks coffee since there was a Starbucks in the Lobby.
It was a long few days, but I had time to rest and get to feeling a little better. Friday came and we knew were going to be able to take him "home" that day. We waited for the call and it finally came. We went to the hospital and dressed him in his PJs we had brought. We brought two options and let his mother choose. We then waited for her to get ready and we went to the lobby to wait on our social worker to arrive. His birthmother gave us a new blanket from his uncle and a teddy bear to take with us. We gave her a handwritten Thank You card. When the Social Worker arrived, all of the formalities were taken care of and we were able to leave. His mother and I walked out arm in arm while Gary carried him in his carseat. The nurse walked with us and checked to make sure he was strapped in correctly.
I was crying buckets by this point. We were so relieved and there were so many feelings at the same time. I was so overjoyed and I couldn't believe that this precious, tiny little boy was ours. Finally, we had the answer to our prayers. It was so unreal.
There was also the emotion of watching his family drive away without him and the feeling I had of the pain that his birthmother must have been feeling. She was in tears as well.
But, as I sat in the back seat next to him, I looked in awe at his tiny sleeping face. I was overwhelmed with so much joy. I took his little hand and he squeezed my fingers. As the tears streamed down my face, we rode in the car, hand in hand to our hotel room. This day was added to my favorite of all days in addition to the day I became a child of the One True King and the day I became Ms. Anna Cheung.