Thursday, June 20, 2013

Borrowed Strength

The family waiting room was an enclosed space that had a large picture window looking out into the hall, so those gathered would notice when someone walked out the doors of the labor and delivery unit. When the three of us appeared through those doors, I saw my son's new mother rise out of her chair and her hands fly to her heart. They weren't expecting to see me and her immediate joy at the sight of us was so powerful, it could most likely be felt throughout the entire hospital. I immediately felt the connection between us, the one that I had felt from her very first letter, and any doubt that may have entered my mind in the last few days quickly, and maybe permanently, dissipated. Though my cheeks were still wet, a new flood of tears broke through and I was overcome with emotion. I believe all of us were.  

When we walked through the door, they both immediately came toward me, and I thought "this is it, I'm going to have to hand him over". I wasn't quite steady on my feet, but knew I must do what I had come to do. Instead of reaching for him, they closed in on us both and wrapped me in their arms while I continued to hold him. She had tears in her eyes and explained that they had been praying every minute for me, and how they had hoped so much for this moment to be together. That simple embrace from them in that incredibly overwhelming moment confirmed that they cared just as much for me as they did my son. It sealed in my heart that this was the family for him.

The four of us watched him sleeping in my arms. This child who was so amazingly perfect, who had brought all of us together, whose life seemed so divinely destined, was a gift to each of us in different ways. I couldn't stop looking at him, I wanted to commit everything to memory. We stood together as they thanked God for him. I could barely speak, I could barely stand. And then, just as I had known that I must be the one to give him to them, I knew it was time to go.  I tearfully thanked them for everything.  I looked into both of their eyes and, once satisfied with what I saw there, I placed him in his adoptive mother's arms. 

Once this gesture was completed, I had to turn and leave.  I could not hover, I could not stand there with empty arms, I absolutely had to turn and walk away.  If I had looked back, if I had hesitated, I don't believe I would have been able to leave without him.

I was not prepared for what happened next, but then again, no one could have been. The moment I walked out of that waiting room and the door shut behind me, I suddenly and very literally felt my heart rip in two. It was not a break, breaks are quick and clean.  This was a painful, burning, tearing rip. My knees buckled and every ounce of strength left my body. It was like something or someone else had been loaning me strength I never had but so desperately needed, and when it left - I was completely void. Everything went fuzzy and I was sure that I would pass out.  The next thing I knew I was being helped into a wheelchair.  The nurse pushing the wheelchair was crying, my mother was crying, and I was in the most extreme pain I had ever felt in my life. I was absolutely certain that I was dying.

2 comments:

  1. Amy I have cried through out this whole post. Your honesty is beautiful.

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  2. This is beautiful. With tears streaming down my face, I too thank you for your honesty.

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