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San Francisco, Ca, United States
I'm on the left, Andrew is in the middle and my partner Ed is on the right. My partner and I met in October 1993 and have been together ever since. Our son Andrew graced us with his presence on Christmas Eve 2007.

Our Son Andrew: The Begining Dec 24 and 25, 2007

My name is Paul and my partner's name is Ed. My partner and I have been together for just over 14 years. For the last 6 years we have been trying to adopt a child. We used a local agency. We have had many close calls and some not so close calls. Ed and I had no preference on the sex, the ethnicity, the medical background or even the possibility of the baby being exposed to drugs or HIV. We were READY to have a child. After the six years had past, Ed and I were now in our 40's and we were beginning to think we were getting to old to raise a child.


On Christmas Eve day 2007, on my way home from a half day at work (approx. 11:30am), I received a call on my cellphone from our adoption agency. "Paul, we have a potential adoption placement situation, a baby boy was born yesterday Dec 23rd" (we have gotten these calls before...), "The birthmother used drugs during pregnancy" (something we were concerned with for the baby's sake, but had no impact on our decision) "would you be interested?"..I replied "yes, we would". The social worker said "Do you first want to speak with your partner?". I replied "no, after the fifth call we recieved like this, there's no reason to check with him, he will say yes".


The social worker told me she will give our birth-mother letter to the birth mom and she will call back if anything develops. I said thank you and the call ended.


The call seemed so "usual" so "normal mode of operation" that I did not call my partner to tell him the news. Once I arrived home, we had a bunch of my partner's family there (they came in town to celebrate christmas with us) and I told them about the call. They got so excited and I could see smiles on all of their faces. I told them we try not to get too excited because so far they have all been disappointing results. My partner Ed got home. I told Ed about the call. He just looked at me and said, "well,....we'll see..." My cell phone rang at approximately 5:15pm. It was our social worker, I was upstairs in the room we use for an office (and a potential baby's room). My partner Ed was upstairs but accross the hall in our bedroom when I answered the call. "Paul?, this is XXXX with the agency, I have great news for you, the birth mother chose you and Ed, you need to come to the hospital now". My eyes swelled with tears...and I could barely talk. I yelled "Ed, Ed, come here quick"...I met Ed in the hall way..."She chose us,...She CHOSE US". I had the social worker on the line and I got the hospital information (it was a local hospital) from her and hung up. Ed and I hugged and then rushed to get ready, we fumbled around the closet....not sure what to wear to such an event. We got dressed and ran downstairs to tell the rest of the family. They all screamed with delight. We apologized to the family for leaving them on Christmas eve...


Ed and I drove to the hospital in a stage of shock. I asked Ed, if maybe she confused our birth-mother letter with someone elses and maybe when we get there she will say "I did not chose them". Ed told me no, she meant to pick us.


We finally arrived at the hospital running down the halls to the information booth. We told them the room number and we received our visitor passes. Ed and I rushed to the room. When we arrived, we met Jennifer (the birth mother). She had dirty blonde hair and green eyes. She looked worn out. She gave birth to a baby boy on Dec 23rd (just a day ago). She had deep lines in her face and gave me the impression that she had a hard life. The social worker had told me earlier that she had been using cystal meth and occassionally cocaine throughout her pregnancy. Ed and I greated her with a handshake and we sat down on a chair beside her bed. I said, "Thank you for chosing us Jennifer, you can't imagine how happy you made us". She smiled and said "Do you want to see the baby?", we jumped up and Jennifer led the way.


As we got to NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) we were instructed to wash our hands. We followed Jennifer down a long room. It was dark except for the line of incubators to our right. There was a soft glow of light coming out of each one and I could not help but look at these little, tiny, fragile babies. In my head I was thinking wow..these babies look sooo little and could fit in the palm of my hand. I was a little nervous as to what condition Jennifer's baby was in. We went through a pair of double doors where I found a small basinett and there layed a little baby..not quite as little as the babies we passed earlier...but there he was. Swaddled in a hospital blanket, just lieing there with he eyes closed. Jennifer sat in a chair away from the baby. The nurse picked the baby up and handed him to me. I held him and still to this day can not express the emotion that I could feel running through my body. He was soo light and so small. He weighed 5lbs 4oz. Ed was standing beside me extremely eager to hold the baby as well, so we transfered him like we were moving an explosive that could blow at any moment. I asked Jennifer if she would like to hold him and she just waived her hand in one quick motion and said "no, that's ok". After about 20 minutes Jennifer said, "I'm going to go lie down now, congratulations". We gave her a hug and then hung out with "our son?"...


The nurses at the hospital were so caring and supportive. Ed and I were a little awkward because here we are two guys with limited experience in taking care of an infant (other than the workshops we've attended). They trained us on feeding, burping, swaddling, changing and bathing.

The nurses told us the baby needs to stay the night but that they have 24 hour visiting. Ed and I told the nurse that we have family in town and we are going to mid-night mass (we do this every Christmas Eve). Ed and I said good bye to all the wonderful staff and kissed the baby (by the way, we named him Andrew..my partner Ed chose that name and I loved it.) and left the hospital. Our drive was fairly quiet, we were dazed and still not able to believe what just happened.


We arrived at home and everyone was waiting for us. We told them "We have a son". We shared tears and it was that moment I realized this was real.


After midnight mass, the family all gathered at our home for a meal and opening up gifts. To be honest, I was in a rush to get this part over...I wanted to go back to our son. The family that was visiting from out of town had a flight back at 6am. We left at 2Am to take the entire family to see Andrew. I filmed a couple of our relatives holding Andrew for the first time. You will see how small Andew was.

After dropping off the family at the airport, Ed and I went directly back to the hospital to sit with Andrew. The nurses let us take care of Andrew independently and stayed near incase we needed help or had questions. Edward called a friend who has children and asked if we could borrow their car seat. Our friend drove down to the hospital on Christmas Day to give it to us. (she is one of Andrew's God-parents today).

We spent the entire day with Andrew, eagerly awaiting for the Doctor's OK to check him out. Here is some more video of Ed and then leter myself holding our Andrew. (link to video).


Since it was Christmas day, all the stores were closed..we had nothing. The nurses SET US UP. They gave us diapers, formula, clothes, pasifiers, wipes, diaper rash cream, thermometer, heck they even gave us some toys. We left the hospital feeling overwhelmed with their patience, encouragement and generosity.


Jennifer (Andrew's Birth-Mother) came into the room to say goodbye to us. We gave her a hug and I asked her for her contact information. She said she left it with the social worker, I said great. She asked for pictures once a month of the baby. We said of course. She walked away and turned back and smiled and said "Merry Christmas".


The picture "Christmas Day: Andrew two days old", is when we had just arrived home from the hospital with our new son, Andrew.

This is our story and this blog will begin a documented journal of his life events. He has some challenges ahead and my partner and I want him to look back at his life to always know he is loved by everyone in his life.

4 comments:

Erika said...

I found your blog today through The Daddy Diaries blog. This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful, happy, hopeful story.

Greg, Jessy, Grace, Jack, Nora, & Lexi said...

Oh my word. You have an amazing story. When I read that the birthmom said, "Merry Christmas"...wow...I can't even imagine. We just adopted a baby in February so I understand the ups and downs. Your baby is beautiful and you are beautiful people for keeping the birthmom involved in his life!

Andrew's Daddies said...

Greg,Jessy,Grace,Jack,Nora, & Lexi,
thank you so much for your nice comments. Congratulations on your adoption as well.
I tried to look for your blog, but could not find anything..

mak said...

Funny story: I was looking information about gay couples who adopted for my class and I found this blog which I find 100% interesting I'm happy for you guys and congratulations 2 years, 3 months now and when I read this I swear tears came out from my eyes ¡Congratulations!

 

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