Getting the Call
Four weeks after the initial call, the birth mother went into labor, two weeks early. Diana and Jim left Illinois at midnight and drove until the next morning. The little girl was only hours old when a nurse placed her in Diana's arms. "I took one look at her and knew immediately she was ours," Diana says.
Diana and Jim named her Hayley. The new family was given a hospital room. "The staff was great," Diana says. "They treated me like I was the one who had given birth." In most states, birth mothers can sign relinquishment papers after 48 hours. Hayley's birth mom did, clearing the way for Jim and Diana to leave with their daughter. But they couldn't drive home yet -- for interstate adoptions, parents must wait for approval from their home state before crossing state lines. So Jim and Diana's first nights alone with the baby were in a hotel. "We paced the halls and took turns running out for formula or diapers," Jim says. "We were waiting, again."
"But at least this time we waited with Hayley," Diana says. "I cherish those memories of just being together." Finally, 11 days after Hayley was born, Jim and Diana were told they could go home. "Only then did I tell Jim's mom to order a crib!" Diana says.
When asked whether she'd do it again, Diana laughs and says, "Not anytime soon." Well, that's one way that adoption is just like giving birth. Then she says, "Adoption isn't easy by any means, but now I know for sure, no matter how a child comes to you, you're a mom and your love is just as deep."
Laura Stavoe Harm lives in Boise, Idaho.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, June 2004.
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