Friday, September 21, 2012

December 2009: Placement

The baby was finally here! The Awesomes chose a wonderful name for our little sweetie, but here I'll just call her Angel, because that's what she is. 

They moved CJ out of the labor/delivery room and into a patient room on the maternity floor. I was able to go with CJ into the nursery to watch them bathe Angel. She didn't like the whole thing very much, though. When she was done she was so cute in her new little sleeper, with a pink polka dot bow in her hair. 

It was now well after midnight, and we were all exhausted, especially CJ. She had opted to have the baby in her room instead of the nursery, so that she could spend as much time with Angel as possible. I slept in her room on a pull-out sofa bed. During the night, CJ got up with Angel and fed her, changed her and rocked her. I don't know how she managed it right after giving birth, but she was determined to do it. I slept through much of it. 

The next two days, everybody started showing up to see Angel. My hubby and kids spent as much time at the hospital as they could. The Awesomes came for a while, too, but they were great to give CJ this time with Angel. A lot of relatives and friends came by on that day and the next. It was a big celebration! It was so fun to share this time with everyone I loved. We appreciated having so much support from our friends and family.  

Even though the placement wouldn't happen for 48 hours, the papers were to be signed in the afternoon of the second day. Case workers from the adoption agency showed up with all the paperwork and sat down with CJ to read everything to her, word for word, and ask her if she understood everything. My hubby and I were in her room while they were reading all the documents to her. I was sitting in a rocker holding Angel, who was cuddled up and asleep on my shoulder. As they read the harsh words in the documents, about relinquishing all rights forever, I started to cry as I held my sweet granddaughter and rubbed her back.  It all sounded so final. And so scary.  But CJ was so brave.  She didn't even hesitate as she grabbed the pen and signed. I know she had to hurry and do it before she thought about it, and started to question her decision. I was so proud of her. What an amazing girl.  

The birth had been at around 11p.m., so we wanted the placement to be exactly 48 hours later. CJ wanted to spend every single second possible with Angel. Our case worker was not happy that she had to come over so late at night to do a placement. She tried to sabotage our plans so that she wouldn't have to do it so late. It caused us much more stress at an already stressful time. In the end, we got our way. The case worker arrived almost 2 hours early, but The Awesomes "conveniently" had car and traffic trouble, and arrived about when we had planned to start.  This did not make the caseworker happy, so she was rude, pushy, and tried to rush everything. It was frustrating and made a difficult time a little harder for our family. 

When The Awesomes did arrive, they had gifts for CJ, and she had gifts for them. They exchanged their gifts, amongst many tears. We decided to take some pictures of our family with Angel,  and some with The Awesomes and Angel.  The grumpy case worker kept rushing us and telling us we "couldn't take anymore pictures", and "this is the last one".  We managed to get the ones we wanted, mostly.

As soon as we were done with pictures, the caseworker told CJ and me that we needed to pack up all of our stuff, and get it out of the room, immediately! She told us to put it all out into the hall. The nurses were in no hurry to get us out, but the caseworker made it sound like we had to pack it all up the get it out. So we hauled our suitcases, gifts, etc. out into the hallway of the hospital, then the whole family sat out there on the floor! It was so annoying, and I'm not sure why it even had to happen. I think the caseworker just wanted to make things more miserable, because she was mad.

CJ went back into the room with The Awesomes, and they spent probably a half hour or more in private, talking. CJ was struggling with her emotions, but The Awesomes were so patient with her! They were willing to spend as much time as was needed to make sure CJ was okay. 

Finally, it was time to do the placement. Time to hand our baby girl over to her new parents, to her new family. There were a lot of tears. I wasn't in the room when CJ physically handed her over to Mr. and Mrs. Awesome, but my hubby was, and he took some pretty powerful pictures. The rest of our family was in the hallway, doing plenty of crying. It was very emotional. By the time it was over, we were all completely drained. It was hard to get in the car and go home, back to our normal lives, after all we had just experienced. Even though it was painful, I knew it was right. I knew that Angel was supposed to go home with The Awesomes. There was still no doubt of that. It was just hard to physically let go. I drove home that night feeling sad, but also content. Weird, I know. The content part of me was glad that this long-anticipated, and long-dreaded, night was over, and we had survived it. But, also, I was content in the idea that we had done the right thing, even though it was the hardest thing our family had ever been through.

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