April 1st was a sunny but extremely windy, normal, average day. I went to work and then met my friend, Sarah, and her son Jack to go for a walk afterwards with Bentley. I remember Sarah and I talking and Sarah asking about if we’ve heard any news on the adoption front. I remember feeling a lot of peace in the few weeks prior to this day and I’d said to multiple people, multiple times, including that day to Sarah, meaning it with all of my heart, how at peace I felt with the waiting. I was struggling February/March – but somewhere mid March, I found peace. Those few weeks anytime someone would ask how things were going or how we were doing – I said “I really feel at peace with it all, hopefully that’s a sign.”
It most definitely was.
Little did I know as I walked with Sarah that day, during that exact conversation and those exact words that came out of my mouth – our twins were across town, just a few hours after taking their first breaths.
That night, David left for St. Louis for a guys trip – they were going to a Blues vs Flames NHL game, a trip they planned for months, one that they were all very excited for.
Thursday was a typical day as well until about 1 in the afternoon. I had just gotten back to my desk at work when my cell phone rang – it was a local area code and I recognized the number (much like I know when the dentist is calling but not until I pick it up do I put two and two together…) this time, it was our social worker….a call that I hadn’t even had time to prepare myself for, a call that would forever change our lives, and a moment in my life I will never forget.
As I answered, our social worker (who is amazing by the way!) began with “Mallory, are you sitting down?” I said “Yes, is this good news or bad news?” (I was in complete denial it was actually ‘the call’ until days later when it all sank in and I realized I didn’t dream it, it was real). She continued on with the news that there was a baby boy born on April 1st (the day before) and he had a lot of hair, was 7 pounds, and a little more about the birth mom and him. She then threw in “there’s just one thing…” I immediately felt my heart sink a little. We were very open to all things but every parent wants their child to be healthy and I had a sinking feeling there was more…I will never forget how my heart felt at that moment….the moment when our social worker then said, “He comes with a beautiful, healthy baby sister – twins!”
Twins!? Twins!? Of course we were open to twins, I watched triplets through college (over 8 years ago!) and twins, nor triplets, scared me much – David on the other hand may have had other feelings…but twins, I never imagined that one actually happening! And a boy and girl? No, no, where’s the bad news? We had years of bad news…bad news always follows the good news…but there wasn’t any bad news. All grace-filled, God answering good news! Prayers answered and not by just one, but two that we prayed so hard for for so long.
Our social worker went on to say how amazing the birth mom was and how she just loved our profile book and wanted to meet us that afternoon. Mind you, this was again, 1 in the afternoon, my husband was 5 hours away, and not only did we just receive the call we had been waiting for, but they were already here, a day old, and ready to go home the next day, Good Friday.
I broke the news of David being out of town to our social worker. She told me to call him, tell him the news, and she would talk to the birth mom to see if that was ok with her if she couldn’t meet us both that afternoon.
I called David, he was at the Budweiser Brewery doing a tour with his friends and having a pretty good time! Anyone that knows David personally knows how well he takes care of his things – including his truck. I actually had the truck that day because they took my car on their road trip. I started out the same way our social worker did when she told me the news “David, are you sitting down?” (Mind you, I was in tears….) He said, “Why?! What’d you hit?” (I will always remember that and laugh!) I went on to tell him we were chosen to meet the birth mom of TWINS, and all of the details. After knowing David for well over 10 years, I could envision the blood draining from his face as I told my always very organized, planning ahead for everything and anything, husband that our lives were changing – and at an extreme speed!
We talked more, I cried, he was in a stunned silence, and after many times asking “Can we handle twins!?” We both knew this was our chance. Our leap of faith, our call to action, and our babies who had been anxiously anticipated. There was no going back! David’s last words were “I think I need to go have another beer…” Thankfully, the group of guys he was with kept him calm, excited, and distracted as we waited to hear more on what was to come.
I eagerly, emotionally, made some phone calls to family, explained the craziness going on in my office to my coworkers, ran into my HR department to give them a heads up, and waited for my social worker to contact me back.
I tried to finish a few things up at work and a few hours later, our social worker called me back. She said that the birth mom wanted to still meet me if I was ok with that.
About 45 minutes later, I was riding an elevator up to meet one of the most important people in my life, and the two children that would forever change me.
I can’t even describe how nervous I was. Think of the most important job interview you’ve ever experienced, multiply those nerves by about 1,000 and you can imagine how I felt. As soon as our social worker opened the hospital room door, my nerves were calmed by a beautiful woman who immediately made me feel at ease, comfortable, and like I was just visiting a friend who had a baby.
We talked a lot about David and I, her life and family, she asked questions about David (for one, how tall he was….our babies will likely outgrow me as their birth mom is very tall), and questions about our journey to adoption. The time flew so fast and most of the conversation is a blur. But I will always remember standing in that hospital room in awe of how incredibly strong the woman in front of me was, how extremely mature she was beyond her years, and how much of a blessing and hero she will always be in my life.
As we talked, she asked if I wanted to see and hold the babies. She called the nurse to bring them to the room and they wheeled them in. I couldn’t believe, still can’t, how much beautiful hair they have! I still had my walls up some to try to protect from getting too attached, fearful the bad news was still coming, but as I held them each while I was visiting, I felt a love that was very familiar, one that had been there my whole life and was just surfacing, waiting for that moment. There really was no turning back, they stole my heart and ran with it.
A short time later, our social worker and I left, saying temporary goodbyes and praying I’d still be seeing her tomorrow and that our biggest fear wouldn’t become the bad news I was cautiously preparing for.
I called David, told him all about our visit and the twins, and we began to figure out the next few hours as David and his seriously amazing, understanding friends shortened their trip and drove through the early hours of the morning to get him back in time to meet our twins’ birth mom and the babies the next day before they were all released from the hospital.
I drove right to my parent’s where my sister met us and my mom, sister, and I went to the store to get all the essentials we’d need. If things continued on, we would be taking them home the next morning and we only were prepared enough to have a crib (thanks for my coworker!!) that wasn’t put together and a dresser/changing table. Thankfully my mom and sister pretty much just threw stuff in the cart – diapers, car seats, wipes, etc – as I walked around trying to overcome the shock that our dreams were becoming a reality and in the most unimaginable way – twins! Twins!?
My two sister in laws came over later that night as I searched online for boy names, trying to calm my nerves, and get through what may have been the longest night of my life. I took a bath about 1 AM as David and I texted back and forth on what to name our precious baby boy. I have loved the name Aria for a long time…boys names are hard though!
After about 2 hours of sleep, I woke up, texted and called a few friends and got myself ready. David drove straight from St Louis to the hospital and we met in the parking lot as we tried to figure out how to install the carseats and nervously walked into the hospital. The ride up the elevator was similar but this time, David was experiencing what I had experienced the day before….as we tried to calm our nerves a bit, we were greeted by our social worker and some nurses and walked down to the room where the twins and their birth mom were.
She got to know David some and I gave her the little gift I had for her, we talked about the babies’ names as she filled out their birth certificates for us and we got to meet her two other children (they are just as adorable!!!). After some time talking and cuddling the babies, we gave her and her family some time with the twins as we waited in the hallway. My stomach felt sick for her…I can’t even imagine what was going through her head and heart in those moments.
After we said our goodbyes, emotions rushed over me and it hit me the amount of loss she just experienced and the loss our twins experienced and they didn’t even know it. The amount of love that she had for them to give them a life she felt was better than she could provide at that time and entrusted us to give them that, to love them and care for them. She gave us a gift, two, that I could never, in a million years, put words to how thankful we are because of her. One of my biggest hopes for our twins is that they know her, her strength and grace and selfless love she had for them, and that she will always be a part of our family.
The nurses came in shortly to go over baby care with us – which was awesome! It was nice to have a refresher course on all things baby and get lots of resources to get us through our first time at being parents. I did a TON of reading over the last few years about infertility and adoption, not once did I pick up a book about babies!
Later that afternoon, we left the hospital as a family of 4 (plus Bentley of course!). A family that we patiently waited and prayed for, but in less than 24 hours became true. David and I still laugh that when we brought them home and in the house, we sat their carseats in the living room and just stared at them for a short time as we thought to ourselves “Now what!?” – our journey was just beginning and we couldn’t imagine it any other way!
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. At times I still have to pinch myself to see if this is real. We are so in love with these two little beings and the support surrounding our family has been incredible! Thank you to everyone for embracing this journey with us and for all that have let us borrow items or dropped of gifts and meals – we can’t thank you enough! Adoption is an amazing, amazing thing that doesn’t happen without a community and we have been shown that time and time again over these past few weeks!
Through our infertility years, I felt the best way to describe the pain I was feeling was that there was a hole in my heart that was empty. It was a hole that even when my heart felt joyful, was always there reminding myself I wasn’t complete yet – there was so much more room for love. Little did I know that the hole I felt so immensely, was a hole that was meant to be filled with double the blessings!
And our blessings didn’t stop there….