Home » Adoption » Jenn’s Adoption Story: Part 2

Jenn’s Adoption Story: Part 2

I never thought it would really happen. The State of Washington just GAVE me a child to take care of. An infant nonetheless! In the blink of an eye they just basically said, “Ok you can have her.” They didn’t even know who I was! Granted Patrick and I are perfectly normal people but still! They didn’t even complete a background check. My job puts me in stressful and potentially overwhelming situations all the time but this, this was a new level of overwhelming. I had to pick her up from the hospital now but I didn’t have a car seat. I didn’t have anything. I walked outside the courtroom with my mom waiting for a piece of paperwork from the Social Worker to show to the hospital so they’d allow me to take her. Jackie and her sister followed us. Jackie’s sister (who’s just as bad into drugs) started babbling, “Jennifer make sure you have this kind of diaper cream. It’s the only kind that works for Jackie’s kids. And make sure you do this and that. And don’t forget this!” She just kept going on and on about what I should do. I nodded. I wasn’t even paying attention. I just kept thinking, this little girl has spent her entire life in a hospital! You don’t know what she needs. You don’t know anything about her. Jackie’s attorney came over and ushered her and her sister into a private room. And then they left. No goodbye. No I’ll call you. Jackie didn’t even have my phone number. The Social Worker finally showed up with the paperwork to take Ann home. She also gave me information that said both parents would be allowed to visit with Ann for two hours up to three times a week. Either myself, Patrick, or my mother would need to be there to supervise. I guess they didn’t care about visitation because they didn’t know how to reach me. My mom looked at me and said, “Well I guess we need to go shopping first.” I couldn’t even think of where to go! What kind of store has everything you need to become a parent in what was now 4 hours?! My mom decided where we would go and we headed out. It was then I realized, I hadn’t even called Patrick to tell him! He was in the police academy and was in class so he couldn’t take my call. I ended up texting him, “So… I’m coming home with a baby.” I can only imagine what he thought when he read it.
When we arrived at the store we walked through the baby section and I just stared blankly at everything. I was overwhelmed again and started to panic. Do I need a bottle warmer? Does the type of formula I get her matter? How many blankets do I need? Does a 10 day old need toys? My mother was the voice of reason. She brought me back to reality and just kept reminding me that we didn’t really even know how long we were going to have Ann staying with us. Jackie could get her back if she went to drug treatment for 90 days. Maybe we’d only have her for three months. So we started by buying the essentials. The problem was the essentials still filled up three trollies. When we tried to use a credit card to buy everything the amount was so high the credit card company thought the card was being used for fraud. I had to call them to say it was just me spending a ridiculously large amount. Now there was only one thing left to do, go pick up Ann.
We got to the nursing section of the hospital and found out that because Ann was born with drugs in her system she was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Luckily, she wasn’t born addicted to any drugs and was just there as a precaution. The amount of methamphetamine in her system was so small it was almost immeasurable. When we got to the NICU I was so nervous I could barely stand. We walked into a tiny dark room and there she was. 5lbs 6oz and 20 inches long. Sleeping peacefully and perfectly quiet. She was perfect. She had one little dimple on her right cheek that was so cute all you wanted to do was kiss it. The nurses told us all about what she’d been doing the last 10 days and how they had cared for her. The nurse scooped her up and handed her to me and that was it. I was a mom. A terrified, overwhelmed, nervous, panicked, completely freaked out mom.


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