(Before you read today's blog please click here to read part one of the Keywood's Domestic Adoption.)
With their backs facing, the door opened and in came baby Keywood. I wouldn’t let Sarah and Jay turn around to see him until I captured a good shot of their nervous, excited faces. At six pounds, 13 ounces and 19 inches long, I couldn’t help but let out a little gasp from behind the camera when I saw him… which only built their suspense more. He was being held by his transitional parents, the Nolan’s, who had taken care of him the night before.
Before I carry on with the story, here is a little plug for transitional care.
Transitional Care takes place between the time the baby is discharged from the hospital and placement day. These volunteers open up their homes and hearts to care for these children before they enter their permanent home. Most agencies are in need of this; it’s a great opportunity to serve!
I finally told Sarah and Jay that they could turn around. Their faces lit up when they saw their son. They touched him, held him and kissed him but also took a moment to thank everyone in the room.
This couple was thankful.
They had been through a long and tiring process but now they were standing in the building where it all started years ago, only this time holding a baby – their baby.
“Those two years of waiting and anticipation weighed really heavily on us, but when we saw his face for the first time, examined his features, and touched his hands, the wait suddenly felt like such a tiny piece in the entire plan. We're simply in awe of our son…”
They laid Jeremiah on the famous Gladney bed to change his diaper for the first time and put on his “Coolest Baby Ever” shirt. Sarah and Jay chose Gladney as their adoption agency because of their long history of successful adoptions, holistic support and care for birth moms, and their transparent practices through the process. At orientation, Jay asked very candid upfront questions, such as, 'How are you not supporting a 'baby factory mentality' that exploits women in crisis?'" They were really affirmed with their answer, that Gladney’s goal is to give such support to birth moms that they never have repeat clients.
As the Nolan’s gave advice to Sarah and told her about Jeremiah’s sleeping and eating from the previous night, Jay continuously snuggled and kissed him. The Keywood’s had been building up so much love for a child and Jeremiah was the lucky baby placed with them. “We want him to know that He is God's before he is his birth mom's son, or our son, white or black, biological or adopted. He is God's. God knew him first. God loved him first.”
We drove back to the light pink Airbnb where we were just hours before but this time the Keywords had a full car seat and an even fuller heart. Jeremiah had worked up an appetite from the long day, so Jay heated a bottle and he and Sarah shared feeding their son for the first time. After getting him a little milk drunk, they Skyped with Sarah’s parents to introduce them to their grandson. It was such a sweet moment to see them meet the baby that made them grandparents.
I felt so connected to the Keywood’s because of the first’s I got to share with them. I was there the first time they met Jeremiah as their son, the first time they changed him, put him in a car seat, fed him and rocked him to sleep. They opened up and welcomed me in so easily, that there’s no doubt in my mind they will do the same with welcoming Jeremiah into their family. Before leaving, Sarah and Jay wanted me to hold Jeremiah. This may not sound like a big deal but it made my whole day. I’ll forever be connected to this family and honored to have met and experienced this with them.