Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kennedy Elizabeth

When we arrived at the hospital, we went to the room where our birth mom was staying. She had some pain medication and was doing well. Her family was there with her and it was great to know that they were so supportive of her. What a special family they were!

Our room wasn't cleaned and ready yet, so they were nice enough to let us be in their room with them. We talked and chatted while we waited for it to be time for the baby to actually come. Everyone at the hospital was so nice and the nurses were great. They were all so respectful of us as the adoptive parents and I was really impressed with how the hospital was so sensitive with everything since they knew an adoption was taking place.

After several hours of waiting, it was time for the pushing to begin. We were not in the room when our baby was born, but we were right outside the door with some of the birth mom's family. We heard it when the baby came out screaming and everyone that was waiting in the hallway started crying. It was one big emotional mess out there!

Our baby girl Kennedy Elizabeth arrived at 3:48 PM on May 3. She was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen! We knew that our baby girl would be pretty since both of her birth parents were good looking people, but never thought she would be as beautiful as she was! What a blessing to have a healthy baby arrive and be able to experience it all with her birth family.

After a few days in the hospital, Kennedy was ready to go home with us. We had spent the entire hospital visit with the birth family and got to know them so much better. They got to meet some of our family as well and everyone seemed to really get along. There was nothing weird or uncomfortable about the situation. We wanted to be really respectful of our birth family and make sure that they got to have lots of private time with Kennedy. We exchanged special gifts with them and decided together that when we left the hospital, we would not say goodbye. We would just say "see you later" as we knew that we wanted to have visits with them in the future.

The day that Kennedy was being released from the hospital was an emotional day. I was so excited to take her home, but scared at the same time. I was also very emotional thinking about our birth family and knowing how hard it would be for them to watch us leave with Kennedy. It was a very smooth process and when we left the hospital and loaded Kennedy into our car, we all hugged and cried. We reminded each other that we would not be saying good bye. My heart broke for them as we were getting ready to leave, but I also knew that they were strong people and would be okay. Kennedy's birth mom had a look on her face that I will never forget and we asked her if she wanted to get in the car and give Kennedy one last kiss. She did and I'm so glad she did because I wouldn't have wanted our hospital stay to end any other way.

It's been 7 weeks since that day and our story in no way, shape, or form ends here. Over the past 7 weeks, we have formed such a great relationship with both birth parents and their families. Each are very different and special in their own way. Open adoptions often seem odd to people on the outside and until you have experienced one first hand, you really don't know what they are like.

We think that our situation is so special and when people ask us about visiting with our birth family and communicating with them often, they think it's odd that we are so open with them. People don't understand our relationship and that's okay. The relationship we have with them is private and our own to hold on to and we don't expect people to get what it's all about. They are like an extension of our own family and I'm sure the relationship will change and grow over the years.

We've always said that a child can't have too many people that love them, so to include Kennedy's two birth families in her life just seems like the right thing to do. She will never have to wonder where she came from or if her birth mom and dad loved her. She will always be able to get answers to questions about her adoption from us and that will make her a happier, healthier child as she grows up. We can't wait to share her with her birth parents as she grows because if it weren't for them, she wouldn't even be here. They have given us a gift that we couldn't give ourselves and for that, we will always be grateful.

I pray for Kennedy's birth parents each and every night. I pray that they someday know what a special thing they did for us. I pray that they will someday have families of their own and be able to reach all their goals and fulfill all of their dreams. I pray that they forever hold Kennedy Elizabeth in their hearts, as we hold them in ours. I thank God for bringing them & Kennedy into our lives for our lives are better now that they are all in it.

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