Our family recently grew by one on Friday 9/16/11 at 7:55 am when Cambria Grace Merrell was born. Cambria was added to our family through adoption with the help of AGAPE in Huntsville. We have been working with them for a couple of years on adopting a new sibling for George.
We had a failed adoption back in March 2010 when the birth mother decided at the last-minute to keep her child. All of this sorrow from the previous bad experience of the failed adoption was washed away with the birth and subsequent placement of Cambria with our family.
We received the call from AGAPE on Thursday 9/08/11 but we got the message on Friday. We called AGAPE but our social worker was out. We called back on Monday and were told they had a birth mother who was due soon and if we wanted them to show her our family book. We said yes. LeAnne had been gathering up all the baby things ie changing table, bathing tub, stroller etc and had put them in Kids Closet to sell.
I was getting ready to go to work around 3:00 pm on Tuesday 9/13/11 when LeAnne came into the room in tears, she had the phone in her hand. I thought one of two things had happened, either a death in the family or some adoption news. It was the latter fortunately. Our social worker informed us that the birth parents had chosen us to receive their child to adopt. This was like the first time around with George with it being so quick that it happened. We had to get with Kids Closet and pick up all the stuff we had dropped off since we would be needing those items asap.
We had to meet with the birth parents the next day at AGAPE. It was kinda awkward at first as those initial meetings normally are but we all warmed up to each other quite quickly. The birth mother was a wonderful young woman and the birth father was a very nice young musician. We all talked about our families and kids etc and got to know each other pretty good for the limited amount of time we had. The birth mother gave us the ultrasound and told us that the baby was going to be a little girl. I thought to myself that was wonderful since that complements our son in our family. The baby was set to be delivered by C Section on Monday 9/19/11 at 10:00 so we would have our last free weekend. The birth mother did mention that she had some labor pains the day prior so it might be earlier.
I was at work that night and received a call at 11:00 saying the birth mother was in labor and to come get LeAnne and go to the hospital. We arranged for my mother to come to our house to stay with George. He was unaware of the situation and was asleep when my mother arrived. I took off work and went to the hospital and met with our social worker. The doctors decided that they would deliver in the morning. We were told that they would call us in the morning when she goes into labor so we could come in then.
We received the call at 7:00 am th come in for the delivery. We got our son ready and took him to school (He was still unaware of the situation). We arrived at the hospital around 7:45 but was told that she had already been taken in the delivery room.
We met our baby later that morning around 9:00 or so. She was one beautiful sight to behold. We instantly were smitten by her. It was just like it was when we met George for the first time in the Hospital in NC – Wonderful and Surreal. We were so proud of her right away.
We stayed with her until it was time to go pick up George from school. Our plan was to keep him out of the loop until we were to take her home from the hospital on Sunday to spare him the emotional toll if the birth mother decided to keep her like what happened in Cullman in 2010. George was devastated that last time and we didn’t want it to happen again hence our precautions.
We were set up for an AGAPE family conference workshop on Sat and had already arranged for George to stay with a friend that day so visiting Cambria at the hospital all day Sat worked out well.
However, George was suspicious, because he told our family friend keeping him that we had taken all of the baby stuff to Kids closet and it was back at the house now. He said to our friend that he thought he was getting a brother or sister. We picked him up saturday and told him that AGAPE wanted us to go to the hospital on sunday for a trial run through on what would happen if we were selected for a baby. We told him that we would go to the hospital and be put in a room and a nurse would even bring a baby to the room to show us how the process works. All this went to plan except the nurse who was to bring the baby to the room was not available and another nurse who was unaware of our situation brought Cambria to the room.
George immediately went up to the nurse with the baby in the cart and asked what the baby’s name was. The nurse responded what did we name her? George looked funny and we told him that she was his new sister. He was taken back and was at a loss for words for a second or so. It was a precious moment seeing him look at his new sister that he had wanted for ever so long.
We all had an enjoyable Sunday and were able to take Cambria home on Sunday 9/18/11 around 1:00 pm.
We are currently enjoying life with two children now: George and Cambria so our family now numbers four.