Last night, as I was rocking Ty to sleep in the nursery in the darkness, I couldn't help but think back on those first two days with him. It feels like a dream. The whole experience was so surreal and different; it wasn't like anything we had previously expected.
With private adoption (which ours was) you usually hear about adopting a newborn -- being at the hospital for or right after the birth, bringing home a tiny little wisp of life that depends on you 100% and being there to witness every 'first'.
Ty was already 4 1/2 months old when we met him. He was already a pro at smiling and laughing. He was already in size 2 diapers, was already trying solid foods, like pears and apple sauce, and he loved to hold hands.
Kristy (his first mama) and I had talked a lot prior to this weekend. We had a lawyer already but hadn't moved forward with anything legally because we all felt that because of his age (mostly but there were other reasons too) that we all needed to meet prior to paperwork.
She had expressed her desire to have Ty stay with us in the hotel over night when we came to meet them so that we could have lots of one on one time with him and really get to know him. It made us nervous thinking about trying to go a full night with a baby who's sleep patters and feeding patterns we weren't familiar with yet and who didn't know us at all. And legally we had to make sure we followed all the rules. So we agreed to meet first and if things felt good then we would keep him overnight.
We prepared in advance to be able to do it. We brought everything we could think of that we might need. The burp cloths and pacifiers and little toys. And thankfully within those first few minutes and even the first few seconds, we knew we wanted to move forward.
Not only were our eyes glued to this tiny little guy with his big blue eyes but our eyes were trained on each other -- truly seeing one another for the first time. As parents.
Watching Bryce become a father was something I had anticipated and longed for for years. The reality of it was better than I could have imagined. This man, who the day before was so nervous about his ability to parent and love a child who wasn't his own, was the most caring daddy in the whole world. I swear it was like a whole new branch of his personality grew in one day that had never been there before.
He had Ty smiling and laughing so hard -- the happiest noise in the whole world. They were the best pals from the first day and still are. They love to play and giggle and just chill together.
It was heaven. Truly heaven on earth.