If you haven’t read the first three posts before this I highly recommend that you do. That way you have the full story and the full affect. I know it’s a lot to read but trust me, It’s better that way.
One week ago today I signed the papers that changed Diya’s life and mine forever. It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever had to do. That morning I woke up and immediately held Diya in my arms. I kept looking at the clock. For every minuet that passed by I got more anxious and more nauseated. For the signing I was not allowed to be on any kind of medication so I had to stop taking my pain medicine at five in the morning. It was just starting to wear off as my breakfast came. I was very distracted and couldn’t eat much. I just kept looking at the clock with Diya in my arms. I didn’t want to let her go. Not yet. Finally I handed my Aunt Terrie the little miss so I could eat a few bites.
Just then there was a knock at my door. It was too early for my case worker to be there and Shelly was barley leaving her house. Diya’s nurse appeared. The one that had been there for the delivery and had taken such good care of her this whole time. I was happy to see her. She was one of my favorite nurses. She said a quick hello and then said, “I did something naughty, promise you wont tell on me?” Of course! I replied. She had her hands behind her back this whole time. She brought them around and I saw there was a plastic bag in her hands. “I saw this at the gift shop and I just had to get it for you.” She then took out a beautiful box. “It’s a music box, I thought it would be the perfect size to put her foot prints in and your hospital bracelets.” As she opened it a little tune began to play and tears streamed down my face. This woman who I barley knew had taken the time to think of me. She knew my situation, and she knew that today was the day. I jumped up and asked if I could hug her. Though, I’m sure I was already hugging her by the time I was able to ask. I cried in her arms for a good minuet. All I could say was thank you over and over again. Just as quickly as she had entered she had to go back to her shift. I thanked her again as she walked out the door. She and I cried on the phone together.
Shelly shortly arrived after and then Terrie had to leave. I began to get very anxious as I knew that I had about an hour and a half left with Diya. The time had been set for 11:31am. Exactly 72 hours after Diya had been born. I looked at the clock, it was now a little after ten. I felt as if time was going too fast. My stomach dropped and I felt as if I was going to throw up what little food I had eaten. I was so nervous. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was my hold was getting tighter and tighter on Diya as 11 o’ clock approached. We tried to keep my mind off of things by packing and figuring out where everything should go. What should stay, what I should take for memories. We laughed a little as we were doing this. Thinking I would have so many baby things that I was taking home that the nurses might become suspicious of me stealing practically everything in the room having to do with Diya. Shelly began to load everything in the car. I did not want to have to come back to that room ever again after we signed the papers. Eleven o’ clock came around. My heart started to pound faster. All I could do was hold Diya close. I felt so helpless. When Shelly came back from the last load to the car it was 11:20. About two minuets later my case worker showed up. “Are you ready?” he asked. I nodded, starting to shake with fear and anxiety. “Then I’m going to call the adoptive parents in if that’s okay with you.” All I could muster was a small, “Yeah”
I sat in my chair with little Diya who was sound asleep. I had just given her a bottle about an hour ago. I heard footsteps and as I turned to look it was the adoptive parents. The mother came up to me and hugged me as we both began to cry. “We love you so much” She said. “I know. I love you too” I replied between tears. As they took a seat on the couch next to me my case worker began to explain What was going to happen. We had gone through these papers before. They are some of the most harsh things I have ever read. They need to make sure that you understand you have no rights to the child after signing the papers. And they say it every single way they can. On every single piece of paper. At least twice. My case worker explained that I needed to sign a total of three copies. It was like signing her over three times in a row. But they had to have three copies. I received one copy, the other went to the adoptive parents, and the final one to my case worker.
After he explained everything the actual signing began with my case worker asking me “Do you feel like you were pressured to make this choice?” I answered no, and that I knew it was the right thing for everyone. Then he handed over the first paper with a pen. “Sign and date at the bottom here” I looked at Diya as I began to sign. Tears poured down my face. They were the biggest tears I have ever cried. It felt like a waterfall against my cheeks. I signed page after page, the only thing getting me through was my mom’s voice saying how proud she was that I had made this choice. That Diya would have so much more. That I was making the parents dreams come true when they could not. I knew. I completely agreed. It was no longer a choice, it was something that I needed to do. Not only for Diya but for myself as well. We both deserved better. That might sound harsh but I deserved to do things the right way and to have a child when I am married and ready. And Diya deserved to have married parents who were ready now, not later. She would have a much better life with them and I knew it.
With every paper I signed I held Diya tighter and tighter. I finally took notice of this and eased my grip. I felt a little bad but we all had a little laugh through tears as I had mentioned what happened. After I signed the paper I would look down at Diya who would flash me a smile. It was probably gas in reality but I like to think she knew what was going on and after every signature she would smile as if to tell me, keep going, I love you, you can do this. A couple papers it was harder for me to sign because of all the tears. Everything was so blurry. But I kept going. Finally I had signed my last one. I held Diya in front of my face and kissed her. There was so much love in that room any one could have felt it. There was also peace. It was a wonderful comforting feeling testifying to me that this was the right thing to do.
My case worker asked if I cared that he go a head and have the adoptive couple sign everything that they needed to. I agreed. I wanted everything to be done in that hospital room so I could leave it all behind when I was wheeled out with little Diya. They began to sign all of their papers with tears in their eyes too. The mother commented, “You’re right it is really hard to see”. We laughed between our tears again. As soon as they finished with their papers we all looked around the room. Now what? We were all asking ourselves. You could see it in everyone’s eyes. My case worker let us all know that we were good to go. We just had to be officially discharged from the hospital. So we called a nurse in. As we waited our tears dried. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing Diya’s parents are. What an amazing relationship we have! I am so grateful. We were able to talk after with no awkwardness or anything.
The nurse came in shortly after and told us we would have to wait. We ended up having to wait for hours. I’m not kidding. You know how I said I was so grateful to have a wonderful relationship with Diya’s parents? Those hours could have been the most awkward hours of our lives had we not had such a great relationship. To be honest those hours turned out to be a great blessing in my life. In those hours as we sat and talked it was the biggest confirmation that I had chosen the correct family for Diya. I couldn’t have found a more loving, supportive and kind family. Those hours proved that time and time again. One of my favorite moments was when the mother was holding Diya, she had been commenting on Diya’s nails and how they needed to be cut. At that moment Diya accidently scratched her face. Diya’s mother let out a small scream and exclaimed, “Oh! That was just tragic! That’s it the mittens are going on her hands! I need the mittens!” Shelly and I laughed so hard. I said, “This is why I know it’s you guys! This right here was a great example of why you two are just perfect for her.”
Finally at around 4:30 I received my instructions for my care and healing at home. A few minuets after the adoptive parents received theirs for Diya. My nurse then went to retrieve my wheelchair. The father went to pull around the car and cool it down. I sat down in the wheelchair and Diya was handed to me. I started to get nervous all over again as I realized this was it. She and I were going home. But not to the same home. I had a strange feeling of sadness but happiness at the same time. Of course I was sad that she was no longer my baby but I was, and am, truly happy for her parents! There was no one else in my mind that deserved this more than them. As we reached the drive way in front of the hospital we took a few pictures. Then I handed Diya to the mother so she could put her in the car seat. With Diya all strapped in I gave her a few last kisses. Then I turned to Diya’s mother. Tears formed in both of our eyes as we hugged each other. “Thank you so much” she said. I took a little while to reply partly because of the tears but partly because I felt replying you’re welcome just wasn’t enough. I finally settled on “You’re welcome” simply because I couldn’t think very well at that point. I added in an “I love you” For some reason I could not stop hugging her. I finally let go to hug Diya’s father but went back to the mother again. I felt such a connection with her in those last minuets. It was so comforting.
Finally I let her go. Diya’s mom got in the back with her and Diya’s dad closed all the doors. I clung to Shelly as if I was clinging to life itself. I watched them start to pull away, as I started to cry harder than I have ever cried. Shelly wrapped her arms around me and began to cry too. Diya’s dad actually had to stop and back up a little to get out because Shelly had parked right in front of them in the drive. We laughed at this for a moment and then went back to crying as they turned out of the drive and drove away.
I would like to share some pictures with you of the signing. These pictures mean so much to me. Obviously I’m crying, but I wanted to have them to show to Diya someday. To show her that this was in no way an easy thing for me to do. Thank you Shelly for taking them.