When I wrote If I Died Tomorrow, one of the criteria for things I’d want is for my children to be able to read the things I’ve written and feel 1,000% loved. Things like, The First Day I Met You are critical to my priorities and to our storybook (HERE is Samarah’s, and HERE is Isaiah’s).
On Tuesday afternoon the baby’s social worker called to see if Ryan and I could meet the following day to meet the baby for the first time.
Without checking my schedule or thinking for even a microsecond I quickly replied, “Yes.” “However,” I told her, “Ryan won’t be able to be there, as he is traveling for work.”
Ryan and I both agreed, though, that even without him, I would go because we have so desperately been waiting to see this child.
I didn’t sleep well on Tuesday night, mostly because Samarah was up every 1.5 hours almost to the minute, but also because my mind was racing with…..what does this baby look like? No, seriously. These past 3 months have all boiled down to that one, simple question. I think this is normal for anyone waiting to see their baby for the first time, but once we threw in the whole sibling factor, I became even more curious.
I got up early yesterday, per the usual. To pass the time and keep my mind occupied, I worked on client projects that I knew I wouldn’t get to once I was en route to the meeting.
I left our house around 9:15am. The night we got Samarah, I made the drive alone as well. Ryan was traveling for work that time, too, only that night he was able to meet me at the hospital. The drive seemed long, even though it was only about 20 miles from our house.
The closer I got, the more my heart started pounding. I became frazzled and somehow even got lost for a few minutes. I stopped my car, checked Google maps, pulled it together and ended at the destination still 15 minutes early.
The First Day I Met You
I quickly posted THIS video to Instagram Stories and went into the building. The agency greeted me, then brought me to a back conference room. For the next 20-ish minutes I sat there. I looked at my phone, then at the pens on the table, and then finally became fixated on the wall art. Three pieces with words crafted in a way that I needed to quickly see.
About 20 minutes later, I heard the girls at the front oooohhhhing and ahhhhhhing over the baby that had just entered the building. I heard the social worker say, “Is Mrs. Hoffman here yet?” (Guys, I’ve been married almost 8 years, and it still feels weird to hear Mrs. + Hoffman.) They told her I was, then brought her to the room. The girl who brought the social worker in looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh, that baby is precious.”
The social worker then turned the baby’s car seat around and set it on the table facing me.
She said, “Meet xyz.”
I wanted to cry right then and there, and even though I always know my babies from the moment I lay eyes on them, I never can cry because in those moments “they are not yet mine.”
We had exactly one hour together. The baby took to me immediately. The tiny toes and fingers, sweet cooing and smiling were enough to make me fall madly in love for the 4th time.
I learned a lot about the baby, mom and what’s going on in court. I’ll have more on that in a different post.
I took pictures because the social worker said I absolutely could. I’ve looked at them a hundred times already.
And after pictures were over, I had to say good-bye. I called Ryan and my mother immediately upon leaving to tell them of the wonderful hour.
As I sit here and write this, I feel a lump in my throat because there is a truth that flat out hurts. I have no idea when we will see that baby again. There are no imminent plans, though I have a general idea, but anything can happen.
The reason I even was granted the visit in the first place is because I am insanely persistent. I kept calling, and asking, then Ryan would do the same. Over-and-over-and-over until it finally happened.
Even though I’m not sure when our next encounter will be, I feel at peace because I finally laid eyes on this beautiful gift from God.
The 1 hour I spent with her, that tiny angel was worth anything.
The baby is a she.
And she is perfect.