I feel like this story is so hard to tell. Each time I read through what I've already written I realize I have missed so many details. I hope to get it completely down one day for Jack. it is one year since we went to meet Jack, I can't believe how fast it has gone and what an amazing year we have had. And now the final chapter to Jack:
It was a seven hour drive to Ohio to meet S, K and Jack. John and I made small talk, I slept, we listened to the radio, not really wanting to talk about the enormity of this visit and what it meant. Though K had already decided that she wanted us to parent her baby - we had been down that road just a few months before and 12 hours before placement of D, her mother changed her mind. I was cautiously optimistic but my heart was definitely guarded. For John I think his reservations had more to do with Jack's heart condition and how he healthy he would be. Not that he wouldn't want him with his condition but there were so many possibilities of different issues.
The plan was to meet at a restaurant/truck stop cafe. It would be K, here mom S, S's boyfriend and the cousin that sent the email that started it all. We arrived and they were all there already. I remember hugging everyone and though I was overwhelmed, I instantly felt comfortable with them. As we shared breakfast we talked and got to know one another, it sort of feels like an audition but K & S were so warm and confident and funny - our personalities just meshed. We had brought a gift for Jack and they in turn had a gift for us. When I opened it, I was shocked. It was one of those pillows that you can put a baby's' name, DOB, weight etc...The name was listed as Jaxon Lawrence Ancona (we had decided to keep the first name that K picked out because we loved the name Jack, and they agreed to let us change the middle to my Father's Lawrence, since he had passed away) and on the bottom it said: Proud Parents: John and Dianne Ancona. It was so incredible to see in print. In heart though, I was still cautious, this was just the first meeting and anything could happen. From there, they asked if we wanted to meet Jaxon. We drove to their friends house where he was and I had the most surreal experience of my life. We are standing in the middle of this living room, with all of these people (these strangers) looking at us and S says, do you want to hold your son? My son? really? So there we stood holding Jack, who for eight weeks was still so tiny, and every picture I have this look on my face like a deer in the headlights. We got to spend time with Jack and S's friends, I just couldn't believe that after all this time, I was holding this baby that could be my son. To them, he already was, but to us....we had to make it to the signing day, and still talk to K and make sure she was absolutely firm in her decision.
The rest of the day, we spent with K, and some of it with Jack. That night we took K out to dinner and to a movie and by the time we dropped her off at home it was 11p at night. We drove to the hotel in complete silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts. Sitting in the parking lot, I said to John, ok...what is your gut? Are you ready to adopt him? He turns to me and says.....No...You? and I said Yes. He kinda just looked at me and I said, it's a Yes with a disclaimer. I said: I'm terrified of the whole thing. You can think, breath, pray, hope for adoption and when that baby is in your arms, suddenly the reality hits. Can I do this? Can I manage an open adoption? I didn't love him the second I held him, is that wrong? I had room full of strangers staring at me and he was so tiny and I just didn't feel immediately that he was my son. I scared it's going to fail, I'm scared that I this other family will forever be integrated in our lives, I'm just overwhelmed but I truly believe this baby was meant to be ours. John looked at me and said that I spoke everything on his heart and that as look as we were in it together we'd be fine. It didn't hit me till later in bed with the lights off what that truly meant. I sat straight up in bed and asked: Does that mean we are moving forward? Jack is going to be our son? And like a typical male, John rolled over and said Yes - we already decided that. I burst into tears and starting jumping up and down on the bed.....we were finally going to be a family.