Monday, May 26, 2008

Five Years

Five years ago this morning, Hubby and I were waking up on what was supposed to be the second day of a five day trip to Las Vegas. We were taking our last couple-only, pre-baby vacation, as we had "matched" with an expectant couple who were planning to place their baby girl for adoption with us when she was born at the end of June/beginning of July. (There was some question as to the baby's exact due date, but it was at least five weeks away.) Hubby had gotten up already and headed downstairs at the Mirage, where we were staying for that trip. We were going to be meeting my sister and brother-in-law, who were also on vacay in Vegas that Memorial Day weekend, for breakfast over at the Mandalay Bay, where they were staying. I was just getting out of the shower when I heard my cell phone ringing. Instead of it being my sister, which is what I was assuming, it was a number I didn't recognize from our hometown area code. It was the expectant mother calling from the hospital to say that the baby had been born overnight, quite enexpectedly and several weeks early. I dressed as quickly as I could and raced downstairs to tell Hubby. I repeated the information I'd been told on the phone to myself the whole way down in the elevator. "Four pounds, nine ounces, seventeen and a half inches long, in the NICU." Hubby and I spent the next few hours on the phone, desperately trying to find a way to get back to our hometown as soon as possible. This was extremely difficult, as it was a national holiday and the last day of the long weekend. We eventually managed to get seats on a flight to a city a little over an hour away from our home (thank you, Southwest Airlines) and once we landed there, we rented a car and drove directly to the hospital. We saw and held that baby girl a little over 24 hours after she was born. She was tiny (down to four pounds even by that point) and covered in wires, in an isolette with portholes on the side. She had some complications, and in the early days she was only eating teaspoons of formula at a time - less than one fluid ounce, every two hours. The first time Hubby ever changed a diaper in his life, it was while she was still in the isolette, with wires coming off her - I told him that if he could manage that, changing a diaper at home would be cake. Two weeks later, her birthparents signed the necessary adoption papers and that tiny, little girl was released from the NICU and came home with us.

Five years ago today, the light and joy of my life came into this world, tiny but strong and full of life and spirit. Today she is a "big girl" as she never fails to remind us, a girl who loves dinosaurs and music and animals, who loves the color pink but isn't particularly fond of dresses, who can draw the most amazing pictures and is well on her way to learning how to read, who has a sharp memory and a surprising eye for detail, who loves vanilla ice cream and baby spinach and any kind of fruit she can get her hands on, who sings and dances and makes us laugh every day. It doesn't seem possible that she is five years old already, though the memory of her being placed in my arms by her birthmother seems a lifetime ago.

Happy birthday, kiddo!!! I love you more than anything!!!


My name is Andy. said...

Happy 5th birthday big girl!

I hope you have a wonderful and amazing birthday!!!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

Pssst... the above comment was wishing the kiddo a happy birthday, which we very much appreciate, however, it used the kiddo's name and that is something we don't do on the blog. So, thanks for the bday wishes and sorry it looks so administrated!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to your lovely, lively, adorable girl!

I can't believe she's FIVE! Augh! Pretty soon they'll all want to be crossing the streets by themselves or some fool thing. ;)

Anonymous said...

Whoops, sorry.

Happy bday to the kiddo!