You all seemed to really like my 10 things lists during the quarantine...so here is another one for you!
1. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is going to go as planned.
We had been preparing to meet J in the parking lot of the hospital and receive him in our arms from our agency's director. When we were five minutes away from the hospital we got a call telling us we were going into the hospital and we would meet his biological family. Right about here is where I thought I was going to puke. The nerves were at an all time high.
2. Secretly setting up a nursery is hard, unless you're locked inside for a month.
What many of you (other than our neighbors who kept seeing car seat, crib, stroller, and diaper boxes on the curb on garbage day) didn't know is that in April we were very busy bees. Painting a nursery, painting furniture, ordering from Amazon (sorry UPS, USPS, FedEx drivers), and washing and organizing many baby items kept us busy. April seems like it flew by, if I'm honest, because every day was a project. If we didn't get put on lock down and continued to have people over at our house like we always do this secret would have leaked lonnnngggggg ago.
3. Drive by baby showers should be a permanent thing, pandemic or not.
Because we didn't share our secret with everyone, we were not thrown a formal baby shower. Both sides of our family did a very small "surprise" dinner for Drew and I with a couple of gifts. Those were such sweet, sweet dinners. My mom and sister had the brilliant idea that a drive by shower once Jaylen comes home with us would allow anyone and everyone to meet him and show love. And everyone and anyone did drive by and we felt so overwhelmingly loved. Did I mention there was no need to hokey shower games that no one really likes to play anyways?! That may have been the best part! And...Drew and the other boys in our family were able to be a part of it! I think these drive by things should stick around, they just make so much sense!
4. Everyone is scared to touch the baby.
And they should be! Whoever started the whole "Oh! It's a new baby, let me kiss all over them" thing many, many years ago was a whacko! Yes, they are adorable and their cheeks and hands and feet are so squishy and tempting, but it makes no sense to touch them so much! I sincerely apologize to any babies I did this to. With COVID-19 around our fears of him being covered in lipstick before his shots and immune system strengthened were all washed away!
5. Pediatrician offices really don't like setting up new patients who are adopted.
It's confusing. Even for us! They ask for the last name of the patient and that isn't even a straight answer..."Well on his birth certificate it's _______, but in 90ish days it will be Taylor". They ask for the hospital discharge orders and medical records, but they aren't under our name and due to HIPA we cannot get them because they "belong" to the birth mother. They ask for family medical history...um, your guess is as good as mine, honestly. Basically, we all just wing it.
6. There is no need to feel bad saying "no" to invites because nothing is going on.
Drew and I are extremely social people. We rarely sit at home just the two of us and we both get weak when we get invited somewhere and can never say no. When we found out Jaylen was going to be joining our family back in February, we had this nervous feeling about having to turn down invites when we brought him home. We knew we would be trying to figure out a schedule, routine, how a baby "works" (not that he's a robot, but you know what I mean), and how to sleep anywhere and everywhere. Well, the government took care of those fears for us! Everything's closed or really "unsafe" and no one can get together yet.
7. Working from home is not another adjustment we are making.
COVID-19, as terrible as it has been, has actually been a blessing schedule wise for Drew and I. We both have been working from home for the whole month of April. So when Baby Jay Tay came around we already had a little bit of a groove of how things were going to go. When he sleeps, I work on orders and deliver them to the store owner. Drew zooms and FaceTimes on the back porch, while answering emails whenever he gets a free moment. Our office was already set up and ready to go (part of #2, rearranging every room in the house).
8. People really celebrate the baby because it's something positive.
Not to say any baby born outside of the pandemic isn't celebrated but, the celebratory texts, calls, FaceTimes and zooms have not stopped! It's been so unbelievable and amazing! No one has anything to do, might as well call to get a glimpse of the baby. No one has anything to do, might as well drive by to just say hey! No one has anything to do, might as well comment on everything on Facebook! It's been so fun seeing everyone's excitement. Jay feels the love and so do mommy and daddy.
9. Neighbors are extremely confused.
Jaylen is slowly seeing every street in our section of Casselberry, even if it's through his eyelids. Drew and I started to take at least one, sometimes two or three, walks through our neighborhood when the world started to shut down. I began to run every day because, well, what else was there to do? A week ago, it was just two of us and no baby bump. Now we have a stroller with a newborn inside. One neighbor stopped me and said, "Oh wow! How old is he?" And I responded with 6 days. She stared confused and said, "And you look like that? I swear I saw you running last week." Yes ma'am, you did!
10. God sees everything through to completion. Always.
During this journey there has been a lot of unknowns, fears, tears, doubts, and feelings of defeat. There were days when Drew and I were fed up and didn't want to continue to move toward growing our family, biologically or through adoption. But God. He showed up. There were days I would feel angry hearing about other people announcing their pregnancies, celebrating at their baby showers, making family memories. But God. He showed up. There were days I unfollowed anyone and everyone on social media because I simply couldn't handle another day watching their "perfect" life with their "complete" family unfold. But God. He showed up. If one thing has happened during this entire journey it is that God has used every single hurdle to strengthen my faith more and more and more and draw me nearer and nearer to Him. I see that now. If you are struggling please know He is for you. He loves you. He cries with you. He rejoices with you. He supports you. He has a plan for you and your family. He will see it through. Trust that. Even on the hard days.