We pick-up today with Bridget who has just left work, potentially for 12 months of Adoption Leave.
It was a very strange feeling walking out of the office thinking this could be the last time for quite some time, emotions were very high as you would expect. My friend walked out with me and walked me to the car, this was it, and we stood for a few minutes with tears streaming down both our faces and a big big hug.
I don’t actually remember how I got home, tears streaming down my face I just couldn’t believe it was actually happening. The next few hours seem to go fast and slow. It was a bit of a whirlwind getting everything set-up; cot, steriliser, milk machine, starting to wash small clothes. I had no idea what I was doing, how to put the bottles in the steriliser what bottles in fact did I need? What size nappies? My husband arrived home again looking shell shocked, I was still crying as in fact I had been most of the afternoon. The next person to arrive was our social worker, she looked so pleased and hugged both myself and my husband. She said ‘it will be ok, don’t worry’… despite everything being a bit of a mad panic, the wait for him to arrive seemed to take forever.
Not long after the phone rang, it was ‘ little man’s’ social worker, she couldn’t find our house and needed some directions, my husband gave her the directions and we realised that she was only a few roads away so he went to meet her. The next minute an unfamiliar car pulled into the drive followed by my husband, little man had arrived. My husband opened the car door and looked at the car seat. He turned and looked at me and grinning from ear to ear…I was still crying (to be fair that continued the rest of the night).
The social worker walked into the house with the car seat and put him down in the lounge, at that point his little face just melted our hearts. He was all wrapped up in a big suit and the social worker said ‘take him out of his suit and I think he needs a change as he been in the nappy a while and his clothes may need a change too’ OMG I thought how do I do that, he is so small how do I take his clothes off so not to hurt him, he’s too small, how do I move his arms how do I move his legs and in fact how do I change a nappy! Arghh….it was the most nerve wracking experience especially with two social workers sat looking at me, what if I did it wrong and then they took him back!
But, after my hands had stopped shaking and I tried to calm down we did it. The little bundle was then all changed and in a new baby grow sat on my husbands lap and all we could do was look and stare at him he just looked so gorgeous. Time seemed to have stopped.
All too soon for everyone to leave, social workers then family and then it was just the two of us left, this was it the start of the new chapter of our lives. The next concern was bed time, how do we get him to sleep? What do we do if he wakes up? How much does he have to eat and how often? What if he won’t settle? What if he doesn’t like us? So many questions.
The night was very eventful and I don’t think you can ever be prepared for that first night. We had about two hours sleep in total and in the early hours the little man eventually fell asleep on my husband so he didn’t sleep a wink as he was scared to move so that he didn’t wake him. The sun started to rise and it was a new day, our first full day with a new little bundle and all the challenges that it may bring…………
Update: Affectionately known as ‘Little Man’, Bridget and Harry’s little boy was formally adopted earlier this year. He continues to and bring joy and new challenges to his new parents every single day.