On Cope’s first birthday I wanted to share part of his adoption story because we kept it a secret for so long. I say a part, because I am only one small part of his adoption story. There is cope’s birth mom’s part that I can’t begin to try to tell you, Cope’s birth dad, Cope’s birth family, Cope’s part of the story that is his to tell, many other sides to the adoption story, I’m just one small part & I think it’s fair that I share my part today on his first birthday. I almost hate pushing publish on this blog post because I could never ever truly explain all the emotions & feelings, but I can try & I hope it reads through my simple words. I truly hope this story gives hope to others & helps bring a new perspective to adoption….
Let’s start from the beginning..
In the fall of 2018 Jose and I felt a calling from God to pursue adoption. It actually happened at the Found Cottage Mercantile Market. We had been having the desire for adoption for a while, but while at the market we were off by ourselves working in separate location & at the end of the day we came back together & at the same time we asked each other, “did a million people approach you about adoption today?” And the answer we both said was YES. We laughed and said ok ok ok we get it God! We will look into adoption. And it was in that moment the most amount of peace I have ever felt filled my entire body.. I now knew what a calling from God was. It was overwhelmingly clear and I have never felt more sure about something in my entire life.
Shortly after that market we attended a class at a local adoption agency and took a leap of faith to announce that we wanted to adopt right here on the blog. That is what set our whole adoption story into motion…
Since it’s not all my story to tell, I will make this part short and sweet. Through the blog post & someone that new us randomly mentioning our desire to adopt… the word spread to Cope’s beautiful birth mom who was due in two months. TWO MONTHS. Actually a little less than two months, but who’s counting? Cope’s birth mom contacted us via text after the mutual person gave her our number. I will never forget jumping out of bed and screaming and then crying & then completely freaking out. She wanted to meet us… WHAT DOES THAT EVEN LOOK LIKE? Meeting a strong courageous generous birth mom who will potentially pick us to be her baby’s parents? We are two very imperfect people who are flawed and certainly have never done anything like this before. This was about to be the scariest interview because everything we have ever wanted hangs in the balance. Long story very short.. we met a few times in a coffee shop, & it instantly felt like we were family. I’m not sure if feelings were mutual, but her and her family instantly felt like fast friends and I was so comfortable around them. We got into the nitty gritty details and everything in between and found out that we were so similar from our hobbies to our families, to our beliefs… it was incredible.
After our second meeting Cope’s birth mom came over to our house, holy nerves again. Our home was in a state of remodel per usual and it wasn’t as perfect as I would have liked it to be to show her that we were capable of having a newborn in our home, but we sat in our front living room & that’s where she handed me ultrasound photo’s of Cope & asked Jose & I to be his parents. I cried and I was honestly in shock. Looking back I should have known when she asked to come over that that is what she was going to do, but I had no idea in the moment why she wanted to come over.. I just assumed she needed to see our home before approving us. But nope.. she asked us the best question we could have been asked. She chose us to be Cope’s parents. She could have chosen anyone to place Cope with, but she chose us. That is the day that our lives changed forever… well, the start of the change at least.
The next day we went into full panic mode. Why you ask? Well despite the obvious reasons that a wonderful woman just asked us to be parents to her beautiful baby boy she was about to deliver, we hadn’t signed with an agency yet & we had less than two months to do our home study & get approved to adopt. A home study process typically takes 3-6 months to complete & Cope was set to be born February 5th.. it was game time. We were able to get our home study expedited and worked 24/7 on the home study thankfully and we got everything complete in record time.
I want to add at this part of the story that through all of this I was blogging, chatting with you guys, & having to keep all of this secret throughout this whole story… it was so hard to keep a secret, but it was a must. Looking back at all the posts and stories I did during that time is crazy to think we had to hide him for the first month of his life.
Back to Cope’s adoption story…
Though we only knew about Cope two months in advance… the last two weeks seemed to drag on. Cope’s birth mom was so kind to invite us to go to her doctor appointments with her so that we could see him on an ultrasound & I felt so bonded to her & Cope through those doctor visits. I grew to love her so quickly. Way more quickly than I could have ever imagined. It was a love I’ve never felt before, but this woman was inviting us into her world so selflessly and inviting us into these private moments of hers. She was choosing us to parent this child she carried for 9 months. She took care of Cope better than any pregnant woman I had ever known before & she was so strong through it all. After weeks of waiting, & working, we even flew out on a work trip and got stranded in Colorado for a few days in a snow storm… the time came. The day came where she was being induced at the hospital & she was so gracious to invite us along in her hospital time. I can’t explain what a gift this was. She didn’t have to, but she allowed us in this private beautiful moment of hers.
We got the call on February 5th that she was induced and that we could head up to the hospital. So, we left the house for the last time just the two of us which felt weirdly scary and surreal… we were so nervous we couldn’t talk. We had no idea what the next few days looked like & we knew this hospital stay was going to be equal parts beautiful and hard.. but we had no idea just how beautiful or how hard.
When we got to the hospital the craziest thing happened.. you see, we didn’t tell ANYONE about this adoption except our parents, but as soon as we walked into the hospital we ran into a family member who thought we were there to visit my grandma who was there… nope, we quickly had to tell her that were were there to meet our baby. We made it up to Birth Mom’s room & there she was starting the labor process & instantly something happened that I didn’t expect. A strong feeling of guilt ran over me. Here was this woman going through the most painful process she would ever go through to birth a baby that we would be taking home… I just couldn’t stop thinking about how strong and courageous she was. Cope didn’t end up coming on February 5th and her labor was extended through the night. It was the hardest thing for me to watch this amazing woman in so much pain. I would have done anything in the world to take the pain away from her & put it on myself. I never knew the guilt that would come along with adoption, but it was really heavy on me in the hospital. That night Jose and I slept in the waiting room area and we got a couple hours of shut eye.. when we woke up the next morning we had no idea that in a couple hours we would be parents. Still thankful for that few hours of sleep that we got because we were going to need it.
I don’t know how or what to say about the next few hours… it was surreal. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Cope’s birth mom invited me to be in the room when she was giving birth & I can not tell you what that invitation meant to me. It was the highest honor and the best gift she could have given me. To be there when my son came into the world is something that I will treasure forever. We were just about to head down to lunch & Cope’s birth mom looked at everyone and said “I think I need to push” everyone was kind of in disbelief because the doctors didn’t think she was that far progressed & within 5 minutes she proved everyone right and we were all set up to help her push Cope into the world. Her mom was holding one of her legs & I held the other as she pushed. She was so strong & brave. I remember looking at her face and just admiring how strong and composed she was through all of the pain & pushing. She pushed for less than 15 minutes & there Cope was. He came out quiet without crying. The room was so peaceful and filled with “oohs & ahhs” as everyone commented how cute he was. There were tears all around. Not a dry eye in the room. Cope looked around the room as he was tended to & I had the honor of cutting the chord which was poetic in itself. I quickly took my top off so that I could do skin to skin with Cope which was also an amazing gift that Cope’s birth mom gave me. I cried as I held him in the rocker and he was so strong and quiet looking around the room. He honestly never cried until we left the hospital two days later… it was all so surreal. The hospital stay was a sacred time for us because we all hung out together in birth mom’s room during the day & at night Jose, Cope, & I would go to our own room and sleep. The hospital had a special room for adopting families who were not giving birth to stay in which was such a luxury and I’m so thankful to the hospital for providing that. & we repeated that until we left the hospital. It was better than I could have ever imagined an adoption stay at the hospital going… It was something I was so scared of, but in the end it was one of the most beautiful experiences I had ever had.
Leaving the hospital was rough to say the very least. I knew it would be for everyone. We had all been living in our own little world as a blizzard was going on outside. Birth mom’s family had been there in the hospital the whole time, but our family and friends were not at the hospital with us.. it was just Jose, Cope, & I with their amazing family who now felt like family after being in a small room for days together. It felt like we were in a little happy bubble and the reality of what was about to happen when we had to leave hadn’t crossed our minds. I hadn’t even checked my phone in days. Leaving meant we had to go out in the real world and say goodbye to each other. Again, this is only my side of the adoption story & I hope one day to share Cope’s birth mom’s experience because I think it is something that could change a lot of perspectives on adoption. But for me… leaving broke my heart and brought the reality of adoption to light. To hug Cope’s birth mom goodbye and see her pain & agony over leaving Cope in the hospital with us broke my heart into one thousand pieces. Tears, hugs, & a painful goodbye & there the three of us sat in the hospital ready to leave as a family & scared to go drive home in a snow storm with our new baby.
This was a footnote version of his adoption story. There were things I left out that were too personal, things that I left out because they are not mine to tell, things that I probably forgot because it was such a whirlwind… but this is Cope’s adoption story according to my brain tonight on his first birthday. One year after all of this happened. Jose and I looked at each other & said “How did we get here? We never thought we would have this moment to celebrate a one year old” as we sat with Cope on the floor tonight opening gifts… Cope is our rainbow after a very long storm of miscarriages and infertility. Adoption is beautiful, it’s raw, it’s life changing, it’s painful, but most of all it’s love. Cope has so much love that he will never know what to with it all. He is loved by so many and has such a tribe around him from birth parents, to birth family, to friends, to family, to us, his parents. Adoption is the greatest gift & we are so thankful for our Copeland Beau.
A little something I wrote my Copey today:
At this time on this day one year ago I just watched your beautiful birth mom deliver you into this world. It was a snowy day outside & she only pushed for 10 minutes & there you were. The second I looked at your face it was love that I had never known. I quickly undressed after I cut your chord & they laid you on my chest & you were mine. The fears I had blew away in that February winter storm the second I held you & I was your mother. It was always you. We sat here in this rocking chair for an hour while one of the strongest women I have ever met was tended to by the doctors & she selflessly gave me this time with you… one of my favorite moments of my whole life was given to me by your birth mom & I will never be able to say thank you enough to her for giving me that moment & you… my baby. My life changed forever one year ago today. It seems like yesterday yet a whole lifetime ago. After losing 9 of your siblings before you came.. holding you was the best gift I could ever receive. You are our bright rainbow after the longest darkest storm. You are the reason I believe that God has a plan, you are the reason I see God’s faithfulness, & you are the reason I will never lose hope. I love you Copeland Beau Galvan. Forever & Always. Happy Birthday baby boy. Forever my baby boy.