When I returned from my first NYC trip with Gavin's birth mother I had to first explain to everyone how while we thought we'd be having a baby that weekend, it would actually most probably still be several weeks. On one hand it gave us more time to prepare and to get things in order. On the other hand it gave us more time for things to derail this adoption and for us to go stir crazy waiting. But our lives took on a form or normalcy that seems like a dream when I think of those days now. Work for me was crazy busy, especially with the understanding that I'd soon be taking some serious time off. We had lots of friends who wanted to throw us baby showers there were several people (i.e. our mothers) who were almost as excited as we were, just without the concerns we had that things wouldn't work out.
I received so much advice from co workers, as well as so much baby stuff. I think people took it as an opportunity to clean out their old baby stuff and we were the recipients. I still smile when Gavin pulls out a toy from one of my Synacor family members. One of my coworkers adopted both of his kids from Korea so he and I had many conversations about what may lie ahead for our little family. Neither he nor his wife look at all like their Korean kids, but Andy said he still is awed when he looks at his son and sees himself, or when others mention how much his son looks like him. He means in facial expressions and how he holds himself. But we had discussions about identity and how he and his wife have handled some of the issues that have come us. When people find out you're in the process of adopting, they are also more likely to talk about the experiences with adoption. This is how we found out that some of our friends were adopted, and so many of them were gracious enough to answer and bear any questions we (mostly I) threw at them. I will forever be grateful that we live in a time when adoption is an open topic and something that most people are not afraid to embrace.
Two weeks after my initial visit with Gavin's birth mother, Stewart and I went back together. We have a good friend from college days who works for Jetblue and she was kind enough to let us use some of her buddy passes to fly to NYC for a weekend. We took the train home again on Sunday afternoon.
I'm so glad that Stewart got to meet her and that we got to have a really good weekend together. I honestly think that it's because of our visits that things worked out. We took Gavin's birth mother shopping for food and some other necessities and we took her out to eat. On Saturday we took her to the Natural History Museum which happens to be Stewart's favorite place in NYC. It was really fun to do touristy things in a great city. At her request we took Gavin's birth mother on a horse driven carriage ride around Central Park. This is something I never would have done otherwise. It's kind of expensive and I like a good walk around the park anyway, but for her it was a pleasure. And now I'm so glad to have done it. All this time we're communicating with her using our very limited sign language and by writing notes. But we made it work.
We attended church with her again on Sunday, her request being that we pick her up in a cab and all go together as a family. Attending a deaf congregation is interesting in so many ways. No one closes their eyes for the prayer because they can't know what is being said if their eyes are closed. Hymns are signed except by any one in the congregation who is hearing and chooses to sing. After church, Stewart and I headed off to Penn Station to catch our train home.
**side note from today: We still use a video monitor to see into Gavin's room at night. The camera is currently stationed on a shelf above the shelf that holds his humidifier. Every now and again a puff of humidifier air will float in the camera's view and when I see it out of the corner of my eye it looks like a ghost. It totally freaked me out the first time I saw it. But here's one of my favorite shots from the end of the summer. This kid. He's it.