I am so far behind in just about everything these days, especially the blogging world. But it is all for a very good reason . . .
My granddaughter decided she didn’t want to wait around for her September 19th due date. She figured the hot summer days of August were more to her liking. And since I told her not to come while I was away in San Antonio at the Adoptee Rights Demonstration, she picked that as the perfect time to make her debut.
It was a sixteen hour drive, in the middle of the night, to get us from San Antonio back home to Colorado. We were on a dark Kansas Interstate, six hours left to go, when she was born. My youngest son, the wonderful man that he is, took a picture just a few minutes after she was born and sent it to us. And there she was, naked and screaming, and as beautiful as ever.
We celebrated. We cried. And we counted down the hours left till we reached the hospital.
And today . . . my granddaughter is almost three months old and absolutely perfect. Though she was six weeks early, she was born healthy and strong and spent less than a week in the NICU. From there she came home to our house, with her wonderful parents (my youngest son and daughter-in-law) and has reminded me every day just how truly amazing it is to be a grandmother.
Every day she changes. And every day I am so thankful for her.
And in all the congratulations and well wishes since her birth I have been asked, only once, if I regretted going to San Antonio and missing the birth of my first grandchild. And my answer was exactly as it still is now and will be in the future . . .
No. I don’t, and never will, regret it.
But it’s hard, I have found, to get it to make sense to others in the same way it makes sense inside my own head.
Because I do wish I could have been there when my granddaughter was born. I would be lying if I said otherwise. But I wasn’t there. I can never change that I wasn’t there. And if I wasn’t meant to be there, through fate, God, or whatever force you might believe in, than I was meant to be in the next best place I could have been.
I could have been anywhere, doing anything, with anyone, when I learned my granddaughter was on her way. But I wasn’t. I was somewhere that meant something to me. Something beyond anything I could even try to explain.
And it’s beyond the fact that I finally had a part in standing up and speaking out for the Adoptee Rights that I believe in. (Though I am SO disappointed that I missed my booth time and solemnly swear to do double time next year in Chicago.) It was who I was with. The wonderful people I was surrounded by, that made the experience something I know I will forever be grateful for.
The fact that I was excited to become a grandmother was never a secret with anyone. Those who knew me, knew I couldn’t wait for my granddaughter to be born.
But there was a special group of people, who I consider friends in every way that matters to me, who understood, over and beyond, how adoption added another layer to my feelings. Understood even where I couldn’t explain it.
They just knew, without any explanation necessary, that the birth of my first grandchild held something over and beyond what was expected. Past the normal excitement and joy of welcoming another member into my family.
And it was those friends I was with when I learned my granddaughter was on her way. This group of wonderful people who I never even knew - just a mere five years ago - existed. Who are some of the most giving, understanding, loving and loyal human beings I have ever had the honor of crossing paths with.
Outside of my husband and my other children, they were the first to know my granddaughter was on her way. The first tears I shed were on the shoulder of a wonderful woman and adoptee who I think was actually crying before I was. The first hugs and congratulations came from those who, through their own stories and experience, their support and friendship, held me up and kept me going during some of the darkest times of my life when it felt as if adoption had beaten me down as far as I could go.
And even in those last couple hours on the road, when the hospital seemed so close and yet still so far away, it was those same wonderful people who were the first to call (outside of my family) and to know my granddaughter had been born just a few hours earlier.
No. There are no regrets for where I was, what I was doing and ESPECIALLY who I was with when my granddaughter decided it was time to make her entrance into this world.
What there is instead is a story to share with my granddaughter as she gets older. She will always know where I was and what I was fighting for when I found out she was coming earlier than expected. She’ll always be told about the wonderful people who were the first to know she was on her way. And she’ll always have her own personal tale of how she became our San Antonio Surprise.