Seven years ago today Brian and I loaded up our new SUV and hit the road toward El Paso, TX. Hurricane Katrina had just devastated New Orleans and gasoline was in short supply as we made our way across the desert of New Mexico and west Texas. We stopped anytime we saw a gas station open and filled up our tank while we second guessed our idea to buy an SUV during a gas crisis.
We made it to El Paso the next day and somewhere out in the middle of the desert we received a call that our son had been born. We had just become parents for the very first time. It did not seem real.
Our birth mother and her family did not want us at the hospital for his birth so we arrived the next morning to see our son for the very first time. I remember like it was yesterday when the nurse wheeled in his bassinet. I immediately began counting fingers and toes and the shock and disbelief that he was really ours was hard to fathom.
We were not allowed to hold him until he was almost 24 hours old. We sat with him for hours holding his hand and stroking his head, feet and arms. As soon as the paperwork was signed and we were allowed to pick him up we did not put him down until the nurses kicked us out of the nursery and told us to go to the hotel to get some sleep. We were new parents and sleepless nights were on our horizon.
Two days after he was born we left with our new bundle of joy to our hotel room, stopping quickly at Wal-Mart to purchase formula and last minute items we needed to care for our new son. We were floating on a cloud.
We headed out early the next morning toward Dallas to spend the next five days at my parent's home while we waited for permission from the court to leave the state of Texas and go home to Oklahoma.
Adoption is a unique way to become a family. We spent our first few nights as a family in a hotel room and traveling the roads in the middle of nowhere. Adoption is an experience you cannot understand until you have walked the path yourself. We have adopted three times and each time was very different from the other two. We have made great friends along the way and have experienced a roller coaster of a ride.
Tomorrow our eldest son will be 7 years old and it seems like only yesterday our adoption journey began...