I’m writing this letter to you on the evening of the 24th, 2012. Today I’ve been thinking – trying to remember my life before you. It’s hard to remember the days before they were filled with you but…
Three years ago, this very day, we knew you were coming. We knew you’d be born the very next day, the 25th. We knew your birthmom was scheduled for a c-section and that we’d be there waiting for you. What we didn’t know is if she was sure you were ours.
I left work the 24th, a Wednesday, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be back. That night, your mama and I went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant. We made a toast to you – to your safety. I remember holding her hand the whole walk home – just hoping, hoping, hoping. And that night, we said a prayer next to your crib – practically begging for you to finally be our baby.
The next day is partially a blur. I don’t remember any of the morning – only from the time we arrived at the hospital. There we were, in the waiting room, watching CNN go on & on about how there were reports that Michael Jackson had died. How could that be possible? As the reports came in, they were more certain. 50 years old. He was gone. And just seconds later, the nurse came around the corner and said, “are you ready?”
We ran in to the NICU just as they brought you through the delivery door. You were beautiful! You were goopy and messy and your little fingers were so long! They layed you on the table and started doing all the things they do once your spirit fully fills your body. They cleaned out your eyes. They measured your head and your body. They weighed you. And then they let us bathe you.
It’s funny, because looking back, I had no fear. The rules said she had 48 hours to sign the papers but the moment I saw you, I knew you were ours. Your birthmom gave her NICU bracelet to your mama so we could both be in there at all times. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for that. Knowing that she was just down the hall, but didn’t want to meet us face to face, was hard. But I also trusted that she made her peace before that – whatever her choice, it was best for you both.
We had a room at the hospital. They treated us as if one of us had given birth. In our little room, we watched TV while you slept. It turned out that MJ had really died – just 21 mintues before you were born. We wondered if you passed each other and bumped hips…or something. You slept in the room with us all night long. You woke up every 2 hours. Neither of us slept at all. We took turns holding you & feeding you – just staring at you. We were in love.
In one quiet moment, I remember thinking I needed an escape route. If, for any reason, this didn’t work out – you were leaving with me and I made a creepy little plan that included paying cash for a new car and a freeway headed south. I knew I couldn’t let you go – that I could never, ever live without you again.
Three years later, I can’t help but still reflect on those early minutes. We had just days to prepare for you but once you came, we knew all we needed to know. We were yours. And you were ours.
Happy Birthday, my lovely girl. You are still a dream come true and the story of you is still my most favorite love story in all the land.