The Rest of 'The Hardest Day'

That call from Scott at 3:00 caused my heart to sink. I had this thought that maybe we wouldn't get to this point. That my procrastination...or perhaps better said, refusal... had proven wise and I wouldn't have to pack his things. I wouldn't have to load him in the van, appropriately named Timothy's Van since we did what many new parents do and bought a kid friendly vehicle a week after he came. I wouldn't have to walk inside the courthouse with him and his favorite things and hand him off to these grandparents. I would be able to go back home with him and get dinner started and move on as if that call had never come. But that wasn't what was happening. Scott said our case was soon and I needed to get him there. So I cried some more, as if my legs were full of lead and my arms too heavy to lift him, I just sat there. I sat with my mother-in-law, Norma...Timothy's Mimi...and we watched him. Without realizing it, 30 minutes had passed and my phone rang again. I knew Scott would be frustrated with me for not doing what he asked, so I answered with, "We're about to leave, I'm sorry." He said, "It's ok. Don't come. Things have changed."

Again, with the falling to the floor, I cried "Really?! Is he staying?" Scott, in an effort to stay calm, said, "Hush baby, I need to tell you something. He will have weekend visits with the grandparents for four weeks as a transition for everyone, then will move." Although I was overjoyed I would not have to take Timothy that moment to leave us, I wasn't quite thrilled with this news either, but Scott, not letting me argue or get a word in edge wise, said, "There's more. His biological mother had another baby and we're picking him up at 5:00." "Oh Scott, I don't even know what to say, what to think. Him? What's his name?" "His name is Mason. Just meet me at home, I need to see my son."

I am searching for the words to describe the shift in my heart, in my mind, in my whole body, and all I can think of is the sharpest roller coaster ever. Literally, in moments I was flooded with every possible emotion and went from a day of crying, to jumping up from the floor, spinning Timothy in the air in a rush of excitement! I grabbed Norma and screamed, "He gets to stay for now and we're getting a baby!" The tears of sadness now slowing, but replaced by tears of joy. If gladness and shock can combine in a facial expression, that's how she looked. I left her reeling in that news and ran home to meet Scott. First, we needed to hug and thank God, and then we had lots to figure out in the next hour and a half before we picked up our newest edition, Mason.

When he got home, we hugged and cried, and laughed with Timothy who was completely unaware of the days events, or that he would be meeting his baby brother in just over an hour. With our multitasking skills kicked into full gear, we simultaneously called back those we had shared the bad news with and tried to trade it for the good news. Understandably, everyone was a little confused and wanted more details, but this wasn't the time...too much to do in an hour to prepare for the arrival of a newborn. AHHH! A newborn!?!  We left Timothy with Mimi so we could more quickly make it through the store then back to the cabinet in time to pick Mason up.

Again, I say, an hour. Not a day, week, or as in most cases, nine months....an hour. And neither of us had ever had a newborn so we really had NO idea what we needed, or what we were getting into! I knew who could help... our friends, who had a couple baby girls. Christy could give me an idea of what I should get to make this easier, so I dialed her from the store. As quickly as I could, I relayed the events of the day finally making it to the point of my call....what do I need for a newborn? This girl, my sweet friend, Christy, with a daughter about Timothy's age and a pretty, new baby girl, who has a wealth of parenting knowledge and, in my opinion, one worthy to share advice, laughed at me! She laughed! I was confused at first, but then it settled in as all she could say was, "Oh Julia. Julia, you have no idea." I can still hear the compassion in her voice as I realized, I could buy blankets, diapers, formula, jammies and a bink, but we really had no idea. She said we should bring him by the church as they were having a family prayer night and we could talk more then. So, totally not reassured, we ran through the store grabbing the items we knew we needed and headed to the cabinet.

These exchanges are sometimes funny. I expected mounds of paperwork and instructions...don't babies come with instructions? But instead, while Scott signed the only required paper, they told me I could go ahead and get the baby out of their car seat and into ours. I could not believe how nervous I was! While I had never had a baby, I had babysat a ton and had held babies before, I had just never been fully and completely responsible for one. With uncertainty I unbuckled the tiniest little guy I had ever seen, and having no idea the right way to take him out of this car seat, I rolled him forward a little into my hands. I was afraid they'd be watching and not let us take him if I didn't do it right! I pulled his blanket over him as it was a typical, cold February night, and lowered him into the car seat strapped into our van. I crawled in next to him and finally looked at him. My goodness, another baby. And just like that my heart burst with love for him and I felt as we had about Timothy....he's never leaving.

Mason, 48 hrs old