“I’m Having Their Baby”
Sarah Baker | September 04, 2013 | 11:37 AM (adapted from original post on Cincinnati Parent)
Reflecting where we were a year ago and filming the first episode of I’m Having Their Baby with the birth mother we were matched with and where we are today, I had no idea the happiness I would have now. While you saw on the first episode things did not go according to planned with the birth mother, we were matched again fairly quickly and now have our amazing boy Ezra. The second match came fast, but felt like forever while we mourned the loss of the baby we thought was meant for us.
Tonight, you will get a glimpse of what life is like with four of the families that were shown throughout the second season on the finale episode. We were lucky enough to be part of that. We are excited to share our happy ending. The production company came out and filmed at our home and around town with us in the spring. It has been a few months and Ezra has grown a ton since then. He has teeth, is sitting and crawling and eating “solids”. Wow, he’ll be 8 months old in a just a few days!
I have also grown, emotionally, a lot since then. While I have Ezra now, I was still holding on to a lot of grief about the loss of “Eliza” during the follow up filming. I am hoping that since I have been able to let some of that pain go since then, the episode will focus more on the happiness and joy we feel with the little blessing we have now. Ezra is a wonderful baby and I feel God had a plan when the adoption of “Eliza” fell through and Tory was able to parent her little girl, Bryleigh. I feel Ezra was the child meant for us. His personality matches ours and he fits right in. One child will never replace the loss of another, but he sure helps take my mind off it.
So, tune in tonight to the Oxygen Network at 10 pm (9 central) and please just ignore the fact that my hair is a mess in the restaurant scene and Joe trimmed his goatee way too short. I have no idea what footage they are using from the day, but by the time we got to the restaurant (which I saw in the commercial) I was a hot mess from filming all day long! Hahaha
If you missed the first episode, it will be airing right after the finale called Sharanda; Tory. Thanks for all your support!
To learn more about our adoption, follow us on www.facebook.com/OurAdoption
Sarah Baker | August 26, 2013 | 11:49 AM
One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “Will you tell Ezra he is adopted?” I think this question comes from a time of closed adoptions. Some people go their entire lives not knowing they are adopted. Sometimes people find out only in a medical emergency. Other times they find out when they begin questioning their birth story or why they are tall or have brown hair. Imagine how a person’s world would be turned upside down if they didn’t already know they were adopted and suddenly were faced with that news.
As a society, we come with a long history of closed adoptions and adoption being a taboo subject. With that mentality, we are often faced with even more awkward questions than this one. We are the first generation to embrace open adoption. While adoptions have taken place in all cultures throughout history, it is just in the last few decades that research has proven that open adoptions can be very rewarding and healthy for everyone involved. It gives the first family (birth parents) the peace and knowledge that the child they loved and carried is doing well. It gives the child the knowledge of his or her roots and love. It provides the adoptive family with the answers that a closed adoption wouldn’t provide.
So to answer the question of if we will tell Ezra he is adopted, the answer is; we already talk about his adoption with him. I feel it’s important to start early with this topic so it doesn’t come as a surprise. He has a picture of his birth parents and siblings in his room. We point out their pictures and tell him he grew in her belly and tell him their names. When we get together with them, he hears our conversations; reminiscing his birth, talking about our abundant and mutual love for him. When he’s bigger and can talk with us, we will continue to call them by their names and tell him God had him growing in his birth mom’s belly, but he was meant to live with us so we could be his Mommy and Daddy. Sometimes I call her belly mama. I think it all needs to be age appropriate to his capability of understanding. Right now, at 7.5 months old, he is learning the world around him. The adoption is part of his world. I am also in the process of making his first year photo book and a Life Book. A Life Book is not about adoption, but about his life. Not our feelings about how happy we are to have him, but a story line of how his adoption took place and who he is. It will include photos of his birth family, time lines, his sonograms, his birth, his baby years, etc. We will add to it as long as he wants and what he wants as he gets older, it is his life.
If you’d like to follow more of our adoption story go to: www.facebook.com/OurAdoption
Leaving the Hospital
Sarah Baker | August 06, 2013 | 03:05 PM
Adoption is such a surreal experience. You go into it not pregnant and yet hoping to come home with a child one day. We went through the steps. We decorated the nursery. We bought clothes and toys. We had family members and friends asking questions about when the baby would come. But, it sort of feels make believe.
There is no physical evidence that we had a baby on the way. No food cravings. No morning sickness. No feeling the baby move. No doctor checkups… at least not for me. When we were matched with Ezra’s birth mom it was so exciting, but also so scary. Joe and I were fearful that we would have another match fall through. But, we also were concerned for this woman who was making a huge sacrifice for her baby. How do you thank a person for giving you something so incredible and trusting you with their most precious creation? How do you protect them from the sadness that will surely come? How do you address something bringing you so much joy but is so tragic for them? The answer is love.
At the hospital when a baby is born, you are usually bombarded with family and friends coming to visit. Adoption is a sensitive matter and we felt that having our family visit us at the hospital would be disrespectful to Ezra’s birth parents. This was their special time to spend with the baby. This was also a time for us to not only bond with the baby, but to strengthen our bond with them. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we visited, we bonded. The hospital staff was very generous in giving Joe and I a room of our own, right across the hall from Ezra’s birth mom. We could rest and talk and spend time together and apart. It was a beautiful experience. (minus the stomach bug I had while there)
The final day at the hospital was a very emotional day. Ezra’s birth parents had to sign papers stating we were allowed to take him home and have guardianship of him even though their termination of rights wouldn’t be signed and completed for another day and a half. (72 hours in Ohio) There were social workers coming in to talk with us and them. His birth father filled out his birth certificate paperwork and gave him the first and middle name we had chosen and his biological last name. What a gift to give him a name that he can take with him as his identity. While the adoption has since finalized and he now has our last name, he will forever have that first surname to carry with him as a part of who he is. We ate lunch together and quietly oo’d and ahh’d over the adorable little miracle.
As we packed our things, I sobbed. We were taking this little baby home with us… and they were not. How can you feel so much joy and sorrow at the same time? We walked with them to their car and said our goodbyes. We hugged and tried to hold back more tears. We waved as they pulled away and suddenly we were hit with the realization that we were now with a little infant. As we walked to the other side of the hospital, holding hands and carrying our newborn son in his infant seat, we smiled and were rather quiet as we tried to digest that “this really just happened”. The thought of 4 months prior, our hearts were crushed by the loss of our first matched baby. Then 2 months later we learned that we were matched again. To that day… where there we stood with a baby we had prayed for. We arrived at the hospital for a fluid check of a woman that was not me, carrying a baby she intended to give us, that part of me was unsure would be mine. Only 2 days later we were headed home with this perfect little human. That’s the enormity of that event is so hard to comprehend. All I knew was that was the scariest drive home EVER. I was now responsible for another little tiny life. WOW.
Sarah Baker | July 23, 2013 | 07:56 PM
Today, we had a huge day! We finalized our adoption of Ezra. I had no idea what to expect. We got a letter from our agency with the court date (which was changed because our first judge retired) and it included a list of rules for court. Other than that, I didn’t have a clue what to expect.
In my mind, I expected a court room that looked like Judge Judy’s. I expected a very formal hearing with gavels and someone in the corner typing on a typewriter. I walked into a small room with three tables and a few chairs. Our lawyer and adoption agency director were waiting for us in the room. The lawyer left to let the judge know we had arrived and a few minutes later he entered. We stood and the judgee told us not to worry about standing. We shook his hand and introduced our family. The judge oodled at Ezra for a minute and talked to Isaac about starting football. He went to his table and asked our lawyer if all the paper work was in order. He then asked us if this adoption was what we wanted, of course we eagerly said yes with goofy smiles plastered across our faces. Even Isaac looked excited! He then just said “congratulations” and stood up and talked to the lawyer and then posed for pictures with us. Our lawyer left the room with him and a few minutes later came back with the Adoption Decree showing Ezra was now legally our baby.
We took more pictures in the small court room and chatted for a few minutes. It all went so quickly and still feels so surreal. There were no big speeches, no formal questions, no reviewing of our case paperwork, no doctor to make sure we were taking care of the baby, no probing us or the agency director that everything was done, no truth serum or lie detectors, no gavel. It was like we just met a new guy and he congratulated us on our beautiful, chubby baby.
But, we know what the day means. The day means that he IS our son. The day means that his last name is now ours. The day means that we will need to spend every day of his life protecting him, teaching him, loving him, nurturing him, etc. The day means that the blessing we received may be a bitter one for his birth parents. These people made a sacrifice for him and for their other children. They placed him for adoption out of a love that is unfathomable by many. We may be his parents and “parenting” him… but we aren’t the only parents he has. We aren’t the only parents that love him. They will always be a part of his life through an open adoption agreement. Denying him of his family is not an option for us. Why deny him more love? Why deny him his identity? Why deny these amazing birth parents the ability to see the beautiful boy his is. They gave us a lifelong gift… the greatest gifts are those that you can share in the recipients enjoyment. They can see how happy he makes us, which makes them happy. His original birth certificate may be official sealed after today, but his roots are not.
Thank you Teri and James, today wasn’t possible without you. We are forever in your debt.