Three years ago God blessed us with an amazing gift. Our sweet, beautiful, precious daughter.
On June 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm, Annabella Jane Perez was born into this world.
But she was born in our hearts, oh so much earlier than that! You see, we had prayed for Annabella years prior to her arrival. We longed for a baby and after several years of agonizing procedures, devastating news, failed adoptions and much waiting, God answered our prayers. The wait was hard. We were ready to be parents. I was so very ready to be a mommy. Ready to hold MY sweet baby, ready to love the child God would give us. The waiting was so hard. It seemed the Lord was not listening, that maybe he hadn’t heard our prayers. Everyone told us it would be worth the wait.
And it was. So very much worth the wait!!
Annabella was 6 lbs 14 oz and full of life from the moment she entered this world!!
We found out we were going to be parents in May of 2011. I clearly remember being at work and receiving the phone call we had waited 15 months to hear, “You’ve been chosen by a birth mom! She would like to meet you. She is having a little girl next month.” I screamed and cried and immediately called Rafael. This was it. This was what we had been waiting for.
We met our birth mom two days later. Oh my, were we ever nervous. What would she think? Would she like us? What would we say? We didn’t want to mess anything up. What do you say to someone who would soon place her baby in your arms? Friday came and we met her. The meeting was a little nerve-racking, but it went great! She tried to make US as comfortable as possible. She conveyed to us how much our profile had spoken to her and how much she believed that God had chosen us as her daughter’s parents. Wow. I remember walking away just overwhelmed. She was due in a month. Our baby was almost here.
So we spent the next month getting to know Kimberly. We went shopping with her at Target, went out to eat, and attended all of her doctor’s visits. We invested in her life as much as possible in the short time we had before it came time for the birth. She continued to reassure us that she would not change her mind. Here in Texas, the birth mom has to wait 48hours after the birth before she can sign the adoption papers. Her heart, from the beginning, was one of love, generosity and courage.
June 24th came quickly. After a long day of labor, our little blessing made her first appearance into the world. I was able to be in the room and experienced every minute of the birth. Per Kimberly’s request, Rafael stepped outside once active labor began. Once she was born and cleaned up, the nurses handed her to me–her mommy–to hold her for the first time. This was the way Kim wanted it. She told me she wanted me to be the first one to hold Annabella. Rafael came in right away and I placed Annabella is his arms. Tears streaked my cheeks as we looked at one another. Here she was. More beautiful than I had ever dreamed.
I then turned to Kim and asked her if she wanted to hold her. Although, she initially planned on not holding her right away, she said yes and I placed this bundle of joy in her arms. A huge smile just came across Kim’s face. As moms, we both knew that this little girl would bond us forever in a way many will never understand.
Why did we choose open adoption?
For all the reasons I’ve just written about and so many more. But, I will wait to save that for another post!
After a short time, we wheeled Annabella to the nursery to get further examined and then she remained with us in a special room they had for us at the hospital. Here she was…at last.
We were released to go home the next evening. Admittedly, it was one of the hardest, strangest things to walk into a hospital childless, and leave with one in the backseat. We hugged Kim, said good-bye and placed a special mother’s bracelet we had made for her in her hands. We were beyond grateful and ever indebted to this courageous young woman who just entrusted us with her daughter to raise, love and enjoy. We watched Kim walk away..without her baby. Without the life she had just given birth to. A strong sense of emptiness and guilt waved over me. As joyous as we were to be receiving a new life into our family, it broke my heart to know this sweet girl was walking away after making the greatest sacrifice a mother can make.
It’s been three years and we still have a very open relationship with Kim. Annabella calls her Miss Kim and knows that she is a special part of our lives.
Annabella is our beautiful, sweet princess. The same sweet, gentle demeanor that she had as a baby continues to this day. She is thoughtful, generous, loving and kind. She is sweet and gentle, and of course has the occasional toddler behavior that we like to call “Abba-tude”.
It’s crazy to think she is 3 years old already. Time has gone too fast, but what a joy it has been to watch her grow up. Her smile, her funny gestures, her laughter, the conversations we have, the joy that emanates from her. All of it. Just simply precious.
She is our beautiful, sweet princess. A gift from God. A blessing to everyone who knows her.
Happy Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl!!