The Certificate

Baby Boy’s adoption was finalized a couple of weeks ago. All in all, it was pretty much a non-event for me. Sure I was glad to have all of the post-placement visits behind us, and to not have to call to let our agency know if we were taking our son across state lines to visit my in-laws. But did you catch that? Our son. In our minds and hearts, he was our son from the moment we met him. Actually, pretty much from the moment we got the call that we had been chosen. We did raise a glass with our families to acknowledge the day, but more just to celebrate him. And I didn’t think much about it after that. Until today.

Today I opened up a letter from our adoption attorney, forwarding Baby Boy’s amended birth certificate. There it was, our son’s name, along with our names listed on this official document. Only it wasn’t just a birth certificate, this was a Certificate of Live Birth. This was the first time we had seen this. The first time our names appeared alongside of our living child with whom we have living in our home. At first I smiled as I read through all of the familiar information. And then I lost it. Big, ugly sobs came out of me as I both rejoiced in, and mourned the meaning behind the paper I was holding. How could something make me so happy and so sad at the same time? The immense gratitude for BB, not to mention his birthparents, and the deafening sorrow of the 6 years and 7 babies that came before.

My first instinct was to run up to BB’s room to pick him up out of the sleep he had just fallen into, and squeeze, kiss and take in his every inch. But instead, I decided I should call Double A who was on his way to an interview. Everything’s OK I told him before the sobbing returned. I was just coherent enough for him to hear me, and hysterical enough for him to understand.

You know, these past few years, I have become pretty adept at knowing what is going to trigger me. But I hadn’t expected this one.