“Do you think your husband might want to hold her for a bit?”
I had been holding our daughter for 45 minutes when the agency director asked me that question. My arm was numb and a glaze had fallen over my face listening about the processes to follow, yet relishing in the moment as we picked up our daughter. I had been completely ignoring the warm, wet feeling that was expanding on my arm. A short time later, we took our first photo as a family outside on the porch of the agency’s office. That was our first moment with our daughter. I’ll never forget that day, which is one of the reasons I started to blog about our experience. I just don’t want to forget all the things that have happened following our daughter’s placement.
My husband and I began chronicling these moments in her baby book. Does everyone have one of those? Though it seemed nutty at the time, we look forward to filling each month’s page up with milestones that occur. Hopefully, we’ll remember where we put it several years from now when we want to reminisce with her when she’s older.
We took pictures with everyone who came to visit for the first time. We’ve marked the day we gave her first bath, her weight and height during each of the subsequent doctors’ visits. We’ve even become one of those parents who invade your social media feeds with photos of her wearing stickers marking each passing month. We’ve spared her from marking “Baby’s first explosive bowel movement” or “Baby’s first very expensive prescription.” She’ll thank us later for that! We took her out on her first shopping trip at a mere four days old (she slept through the whole thing, but the shock on other shoppers' faces was priceless). There was the morning I witnessed her rolling over on her stomach the first time just before leaving for work and lots of smiles at me that were finally unrelated to gas.
Then there was our first post-placement visit with the agency’s social worker. I don’t know what others’ experiences are, but her visits always feel like an old friend coming over. Even during our home-study process, we never felt under pressure or scrutiny. It made the whole process painless.
There will be her first birthday, her first tooth, and her first trip to Disney, her first day of school, and many more milestones to come. We bought outfits for her first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. We discovered a set of 25 bibs to mark each of her first holidays, which seemed to take it too far, even for us. As fellow blogger Andrew Kohn noted, these first experiences are more for us. Regardless, each one is special in its own way and they’ll be memories to last a lifetime.