Our last hours with AJ during our first visit as detailed in my journal (we were only allowed to have him for 24 hours)...
...You woke up for the day around 6am. We fed you and gave you a bath...you loved it! Such a giggle monster :) daddy got a great picture of you smiling!
We went down and had breakfast and then chilled out on the upstairs front porch again. You fell asleep in Mommy's arms. We had lunch and then fed you again and went back to our room to relax a bit. We said goodbye to two very sweet families leaving with their children, one from Conneticut and one from Ohio. The family from Conneticut stayed right next to us. Before they left they gave us a spoon and a few extra diapers for you.
We hung out in the room and then you just passed out-and I mean passed out. We had laid you on the bed and you literally rolled over and went to sleep. Mommy captured some great pictures of you snoozing.
We were forced to wake you up around 3pm to make sure you were ready to go when Roberto returned to pick us up, around 4pm. You were not happy with Mommy and Daddy when we proceeded to wake you up. We changed you and you decided to pee on your outfit (yellow shorts outfit with a bulldozer that said "I dig trucks". So we had to change your clothes...and you were not so happy again! We put you in an outfit that Auntie Sally gave us. It was a cute Tommy Hilfiger jogging suit-white and blue stripped.
We packed up your things and got you read to go. We left the room and met Brandon's parents downstairs. Roberto came at 4pm and took Brandon and his parents first, as they had to catch their flight home soon. Then he came back for us.
When Mommy had to put you back in Sylvia's arms, she lost it. The tears flowed and I couldn't walk down the stairs fast enough. Too much to handle. Roberto & Daddy did I great job of trying to calm me down in the car and keep me preoccupied by discussing nonsense. We arrived back at the hotel and Daddy & I went straight to the Internet Room. We had the front desk remove your bathtub and pack n' play. We didn't want to go upstairs until it was gone.
We stayed in there for about an hour-until Mommy calmed down. The we went back up to the room to hang for a bit, only to come back down to the dining area for dinner. We were in bed by 8pm. You had exhausted us!
The next morning we got ready to fly home. We purchased some items from the "Lady in the Closet" and our taxi driver took us to the airport. We left at 2pm and arrived in Chicago at around 1am. We spent a few hours at O'Hare Aiport (not fun) and drove home. Auntie Kathy was up waiting for us. We enjoyed our visit with you very much, we love you, and can't wait until you are home!
Love, Mommy & Daddy
I have to be honest and say that the hardest moment of my life (at that point), was handing AJ back over to the orphange. Here we had just met our son, and only had him for 24 hours. Yet a bond had already started, heck already been created, and it ripped my heart out to give him back. I thought I would be fine, as we had prepared ourselves for that moment. We had prepared ourselves for the short 24 hours we'd have him in the flesh. Yet, nothing could have prepared me for that moment. I was just fine until I made that arm movement to hand him over. I remember losing it, and as I am typing this, am feeling those emotions all over again. I remember walking down the stairs was like an out of body experience. I couldn't see through my tears and Jeremy was guiding me. In that moment, I was given a small glimpse of the extraordinary courage and love AJ's birthmother had for her son. I was only walking away from him for a mere few months...which seemed like forever. I cannot fathom her pain as she chose adoption for her son.
Nevertheless, we do not regret our first visit at all. This experience is why we usually don't have an issue leaving AJ with a sitter or with grandparents. I remember our first night out when he got home was a friend's wedding. People kept asking us if we were ok, did we miss him, etc. Answer: Not really. Because we knew where he was. He was being well taken care of at home, in bed. The biggest part of that: he was at home. We have great memories of our little man and there is nothing like holding your child for the first time. Birth child or not. There is nothing like it.