The decision to be there, though a quickly made one, was assured. After I spoke with this precious girl on Skype just days earlier, I knew. I knew I had to be with her at the next doctor's appointment. I needed to see her face. I needed her to see mine. I needed to see the ultrasound for myself.
So we booked a plane ticket for me to leave just 4 days later so that I could be present in this important moment. I've never had an ultrasound before. I've never 'heard the heartbeat' or anxiously anticipated the news of 'boy or girl'. Most of how I imagined these appointments to go was based on movies I have seen or stories I have heard. And it was such a whirlwind that led up to this appointment, I really did not know what to expect or what I would feel or how I would respond. All I knew is that I had to be there.
Brandi (not her real name) and I were called back into the dark room with the big TV and she lay on the table as I sat closely beside her. The technician squirted gooey gel on her belly and just like in the movies, she put the little camera stick on Brandi's stomach and started rubbing it all around. We heard the bum-bum of the heartbeat and my face began to get red with excitement and nervousness. Round and round went the stick, stopping to take snap shots of the two little arms, two little legs, head and..."it's a boy", the technician declared. Brandi and I laughed as we had talked earlier about how convinced she was that it was a girl.
As the technician printed out the little black and white pictures, I asked her if she could print out an extra copy of them for me. "Brandi will choose if she wants to give them away", she said shortly.
My heart began to beat a little faster. I took a deep breath and summoned a smile to my face.
Brandi and I together, looked through the images of this little human that is living inside of her. We traced the arms and giggled at how his tiny hand looked like it was waving at us from under his chin.
Then I see it. At the top corner of the picture "Brandi Smith". The name of the mother of this child.
I don't know why I was expecting or even hoping that it would say "Kate Garcia", even if just in parentheses. Why would it? That is when reality began to crash in on me as I worked hard to silence the deep ache that began to reawaken in the pit of my stomach.
I recounted the last 30 minutes. Why wasn't I the one laying there on the table? Why wasn't Steve the one holding MY hand beside me, giggling together over the news?
I wish I could say I walked away from this appointment with only happy and excited feelings. But I didn't. I have never had a more tangible picture of infertility. Even screaming louder than a negative pregnancy test is clinging to a picture of my son with a different woman's name marking his identity. One day, I believe, there will be a picture of him with his new family name captioned across the top of the image. One day...but today his caption reads "Brandi Smith".
As I sat in the airplane flying home, I allowed the tears to flow. "God, I should have just waited for the 'it's a boy' text from Brandi. This feels too much and now I'm angry at myself for being so sad on what should be such a happy day."
That is when I sensed God speaking into my soul, "This day was not for you, Katie. It wasn't even for Brandi. It was for this little boy."
This day was for 15 years from now, when he is piecing together his story. He is going to see that I was there, with her. He is going to know that Brandi and I cared deeply for each other and that we both loved him - even before he was born. She loved him enough to know she could not care for him the way he deserved. I loved him enough to come face to face with the deepest pain in my soul just to see his first photograph.
I pray that some day this boy will find deep comfort in the truth that he was loved and greatly wanted.
- We are working on paperwork details and home study updates to have everything legally ready
- We are planning and thinking through the details of travel and what our time in Akron will look like in December/January.
- Pray for Brandi to make good decisions for herself and for this little boy
- Pray for our family as we begin to prepare our hearts, lives and home for a new brother
- Pray for the agencies and social workers who are working and advocating for this child
Until next Monday...love, Kate, Steve & Dima