Do you ever get a phone call that is so shocking, but in a good way? That is how I felt when my mom called me and said, “Your cousin called me. She’s at the hospital giving birth to a little baby girl. She asked if I would come pick up her baby.” I had a rush of excitement go through me, which is something I haven’t ever really felt before.
My cousin ran away from home and wouldn’t contact any of our family, but on January 20, 2017 she called my mother and asked if she would come pick up her baby that she just gave birth to because she knew she couldn’t take care of it. The doctors requested that the baby stays in the hospital for a couple of days because she was born four weeks early so she needed to have a close eye on. Also, the doctors were unsure if she had any substance addiction.
This was all so unexpected for my mom and my family that we would take her in so soon. We realized we needed supplies because it has been 16 years since my mom has had to take care of a baby. My mom and her friend went out and bought some baby necessities before we brought the baby home.
A couple of days later, my mom went out to Iowa City to pick her up. My mom called me and said, “I just got her, I’ll be home soon. Her name is Jersey.” I again sensed a flash of excitement go through my body, like I won a million dollars. My siblings and I waited at home, anxious to meet her. We heard the door creak, followed by a slam when it shut. My siblings and I ran to the door as fast as we could. My mom brought her in, and I instantly fell in love with her. She was the tiniest baby I have ever seen. My mom got her out of her car seat and handed her over to me first. I walked into the living room and sat on the couch. I gazed at her, realizing how truly precious and tiny she was. I looked into her bright blue eyes. She was so tired, her eyes kept getting heavier until she went off into a daze. Her soft arms and legs rubbed onto my skin. I could smell her baby lotion, the kind my mom used for me when I was a baby. I handed her over to my sister, and I could hear her little soft whimper because she didn’t want to be woken up. My mom began to ask us, “How did we get so lucky?” All of us kids agreed that we weren’t sure.
After Jersey had been with us for a few weeks, we decided as a family that we wanted to adopt her and make her stay long-term. Our family never gathered that Jersey would make such an impact on our family. However, we thought wrong. Jersey has brought my family so much closer together because we never wanted to be home, we were always out doing something, but now all we want to do is be home to spend time with Jersey and be a family. Our family and community really has come together to make this happen and to help us out. The community has helped us out with baby supplies because this was so unexpected. They gave us diapers, formula, clothes, and much more. This really helped out my whole family.
We are now in the process of adopting her, this is a really long process, but we know it will all be worth it in the end. We had to have a home visit to make sure our home is safe for Jersey to live in. We had to have background checks done on everyone living in our house to also make sure it’s safe for her to live with us. My siblings and I had to have an interview about my mom and about how we want Jersey in our lives, and my mom also had an interview about all of her kids and how she also wants Jersey to live with us. Adoption is a very long process because everything has to be looked over to make sure we qualify as a good home environment and that we are going to provide her with the care that she needs.
I wake up in the middle of the night hearing a loud noise, I try to figure out what it is, and then it dawns on me that it is Jersey crying for food. I try to block out the noise, but I cannot seem to do it. I hear the floor creak as my mom gets up to make a bottle. I cannot fall back asleep because I can hear the sound of my mom talking to Jersey. I get up and go talk to Jersey while her eyes start to get heavy. I say to my mom, “This is harder than I thought, but I really think it’s worth it.” I rub her soft baby head to try to help her fall asleep. Once she falls asleep, I put her in her crib. I slowly and tiredly go back to my bed and try to go back to sleep.
I soon realized that babies are hard right when Jersey had lived with us for a couple of weeks. This is one of the main reasons people just abandon their child. They realize that they cannot take care of them because they don’t have the money, the time, or the support needed. This is why my cousin gave Jersey to us. She knew that no matter how hard she tried, she wouldn’t be able to take care of her little girl. This is why adoption is such an important option. People think that adoption is wrong because their child will think he or she was abandoned. I think people need to realize that even though you are giving your child up, that doesn’t mean you don’t want them, it simply means you just want them to have a better life than you can give them.
If Jersey had not been given to us, then who knows where she would be and if she would be healthy or not. It is pretty scary to think about because if my cousin had not have called my mom, we would have not a clue that she had the baby. This whole situation has really made me realize that my family and I are so lucky to have Jersey. I do not think anyone in my family would disagree or wish for her to be somewhere else. It has shown us a whole different meaning of life and I do not ever want to picture my life without Jersey. Some people may say that Jersey is the lucky one for us to take her in, but truly my family and I are the lucky ones to have Jersey.