A blog by Lori Lyons

Monday, November 11, 2013

The things you remember

It's strange, the things you remember.

I remember standing in my closet that January day, staring at my clothes and asking myself, "What does one wear to the birth of one's child?"

I remember wearing the same clothes for three days because my silly husband forgot to put my bag in the car. My makeup case, too.

I remember thinking we would be there for a long time, so I remember packing a tote bag with my needlepoint, cards, books, newspapers -- things to wile away the time. I never touched any of it.

I remember the drive from Norco to Houma. Highway 90 was under construction and down to one lane both ways. We were stuck behind a State Trooper the whole way.

I remember trying very hard to read the newspaper on the way, and failing.

I remember sending Marty off to run errands while we waited. We had blown a tire a few days before and he had brought it to Sears to get it fixed. He also needed to go cash his paycheck.

I remember my brother showing up to wait with me. I didn't know then that it would be one of the last times I would ever see him. I remember my niece showing up to wait with me too.

I remember frantically calling Marty to come back to the hospital because he was about to miss it.

I remember standing outside the doors to the maternity ward, waiting, praying, not breathing at all. I remember waiting for Marty to get back, still afraid he would miss it.

I remember the nurse coming out of her room carrying a huge load of linens and signalling me with just her head, "Come on. Go on in." No words were said.

I remember walking into the room and seeing Gail holding this little bundle as a nurse smoothed the new linens on the bed, being so afraid I would hear her say, "Go away. I've changed my mind. I can't give her to you."

Instead, I remember hearing her say, "Are you ready to hold your daughter?"

Then the nurse saying, "Wash your hands first!"

I remember everyone in the room crying. Even me.

I remember handing her back to the nurse, oh so reluctantly, and thinking, "Doesn't she understand how long it took me to get here?"

I remember dying to get to the payphones to call everyone. (We had cell phones, but you weren't allowed to use them in hospitals back then.)

I remember spending the rest of the morning waiting to see her again, hoping the nurses understood who we were and why we were there (they did).

I remember hours later, walking into the little room they found us in the back of the NICU, and seeing our baby in the warmer.  I remember sitting there and sticking our hands in the holes, one of us taking her hand and one of us taking her foot.

I remember the nurse coming in and asking if we had held her yet. When we said no, she scooped her out of the warmer and handed her to me.

I remember Marty having to run to the car to get the camera. And I remember Marty grabbing a nurse to take our picture, and recognizing an old high school friend.

And I remember this joy.

It's been almost 13 years since the day my daughter was born, in the same hospital where I was born, to another woman. It's been 13 years since her birth mother --  her first mother -- put her into my arms and turned me from a heart-broken woman battling six years of infertility into a mom.

And I will never, ever forget it.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. 


  1. this is so beautiful Lori! It made me tear up a little. :)

  2. Thanks Andie!.. This one came easy, of course. Sometimes they do. LO