When a child is placed for adoption, his biological parents must sign a series of documents giving consent for another couple to parent their child. The documents basically confirm that they are choosing to transfer or relinquish their parental rights. The papers, in the adoption community, are typically known as "surrenders."
Yesterday, was a day of surrender for us all. Miss N. had to sort through a lot of grief and emotion in order to process this decision. Ultimately, she chose to surrender. We have had to sort through a lot of fear and worry, and have been holding our breath and waiting for a definitive yes or no, and finally, we were able to surrender all that and fell into the bittersweet relief of placement day.
We met in Harlem, Tom, the kids, my mom and his parents all came together, and I met them there because I was coming from the hospital in the Bronx. We signed all the paperwork and went into a conference room where Miss N. and her boyfriend met our whole family for the first time.
After such an emotional morning for N. we were surprised to find that while he was pretty quiet, the mood was relatively light. She enjoyed seeing the kids, and really got a kick out of London.
Perhaps this was because she was the only one who did not heed my pep talk beforehand about being sensitive to how Aunt N. might be feeling. That speech went in one ear and out the other for London, and she was just as bossy and insensitive as ever. I couldn't help but cringe when she shout-asked N. across the table "Wayuh's yoy baby!?" Only by the grace of God himself did N. seem to find her endearing in the moment.
After the placement ceremony we all went out to eat at Sylvia's in Harlem. It was so special to go through this whole experience together - the beautiful, the gritty, the painful... and then walk away and eat together as a family, Aunt N. included. A lot of people can say that they have eaten soul food with their baby mama, but very few people mean it the way I do. I felt completely blessed in that moment, it was food for the soul indeed.