The March night temperatures remained chilly.
At 12:15 in the morning, even the visitor parking lot was nearly deserted.
After hearing that Ellie was born, Alysia and Matt had driven ten hours. Now they were sitting in the silent parking lot looking up at the hospital. A four-pound baby was in there waiting for her parents. A birth mother was restless, wanting the assurance that the tiny infant would have someone to care for her and protect her.
“I’m a planner,” Alysia said of the adoption experience. “So, I had started making piles of stuff getting ready for Ellie’s birth. But we hadn’t anticipated the birth to be six weeks early. I wasn’t completely prepared. We were actually on an overnight vacation and were eating breakfast in the hotel when we got the surprise call that Ellie was born. We rushed home, gathered everything, and started driving.”
The couple’s quick response time meant they arrived before the Heart to Heart staff. Anxious and excited as they were, the couple was willing to wait in the slowly cooling car for permission to meet their new daughter.
A case manager from Heart to Heart was in the air, flying to support the birth mother and this new family. Another Heart to Heart staff member was on the phone with the hospital.
“Luckily, Ellie’s mom had given permission for us to go in,” Alysia explained. “We got a call from the hospital and were let in as the potential adoptive parents. They zoomed us directly into the NICU.”
For 13 days, the couple rotated being in the NICU with Ellie, who luckily didn’t require a ventilator. As a construction manager, Nate was able to work remotely on scheduling the custom homes he was coordinating. Alysia took a break from her position as a dental hygienist.
“We did all the feeding,” Alysia explained. “It was an amazing experience.”
Another amazing part of the experience for both Alysia and her husband was their connection with the birth mother.
Ellie is now three years old, described by her mother as self-confident, happy, and extremely chatty. A child who loves gymnastics and people.
For the first six months after Ellie’s early arrival into the world, the adoptive parents did not hear from Ellie’s birth mother.
“I think she just needed some time away to process,” Alysia explained.
When they reconnected, there was a reunion where they all got together. The contact has not been consistent since then.
“Obviously, for Ellie’s sake and everyone involved, we are willing to be as open and communicative as she (the birth mother) wants. She knows that we are here.”