Seeing the title of this post is still a little unbelievable. The McCartney Family! We always knew we would see this day, and our journey to get here has been nothing short of wondrous, but not without its ups and downs. Before I tell you more about our whole family and how we got to this momentous point in our life, I obviously have to tell you just a tiny bit bit about our new girl! She is feisty, adorable, strong, a formula chugging champ, and in the ninetieth percentile for height! (Can you tell I’m already a proud Papa?) I’ll get to more about her later in this post, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you the most important part! We named her Regan.
So, now there are three, Tom, Kyle and Regan. But before there were three of us, Tom and I had been together for almost six years. To make a long story short, we met through some mutual friends, at a party in the Short North of Columbus. And we went on our first date a few days later. After dating for about a year, Tom agreed to marry me when I pulled off a surprise proposal in front of a few of his close friends! We decided to get married in 2013 in New York, at Niagara Falls. We decided not to wait for our marriage to be legal in Ohio. We wanted people to know that we wouldn’t wait. So we eloped, just the two of us, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We began fully looking into adoption about a year after getting married. We had talked about surrogacy and foster care, wanting to fully consider all of our viable options. But adoption just made the most sense for us. We had some close friends that had gone through adoption shortly before us, and they spoke incredibly highly of their agency, so we went with the same one here in Columbus, Adoption Circle. And they’ve been perfect. We officially started with them in December of 2014. The extensive paperwork and approvals took us almost through April of 2015. Once all was said and done, we were placed on the waiting list. And we were picked by a birthmother in 4 days!
The birthmother that picked us asked to meet. She was a young woman, in the end of her second trimester, and this child would actually have been her fourth. We met with her twice, and told her a lot of our plans for the child. After about two months of some texts and calls back and forth, the mother stopped responding to our communication. Our social worker informed us that she had also lost contact with her. We held out hope for a couple weeks, wondering if she had simply lost her phone, but once the due date came, we decided it was best for us to move on. Tom and I handled the loss a little differently. He had told himself it was over almost immediately, whereas I had held on until the end. To be completely honest, it was devastating. I came home from work and just took time to cuddle with Tom, cry over the loss, and just talk it through with my husband. We took a weekend trip to Chicago to regather. It was just Tom and I, and it gave us time to mend. After returning, we asked our agency to place us back on the list. And we began our wait again.
After almost 8 more months of waiting, multiple friends of ours had a child of their own. We were obviously ecstatic for friends, but it was doing nothing to help my baby fever! But, on March 23rd, at exactly noon, I got the call. A little girl had been born on the 18th, and if we accepted, she was ours! We drove to the hospital that day. And the hospital staff graciously gave us a room to stay with her. We took full advantage of a lot of firsts before we even got her home. We had our first feeding. We got to change our first diaper! My parents met their first grandchild. Tom’s parents met their first granddaughter. And there’s just so many more firsts to come! After some screening tests cleared us to leave, we took the fateful drive home on the 27th, with our new daughter. I was incredibly lucky and got to take a multitude of time off from work to stay home with Regan. As we’ve been home, she has started smiling more, which just brings us so much joy. She’s started to coo at us too! If you ask my parents, she definitely said “hi” that one time. She’s been incredibly frustrating at times too though. Sometimes she just won’t eat, and sometimes she decides that she definitely wants that pacifier even though she had obviously just told you she didn’t want that pacifier. Those frustrating moments are trying, but expected, and I’ve learned to love them.
As I write this, Regan is now 6 weeks old. She’s asleep on Tom’s chest, and Tom is asleep too, so I’ve obviously taken about 76 pictures of them (don’t tell Tom). She just keeps growing more, eating more, and definitely pooping more too. We’re going to be starting daycare soon, but I still can’t imagine leaving my little girl. As everyone has warned, it’s going too fast. But I’m just so thrilled to experience all life throws at us, with her and Tom by my side. It did take me a few days before I found myself instinctively referring to Regan as my daughter, or myself as a father. But after a month of life as a dad, I can’t imagine a better title. Unless, perhaps, she decides to call me Papa.
- Kyle McCartney