A colleague had her baby today. I took the call from her happy and exhausted husband, reporting in that mom and son are doing well. I wondered if she had the same question that hit me almost exactly nine years ago:
What have we done?
We were on the way to the airport, ready to fly halfway around the world to meet our new son. Our son who had been watched over for nine months by wonderful nannies who loved him, cuddled him, and cared for him. Nannies who cried when they had to say goodbye—happy tears because he had parents, and sad tears because they didn’t know if they would see him again.
Now I was crying as my parents drove my husband and me to the airport. After two years of marriage, many months of planning and seemingly endless paperwork, it was really happening. The boy whose picture had been analyzed by experts and family members for weeks was going to be in our arms soon.
It was time to wonder, “What have we done?” What were we getting into? What would our family be like?
About forty hours later, we began to memorize Tweener’s every feature. We talked softly so that he would get used to our voices. We picked him up and cuddled so he would get used to our touch. He melted Daddy’s heart and mine by falling asleep on a shoulder. We were a unit.
Here’s what we’d done: We’d started a grand adventure—one with ups and downs, like any family’s, but an adventure that is ours.
So M, new Mommy, that’s what I wish for you too. When you look into your baby’s face these first few days, wrapping his fingers around yours and memorizing every feature, you’ll probably wonder too, “What have I done?” Here’s the answer: The best thing ever.