The nurse who was with me and I commented to each other that we wouldn't be surprised if mother decided to keep the baby; mothers frequently change their mind in these situations.
I don't mind admitting that I feel a lot of ambivalence about adoption. I know it can be great for families unable to conceive children and I know that many kids through adoption are given families and lives that wouldn't be possible otherwise. But seeing a mother say good-bye to her baby for the last time, seeing the baby taken from mother, and seeing the expression on mother's face, makes you realize that has got to be one of the most heart wrenching experiences on earth. I suspect, too, that the birth mother thinks about the child she gave up every single day the rest of her life. Whenever we have a mother who is considering adoption and wavering about it, I find myself rooting for the birth mother, hoping that she'll keep the baby, hoping another person won't have to go through that awful separation experience.
Kimberly didn't change her mind, and in this case I was privileged to see what I usually don't observe, the happy part of adoption, where adoptive mom meets her new baby. One of the pharmacy workers in our hospital was looking for a baby to adopt, and she was given this baby. When she came to take her home she was thrilled. I've seen her several days since then and it is great to see the persistent smile on her face. I can't help but wonder, though, if the height of her joy might be matched by the depth of the birth mother's sorrow.