Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Eight years ago, I got the possibility to tag along on a different kind of birth. As a journalist and an aquaintance, I got to follow the end of an adoptionsprosess that ended in the "birth" itself, meeting the tiny boy child flown from Korea to Norway. It was a very special experience. And with permission from the family, I will pass on part of my article from that time, here on my blog. So now you can read about the experience that I will never forget; a birth out of the ordinary:

It is snowing lightly this cold winter night. Not enough to cover the highway, though. We are on our way to a birth. And the room where this birth is to take place, is a gigantic building structure consisting of loads of glass and steel, packed with strangers. There are no midwives or doctors present. And the reason why is that we are heading towards Gardermoen, Norway´s main airport. Somewhere under the tiny stars in the dark heavens, there is a baby boy sitting on a plane oblivious to the fact that he is headed to a new and bright future and that soon, very soon, he will meet two people who will forever mean the world to him. 

When Mette Allmenning was a little girl, she thrived at being a nanny and taking care of younger children. Her dreams about the future consisted of her own children. But when time came, it did not bring with it pregnancy or birth. After several tests, trials and mishappenings, the marriage dissolved. The future was suddenly so different from where it had been not long ago. It is not easy to lose such a big part of ones future. But a little spark was lighted on the way out of the hospital. On the wall there was a little card hanging. A picture of a couple together with a little Indian girl. Underneath it a simple sentence:

This is also a way to become parents.

And that is what this story is all about. Hope. Joy. And the magnificence in becoming parents, regardless of whether you share the same DNA or not. Love is fully there, nonetheless. The child is yours. Mette hopes her story can be a comfort and inspiration for others who also have experienced being told that they cannot have a children. Love from the open eyes of a child, and the warmth in a hug from the soft cheeks of a child, is still within range for those who wish. 

I meet them by the windows at the airport. So that they can look at the lights of the planes arriving. It is dark now, eight o´clock at night. We can hear the plane engines and watch the blinking lights as they come and go. Mette and Roger have been here before. Little Magnus came in the exact same way. With a plane from Korea. The soon-to-be big brother is almost three years old, and he is eagerly paying attention to the planes. But there is still a while before the plane from Korea via Amsterdam will be on Norwegian soil. Magnus is a little impatient: - Is he coming soon? The little boy?
As a matter of fact, the plane is half an hour delayed and I am sad to give the message. Mette sighs loudly. - Oh, no! Another half hour! 

After the adoption prosess is mostly complete, there is but one thing to do. Wait. And wait. The year of preparation was long, but the extra half hour seems to be ever so long too. It is only Mettes sister, whom Magnus calls "Auntie Cuddle" that is here tonight in addition to me. I really do feel privileged. The last time they brought with them 25 others, relatives and friends. Even if they are greatful for those who came, they regretted it afterwards. - You know, you don´t bring 25 people with you when you give birth!
Even if you don´t show your body as in birth, you do share a very intimate moment, a sacred moment. The very first meeting with your child. Last time, Roger received little Magnus in his arms and everybody tried to get closer for alook and ended up squeezing Mette out of the crowd. The sister will never forget that.  - Mette was standing further away and looked lost and pale. 
This time is different. It is different now that they have been through this once before.  - I look so much forward to this now. I am so grateful to be able to experience it once again. Now we know what we are facing. And there is a calm about it that we didn´t experience last time. 

The telephone rang right before Febuary. Their boy was ready to come. The years shortest month, became the longest. But all is now forgotten. Because this is it. The time has come. Mette looks at the clock again. The minutes seem to slow down. Around us, people go to and fro, talking in their cellphone, rushing to their meetings and appointments, not knowing that among them, somebody is about to become parents, right here, right now. We start heading towards the arrival doors and after studying the arrival times, Roger triumphantly exclaims 
 - We have won a minute!
He is a proud and exited father with a big smile on his face. Early in the relationship with Mette, she had asked him bluntly if he was willing to adopt. A new round of artificial trials was not something she could go through again. - The question came a little sudden, Roger smiles, - but I didn´t need much time to think about it. I think I almost answered right away. And now I think that things couldn´t have been otherwise. Magnus is our kid. If it was possible to love a kid more, it would only hurt.
Mette feels the same way. - When I held Magnus in my arms for the very first time, it was as if not being able to have my own children, made sense. I immediately felt that I was meant to be his mum. It was so clear. And in that same way, we are meant to be Linus´parents. 

In a few minutes, he will be here. The little boy meant to be their son for the rest of their lives. Big brother Magnus is on the floor, playing with the firetruck he is going to give to his little brother. Through the glass doors, people arrive all the time. A long line of strangers, tourists and business connections. And finally, a Korean woman carrying a baby. Mette points excitedly: Thats him! That´s Linus! 

A few yards later, amidst the crowd of strangers passing by, the very first meeting takes place. But it does not matter what surrounds them. Time stands still. Nothing exists around them but the meeting with little Linus. With tears in her eyes, Mette holds his little hand for the very first time, Roger can´t take his eyes of his new son and Magnus hands him the firetruck. All at the same time. It is a magical moment. 
After those magical seconds we need to move to more secluded space to have a meeting and a talk with the woman escorting Linus. Papers, information about the travel, sleep pattern, eating pattern etc. Afterwards, Linus is given gently to his new mum, Mette. Her eyes shine continually and Linus rewards her with a big smile. And he doesn´t hold back. He hands out smiles to everyone and Mette´s heart is not the only hearts he melts...
Magnus gets a better look at his new little brother and exclaims, rather surprised; - He has my eyes! And then he proudly tells us all;- I am a big brother! 
But despite his pride and happiness, he is serious when telling Auntie "Cuddle" that Linus is to live with her. Later on, when telling people what happened at the airport, he says: - There was a man from Korea who came with Linus and said: "Here you go!". 

The family of three, are now four as they head out in the dark, Norwegian winter night. But their hearts are filled with warmth and light. 
Little Linus does not sleep this first night, but it does not matter. Mette has all the time in the world in the quiet of the night to become aquainted with her new prince. Becoming familiar to the feeling of holding him, his scent, the soft skin and the new little soul behind the sparkling dark eyes and smile. In the middle of the night in sleeping house, a little boy and his mum are starting a new life together. 

Adopting is a beautiful way to become parents. It does not matter if the child never slept in you womb. While filling out forms and papers and preparing, the child grew in the heart and the concionsusness . The love and the bond is there. As the picture Mette saw at the hospital so many years ago, I could also just add the picture below and add the writing beneath:

This is also a way to become parents.


And again, many thanks to the Allmenning family, who let med be part of this experience. I will never forget you. 

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