9/24/2013

When a Hotel Becomes Your Home and the Staff Becomes Family

On August 3, 2013, we received a call that would change our family forever.

It was the call we had been waiting for: a baby had been born and her birth mother chose us to be her Mom and Dad!
When a Hotel Becomes Your Home and the Staff Becomes Family
While we scrambled to get paperwork completed at home in Iowa and pack items for our new daughter who had just been born, my sister booked us flights and found us a hotel hundreds of miles from home.

We trusted she would find us a good place to stay since we had no idea how long paperwork would take to process. But what we didn’t know was that we would be completely blown away by our experience.

From the moment we walked into the lobby at the Holiday Inn hotel on August 4th, our sleep-deprived selves felt at home.

Our hearts raced and stomachs churned when we checked in because we knew in just a few hours, we'd meet our daughter.

After an amazing, emotional meeting with our daughter’s birth mother, we met our daughter, Olivia, at a local hospital.
Adoption Process: ICPC
We took her back “home” to the Holiday Inn hotel while her adoption paperwork was processed and clearances were approved for us to travel back to Iowa.

We spent the first week of Olivia’s life – and our lives as a new family of three – at the Holiday Inn. And while it wasn’t our real home, it was close enough.

It felt like home.

Instead of showing off our sweet daughter to our family and friends in Iowa, we showed her off to the staff at the front desk.

They cooed at her hair bows and tiny little fingers and toes.
Adoption Process: ICPC
We shared our first sleepless nights together in the Holiday Inn. I remember watching her in the crib that was wheeled in for us.
Adoption Process: ICPC
I marveled at her every breath.

We had our first breakfast together as a family of three in the hotel restaurant. The waiter left a carafe of coffee at our table and asked if we needed anything for the baby. I told him no, and he said, "Momma knows best!"

It was the first time someone called me mom in public.

We talked about her little yawns and facial expressions to housekeepers in the hallway.
Adoption Process: ICPC
We fed her bottles in the lobby. We sent photos and videos through the hotel Wifi.

When we were approved to go back home five days later, it was bittersweet.

While we were thrilled to introduce her to her grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors, it felt like we were leaving our family.

The days we spent at the Holiday Inn are days we will treasure forever. Not just because our dream came true of growing our family, but because every SINGLE person at the hotel made us feel special.

They made our family's journey extraordinary, and we are so deeply grateful.

Related content:
Love At First Sight: Powerful Photos of us Meeting Our Daughter
An Adoption Finalization [in Photos]
Announcing Our Pregnancy

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