The first time my baby looked at me was about six hours after we got the call from our adoption agency that she was ready and waiting for us. To say that a million emotions raced through my mind when my baby looked at me for the first time would be only a slight exaggeration. It was one of the most incredible and life-changing moments. My husband and I comment often that we are so grateful that we got to meet her in the hospital when she was still in that blinky newborn phase. She seemed a little stunned, trying to adjust to the light and her new surroundings. We weren't able to be with her until she was 3 days old, but when we locked eyes on that day, our family began.
When we first met our daughter in the hospital, she was fast asleep in her bassinet in the NICU. She was bundled tightly with a hat on, but the nurses had turned her so that we'd be able to see her face when we walked in the door. We cried and held her for a while as she slept, but we were almost surprised when she opened her eyes for the first time, as though we'd forgotten there was even more to look forward to and know about her. While meeting her in her tiny sleeping bundle state was incredible, locking eyes with her was the moment I'll never forget. That was the moment we met for the very first time, the first moment she knew that I was her mom and I'd be there with her to protect her for the rest of my days.
However we met our daughter would have been perfect, but meeting her in the hospital when she was just a few days old means not only did we get the perfect gift of a daughter, we also got the gift of taking in part in that universal experience of first hospital moments with her. We don't ever take those for granted.