My partner and I found out our daughter was joining our family approximately six hours before we met her, so you can imagine how overwhelmed we were during the first hours, days, and weeks of her life. Every sound and move she made threatened to make my heart burst, it's honestly a miracle I survived her adorable newborn phase. And don't even get me started on the moment my baby cooed in my arms for the first time, you guys. That intense feeling over overwhelming, pain-in-the-center-of-my-chest love was enough to make me explode.
My partner and I chose to pursue adoption and moved back to Houston, Texas, from Ireland, in order to make our dream — to one day be parents — a reality. But honestly, neither of us had let ourselves really believe it was going to happen until we were walking into the hospital room and meeting our daughter for the very first time. Until that moment, when she was finally in our arms, parenthood was just a hope we had to actively work to be realistic about.
And then, just like that, she was there: our baby, just staring up at us both. She was real, and our dream was no longer a dream. It was life, and we were finally living it. So every new move she made left my partner and I overwhelmed with emotions, from her first cry to the first time she opened her eyes. Each new movement or sound coming from our daughter was a reminder that we were finally parents. After more than five years of trying and wishing and waiting, she was here. She was home. So with that in mind, here's what I felt when my precious daughter cooed in my arms for the very first time: