Hi! I’m Joy. If you are new here, please start HERE to find out why I’m writing about adoption for 31 days. You can also start this story from the beginning by following the links on that post.
When I left off yesterday, I let you know that baby boy’s birth mom stuck with her adoption plan. So, after her 10 day withdrawal period was over, our attorney began to work on moving our case toward adoption. The wait was a little longer than we had expected as our attorney worked to notify the birth father and give him a chance to respond. Then she had paperwork to file and the court date to set up.
Baby O’s official adoption day was on his 4 month birthday. It happened to be the coldest day of the winter here. So cold, in fact, that they let us know that if schools were closed, the courthouse would be closed, too. We were grateful that the schools and courthouse remained open and we proceeded with making baby O an official part of our family. Because the court date ended up being in the middle of the week and we have no family here, it was going to be just the 5 of us going to the courthouse. But my mom got a snow day and drove down here and surprised us the night before. I was so thrilled. I hated that we couldn’t share the big day with more folks.
The entire proceeding took place in conference room instead of a courtroom and it was pretty intimate. We had to swear to a few things and then our attorney presented our case to the judge and showed all that she had done with the birth mom and all the measures she had taken to notify the birth father. The judge asked a few questions and then he agreed to terminate the birth parents parental rights and make baby O our’s forever. He was kind and took some photos with us. We then went downstairs and picked up our paperwork. It was exciting!
I didn’t feel too emotional during that day, but it was exciting. The day I got really emotional about the whole thing was when we received O’s birth certificate in the mail. It still moves me to tears because it has his name and then where it says mother, it lists my name. And where it says father, it lists my husband’s name. There is NO place on there that says he was adopted. None. He is our son. The spiritual parallels are overwhelming…because of Jesus, because of the Gospel, I am now a daughter of the King, adopted by God.
So, one might conclude that we got our “happy ending” and that was it. But adoption was something we did because we knew God had called us to and we weren’t sure the calling was finished. And I don’t like called it a “happy ending”, because its not about us. Its about Jesus and what He wants to do in us and the lives of the children we come in contact with. So, just because we got a baby, didn’t mean the other tough situations we went through were any less important to His kingdom and our story.
After that, we decided that if we were going to continue adopting, we wanted to do it again as soon as possible. We thought it’d be good for O to have a sibling close in age and we weren’t sure how many more times we’d be interested in pursuing infants. So, we updated our homestudy through a GA agency and decided to work with them towards domestic adoption. Our FL agency said we could work with both agencies since we had already paid fees to them, so we sent them a copy of our new homestudy and around June 2014 began being a “waiting family” with both agencies.
We were shown many profiles, but not chosen by any birthmothers until March 2015. That’s about a 9 month wait. In March, we were told a FL birthmom was interested in our family and she was due in May. We did a phone call with her and when all parties felt confident we proceeded to be “matched” with her. This meant we also started paying some hefty fees and updating our homestudy yet again since it would expire before this adoption would be finalized.
There were a lot of “red flags” about this match…the birthmom had 3 boys already and this baby was a girl, the birthmom did not want us there for the birth, the birthmom was on methadone, etc… But like I kept telling folks, a birthmom can change her mind at any time for any reason, even if there were no red flags. How can we make a decision based on those?
We went to FL in May the day before the scheduled C section. We were blessed to stay with some of our very favorite people in the world…my college roommate and her husband and kids. They took amazing care of us. Several of their friends had let us borrow baby stuff for our FL stay and many had donated clothing, baby tub, Moby wrap, blankets, towels, etc…. The night before the C section, my husband and I went to dinner with the birth mom and the amazing birth mom liaison from our agency. (BTW, the way the liaison loves on birth moms is amazing…I think I want to be her when I grow up.) The birth mom talked a lot and the meeting seemed to go well. She invited us to come to the hospital the day after the birth and promised to send us pictures and stats the next day.
Well, we waited and waited and waited and did not get much info on Monday. We really did not know what to think, but we knew the birthmom was in recovery. There wasn’t anything to do. So, we met up with one of my Aunt and Uncle who live nearby and enjoyed an evening of catching up.
Its a long explanation, but my in-laws were in FL at the time and came over to spend time with us and help us with the kids on Tuesday so that we could go to the hospital. We didn’t get any info until late that afternoon and we received one picture. We finally got to go see the baby about an hour later and spent about 10 minutes with her before the nurses took her to the nursery. We spent time with the birth mom for about an hour before she asked us to leave so she could hang out with her mother. She did let us bring the kids up to glance at the baby and then we left. On Wednesday, she didn’t want us to visit because she wasn’t feeling well and the baby wasn’t doing well….she had started experiencing methadone withdrawals.
Thursday was the day the birthmom was going to be discharged and our agency worker and attorney were going to meet us at the hospital to have the birthmom and us sign paperwork. When we got to the hospital on Thursday, the birth mom had already been discharged and left the hospital. The baby was still there because of the withdrawals, but we had no legal rights to see her, so we could do nothing. I think we knew then that the birth mom was not going to go through with this placement.
And she didn’t. We came home once again with a failed placement. It was hard, but not nearly as hard as the other two since we barely got to see this baby.
That was in May. It is now October. We haven’t had any other matches since then. So, we are sort of waiting. Waiting to see if we get any other matches before our current homestudy expires in June. Wondering if this many closed doors means that we should be done adopting for now.
And trusting Jesus because He is so faithful and so good and we can trust Him.