It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post.
Sweet baby girl was born this week- she is absolutely perfect and so beautiful. We were blessed to spend a very precious 24 hours with her before the adoption was rescinded.
The past week has been a whirlwind of emotions. It started a week and a half ago when all communication between the agency and the birth mom stopped. It was a heart wrenching six days while we waited for her to make contact with the agency again and confirm that she was still committed to the adoption.
Finally, we got the news we had so desperately been praying for- birth mom had reconnected with the agency and she was at a hospital in her home state with contractions. Most importantly, she was still very committed to the adoption. We were excited, nervous and anxious to hear the news and waited to hear the outcome of her hospital visit. It was still hoped that she would be able to travel to the state that the agency is located so that our case workers could help us both through the process and be a calming presence during it.
Six hours later we learned that she had given birth to a healthy baby girl, in her home state, and she wanted us to come! We started frantically packing and making arrangements with my family to care for our dogs. It was decided that, due to hospital visiting hours, it would be best for us to stay the night at our home and drive to the hospital early the next morning. Needless to say, neither Josh nor I slept that night.
We packed up the car and headed out early the next morning. I can’t speak for Josh, but my stomach was a nervous mess and I had so many thoughts going through my mind about meeting the birth parents and meeting our daughter. The several hour drive seemed like it was only ten minutes. After we arrived, we prayed in the hospital parking lot before we entered.
Because the birth was in the birth mom’s home state and not in the state that the agency is located as was planned- the whole adoption process became rather ‘messy’ for lack of a better word. Our agency had to set up a local legal team to help us and the birth parents navigate the process. The time period that we needed to wait before birth parents could terminate their rights was twice as long. And most importantly, none of us had our case workers- the ones we have a relationship with, the ones who counseled the birth parents for the past three months, the ones who knew why they had made this incredibly hard decision in the first place. Instead, we were surrounded with nurses who did not understand this was an adoption case and who had little to no experience with this type of situation. We were visited by the hospital social worker, who had no personal connection to any of us, and who was not present the second day. Halfway through the process, a new hospital social worker visited and explained she was filling in for the woman we met the day before. It seemed to become even messier- for many other reasons that I won’t go into.
Even with all of this, Josh and I pressed on. The birth parents were so welcoming to us. We were so comfortable around them. We let our guards down early. As nervous as I was to walk into the hospital room and meet the birth parents and our daughter, all those nerves disappeared within the first 15 minutes after meeting them. They seemed happy- maybe even relieved- to see us. We immediately were encouraged to pick up our daughter and begin to love on her. We spent the entire first day in the hospital room with birth mom and baby. She slept on and off while we cared for baby girl. We loved on the birth parents as well as baby girl all day long. By evening, the hospital had figured out what to do with us and offered us to stay in a separate room. The birth parents encouraged us to take baby girl with us. Of course, we were overjoyed to spend some alone time with her. That night, any walls that were still up guarding our hearts crumbled. To care for her and have the freedom to love on her and just soak her all in- it’s indescribable. She was our baby girl. The attachment we felt came naturally.
The next morning, we were both woken by our cell phones ringing. Attorneys for both birth parents and us wanted to meet to get the process moving toward termination of rights, which could happen in 10 hours. In the next few hours, we met with our attorney and the birth parents met with theirs as well as another social worker- this one from a local adoption agency that our agency had been in contact with. Before we knew what was happening, the nurse was telling us they were discharging birth mom. She had signed a power of attorney to allow us to leave the hospital with baby girl and care for her until the time passed and rights could be terminated. I went down to our car to get our car seat and an outfit for baby girl to leave the hospital in. After I returned and we were getting ready to take baby girl down the hall to say goodbye to her birth parents, our attorney called to alert us that he had some major concerns. We called our agency and they told us to go and be honest with the birth parents and feel them out. What happened next feels like a surreal dream. As the events unfolded in the birth mom’s hospital room, I felt like I was not present, but staring down at the room, watching it unfold like a nasty nightmare. Neither Josh nor I showed any emotion in that room. As the hospital social worker walked us down the hall towards our room, I began to lose it and started to walk/run until I could collapse in sobs in the room. Just like that, it was over. They had called their attorney and rescinded. She was not our baby girl.
We are deeply hurt. We are feeling all the emotions. This is a huge loss- in a way- this is a death that we will need to mourn.
It’s very hard to understand why and how this fits into the big picture. To lay it all out here- this is the second baby we are mourning in the past 3 months as we miscarried our first child in May. I have so many questions. Perhaps, I will never the answers. And I can say that I am finally at a place where that feels ok.
This journey is far from over. We will continue on it to complete our family. And while walking blindly in faith is so very, very hard– ultimately, it is the only thing that brings hope for the future.