On November 15th, coincidentally World Adoption Day (during National Adoption Month), I decided to call the agency to discuss our profile and the parameters of our adoption criteria. During the call, our adoption specialist told me that an expectant mother had put my husband and I “on hold” and that her labor could be induced within the next few days.
We were shocked and so excited but had didn’t know what “on hold” meant. Our specialist explained that the birth mother had marked our profile as her potential match; the couple she could choose, if she decided to officially move forward with the adoption process.
The possibility of finally having found our child washed over me in a swell of incredible joy. I immediately ran out to to pick up some necessary baby items, in the event we’d need them quickly! Monday arrived and the call came through. The expectant mom hadn’t been induced yet, but she had officially decided to move forward with her adoption plan.
We were the parents she’d chosen to raise the little boy who would be here any day. After such a long time of hoping and waiting, I finally allowed myself to feel the joy I’d been missing for so many years; I began to fall in love with the idea of our son.
My husband and I started making plans for our the trip. With the interstate adoption placement laws, we’d have to be prepared to spend up to three weeks in another state. I hoped we’d make it back by Christmas, but I honestly didn’t really care. This baby was everything we’d ever wanted, and this certainly would be the greatest Christmas gift. The timing made me reflect to Christmas three years ago:
In 2013, after spending a couple years working with a fertility specialist, we decided to pursue IVF. We learned, just a few days after Thanksgiving, that the treatments had worked. I was pregnant. We were overjoyed when our years of trying to start a family had finally worked. A few weeks later, though, things took a very sad turn.
My mother was in town, we received a call from the doctor asking us to come in. Mom and I went right over, and they put the ultrasound up on the screen — the first time my mother would ever see an ultrasound with me. Then the doctor told us the pregnancy wasn’t progressing normally. It would ultimately fail or wind up a grave situation. That Christmas Eve was one of the saddest days of my life.
I went on to carry that little boy into the New Year, and lost him a few weeks later. Three more years went by. Through more fertility rounds there would be four more miscarriages to follow. We felt only thing that lived on was the unrelenting hope in our hearts for a happy ending.
I finally felt like this Christmas will be our year. We got a chance to speak to the expectant mom just after Thanksgiving. She was very young and already had two children that she was struggling to raise. She said she’d made up her mind that this was the best long-term decision for him to to give him the best possible shot at a good future. She wanted us in the room with her while she delivered him. She was so brave and sweet. We felt in our hearts she was at peace with her decision. We told some family and close friends. We told our bosses. I put in for parental leave.
A little after noon, Monday December 6th, he was born. We were there the moment he entered the world. We watched as he was weighed and measured. We fed him, we held him, we cried with the most incredible joy. I’ve never felt so blessed in my entire life.
The next morning, I was feeding him in our private room at the hospital, when I got a call from the agency. I could tell instantly, that something was wrong. The words were a blur, but one sentence in bold that hung in the air: “She is possibly changing her mind.” My heart was in my throat and my head was spinning.
“How could I be mad at her?” I thought, looking at his tiny face. Holding that little miracle, made it easier to understand how she could change her mind. My husband was out grabbing coffee; I called and asked him to head back. Even before I could hang up the phone, the nurse came to whisk the baby away.
We stayed at the hospital for another day. It was agonizing for all of us, as the birth mother went back and forth on her decision. We told her we were there to support her, knowing it wasn’t our choice to make. We let her know that we believed she had to feel good about the decision she was making. She said she really wanted him to come with us.
As we were walking into the hospital the next morning, I called the lawyer to talk about plans for his discharge to take him home. He asked if I had heard from the agency–within minutes, it was confirmed that she had decided to call off the adoption.
I decided to go in her room to say goodbye to them. I told her that we were not angry with her, that we’d go on to adopt, and she didn’t have to feel badly. I asked her to make good choices for him, and for herself, and to make sure they had the best possible life they could. I told her that she deserved to be happy, and that he’d always be in my heart.
I’m not as devastated as I thought I would be; life has prepared me for some tough moments. Watching this woman make such a difficult decision is not something I’d wish on anyone. She had to choose what was right for her child. Above all else, I know in my heart, that we are one step closer to finding our baby. It might not be the Christmas miracle I’d prayed for, but we will never give up. We know our miracle is out there. We will be here waiting for that day.
Stay tuned for our happy ending. Like you, I can’t wait to hear how the story ends…
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