Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Announcement That Wasn't

If you've seen me on FB today, you already know the outcome of this story...

So... What has Maya's former room become?  A yoga studio?  An office?  A guest room?

A nursery?

Shortly after Bobby and Maya's second birthday, a friend of ours approached us.  She and her husband had been asked by a mother to adopt the child growing in her womb and quickly approaching her due date.  Raising the child was not an option for her.  Our friend was asking for permission to pass on our information.  Peter and I talked about it and, ultimately, felt like we were called to foster an older child once Bobby and Maya grew up a little more.  But, we also felt like we should talk to the mother, if for no other reason to encourage her to raise the baby or to seek out an adoption agency, where there are countless couples waiting for a baby to adopt.  As I spoke to this mom on the phone and we shared stories about our children (she has a number of older children and a child Bobby and Maya's age) as well as her reasons for choosing adoption and my adoption history, it was chilling to hear how much her story of this pregnancy and my own conception/prebirth story lined up.  And then the kickers: she told me that the child was conceived in Nicholas and Sophia's birth month and due on Alexander's birthday.  After some discussion, we told her that, once the child was born, if she truly felt she couldn't raise him or her, then we would do so with all the love in our world. 

And then there was silence.  We got our ducks in a row (which, thankfully they were mostly in because of the previous adoption discussion) and waited.  In the middle of the November, conversations increased and adoption of this precious baby stepped closer and closer towards reality.  We laundered linens and clothes and with a bit of fear mixed with hope, set up the nursery.  We also started using baby language with Bobby and Maya.

The day before her due date, Mom was feeling pressure but no contractions.  Alex's birthday (and the EDD) came and went...  Thanksgiving brought us no news...  The day after gave us our annual tree trimming get together and still nothing...  November came to a close and December began...  One week post dates...  I went to Chicago for the TAC, saddened that I might miss the birth, but nothing... 2 weeks past her EDD, still nothing...  So now, today, the day before what would be 3 weeks post dates and the idea of a baby in the house for Christmas comes to a crashing halt.

Things the birthmother had told us started to not add up.  And then, the due date and conception story...  When I spoke to her today, she was incensed that I told her our attorneys would need a new due date to rework the paperwork and that this would require us to talk about the birthfather.  She said that she no longer wanted to work with us and slammed the phone down.  So that is that, it seems.

Pennsylvania (as most states I'm sure) has strict laws that require birthfather's sign off on adoptions.  The only exceptions are where the mother has no idea who the father is, such as in cases of assault.  In that scenario, the mother must appear in court and testify to the attack (in closed court), resulting in the judge terminating the rights of the father.  As a survivor of assault, it nauseates me to think that people would use this scenario to skirt the law on birthfather notification.  I dont know what's going on in this situation, to be honest, but as the discussion on a new due date came up, I know the door came to a crushing close.  And that says something.

We are saddened, but there are many emotions.  Once again, because we didnt go into this planning to adopt a child, there arent the emotions that many pre-adoptive parents may feel.  And, because we went in with eyes WIDE open, we knew this was a very real possibility.  We've even encouraged the birthmom to review her choices and to know that, should she want to keep and raise the baby, we'd be supportive of that.  So, in that way, we are okay and at peace.  But there is still sadness... Still the ache of having that room ready and knowing that it is to remain empty.  Of having to explain to the kids (especially Maya, who asks "Baby?  Here?" that there wont be a baby here... Not right now...  Perhaps not ever... We dont know what the future holds.)  There is also some relief, if I am honest.  The last few months have felt like we were dangling on a string- especially the last few weeks.  Wondering, not knowing, waiting for information that didn't come.  Being told there would be doctor's appointments and updates, only to learn that the appointments werent made or were missed.  To that, I am relieved to be able to know that part of our journey is over.  I cant help but hope that things will be okay and that the baby will be loved and taken care of.  That hope, I've decided, will cloud over whatever other feelings I have.

But, especially compounded with my blogger friend's heartache at burying her son today, my heart is heavy. 

I dont know what Maya's old bedroom will become.  Perhaps I'll use it as an office for Mending Heart Bellies...  We shall see...  Right now, I think I just want to lay down and not think of anything.


Catherine W said...

I'm sorry that you have been through this. I can only imagine how you must have felt, being left dangling and not knowing quite what would happen. Hoping that things will be okay for this little baby and that he or she will be well cared for and loved xo

Nan & Mike said...

Big hugs...still following you just not as often as I would like...im sorry today is such a heavy grief day all around...prayers for all our babies and also for young birthmothers who just dont know what strife weve truly been through. lifting you up xxxooo Nan

quadmom said...

I'm so sorry, Michele ...

Leah said...

I am so sorry. I can only imagine all the emotions you are feeling. Thinking of you and your family during this time.

Joanna said...

I've heard a story similar to this a few times now, and I think it is so cruel and heartless of people to take advantage of your kindness and to play with your emotions like that. Keeping you in my thoughts!!

Reba said...

michele, i am so sorry that another adoption didn't work out. :(

the santa picture is kind of priceless! i admire you for even making an attempt. naomi wouldn't go near him last year or this year. (and i'm totally with you on the creepy stranger who wants kids to sit on his lap thing. i secretly feel relieved that she's a little wary of it all.)

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

I am so sorry that this has happened to you again.