All right, so there are a few people to whom I sent the link to this blog who don’t yet, in fact, know what has transpired the last 6 weeks.
On May 31st I got a call from our social worker saying there was a baby born the day before, the birthmother chose us, and she wanted the baby placed by the weekend. A healthy, perfect baby girl with Apgar scores of 9 at both one and five minutes. Music to our ears, in a hundred different ways. A week later we met with birthmom, she approved, and Emily was placed in our home the next day June 8th (having been in with a foster care family since she left the hospital). Birthmom had endured quite alot during the pregnancy, and delayed in signing the Consent for Adoption ‘due to emotional distress and need to take things slowly’. She asked to meet with me again alone, which I did, for 2 1/2 hours. By all accounts she loved us, we remind her of her own parents, she “knew we were The Ones”, she thought “it was meant to be”, she loved the name we’d chosen, etc etc etc. She had also said to us in our first meeting that she didn’t want to parent, didn’t want her parents to parent and hadn’t told them about anything because she didn’t want them to ‘fix it’. The birthparent counselor assured us time and time again that she was “firm in her adoption plan” and was 99% sure this was going to happen.
Meanwhile, we were all-in as Mommy and Daddy, as you must be when caring for a newborn. We called my parents who immediately drove from CO and stayed 2 weeks, joining us in our bliss of finally having a child. A beautiful, precious, fabulous baby girl who only cried when she was hungry, getting her clothes changed, or in that last week, when she had gas or constipation. We even secured a cache of breast milk so she could have ‘the best of the best’ nutritionally. We were sleep deprived, always on alert and loving it. Relishing every moment, soaking her up in every way. We let the adoption professionals worry about the birthmother, even though we didn’t for one minute forget that she wasn’t officially ours. It just seemed impossible that it could or would go wrong, given the number of factors I haven’t explained here that seemed to point to the Hand of God Himself being upon the situation, and given all we’ve endured, that we would get to the point of actually having a baby in our home only to have the worst case scenario occur.
Until it did. Birthmother told her parents about the pregnancy and her choice, her parents swooped in to save the day, and 7 hours after we got the phone call Saturday morning, we were forced to give her up, back to her birthmother. Officially in the top two worst and traumatic events of our thus far, along with losing Anna, of course. And we haven’t heard boo from birthmother since. It’s infuriating but mostly shocking, given the relationship we had been building over the course of the month we’d known her, given everything that had been said between us, given what had appeared to be the sincerity of emotion and intention therein. Shocking.
So she is not legally our daughter. But she is very much our daughter in the ties that bind. We love her, reveled in her, delighted in every breath, little squeak, little sigh and in every cry we learned to interpret as hunger or pain. We took nearly 500 pictures in the 3 1/2 weeks she lived with us. In the course of a month, you pretty much see everyone who is a regular part of your life, do all the things you do as a regular part of your life. Groceries, laundry, social events... so that now everyday living is a reminder of her and you can’t get away - at all. Not when showering (had to do that quickly before), sleeping (we slept on the couch next to her when it was our shift), driving (had the mirror to be able to see and make sure she was okay - all the time), leaving or coming home, eating (would forget to do it at all or get interrupted), or anything else. Even getting on the computer is a wound because not only are her pictures stored here but I have several on the desktop and while they’re a dagger every time, I can’t bring myself to take them off, either.
So that’s the story. More to come on the aftermath....