November is National Adoption Month! It’s the month that made me a Mom and my husband a Dad!
Our story is not an unfamiliar one to many adoptive parents. We suffered through 18 years of pain, heartache and loss. The pain of losing multiple pregnancies is one I can’t describe. Our fertility struggles tore us apart and brought us closer. I had problems getting pregnant and when I did, I couldn’t sustain the pregnancy. Together we grieved each loss. In November, 2005 we made the decision that changed our lives. We started classes to become Foster Parents and we chose to continue the classes to join a Concurrent Planning program. All in all, we spent about 11 months in classes and getting our home approved. Our final approval was in October, 2006. We waited on pins and needs for ‘the call’. Our first call was for two children – a boy and a girl. We said Yes! But the children disappeared with their parents to another state before Child Protective Services picked them up. The next call was for a brand new baby boy – just born. Yes! Oh wait, he has an Aunt who is going to take him, sorry.
In my heart I KNEW it would happen with the right child, but my brain was tired and there were a lot of tears. We were at work when we got ‘the call’. There was a baby boy, barely 12 hours old. We were told his background and birth story and we said YES! Neither of us really slept that night knowing that tomorrow was the day and praying that everything would work out the right way.
We arrived at the hospital to pick him up and were ushered to a waiting room. A few minutes later, a nurse came out of the nursery and asked for our ID’s. I searched frantically through my purse for mine. All sorts of thoughts went through my head – we were going to be turned away and lose him if I couldn’t find it, we would never be parents! But then, I found it! She confirmed that we were the people they expected and we were taken into the newborn nursery. There he was. We immediately fell in love with the tiny, beautiful, sweet baby boy that we were going to be taking home.
I was shaking as I dressed him to in a sleeper. My husband and I were both shaking in the elevator as we rode down to the parking garage. We placed him in the back seat of our car and headed home.
We were all so emotionally overwhelmed. Over the next couple days there were lots of phone calls, emails and visits. We were such proud parents. But in the back of our minds we knew that it may not last. He was ours, but just for now.
Four days after bringing him home, we had a harsh reality check. It was his first visit with his birth mother. She was young and she made me sad. We also met the foster family where his birth sisters were living. These visits were weekly with both the birth mother and birth father.
They were so HARD. For 6 days he belonged to us and every 7th day we had to share him. It was frightening. We shared the pain with the other foster family and that did help to relieve some of the fear. The birth parents were young and struggling with many things in their lives. Neither of them were ready to be parents to three children under 4 years old.
Seven months later, the painful visits with the birth parents were stopped. Neither of them were doing well. They had both regressed to behaviors that were unsuitable for children. The workers moved for permanency and we endured a few court dates. Eventually, birth mom and birth dad both voluntarily terminated their rights to all three kids. We were officially on the road to adoption!
We shared our adoption day with our family and the girls were adopted at the same time. We were all happy to share the day with one another. We adopted Andrew in December of 2007. He was 13 months old. And he was OURS. We were officially Mommy and Daddy. We were a family.
Our story doesn’t end here. We knew that there would be another child coming into our lives. I will share his story with you this month as well.
Contact Robyn at Robyn@theneighborhoodmoms.com