Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Adoption Story - Part 5: Crushing Disappointment

We have been asked to share our adoption story.
In a multi-part series, I will share our experiences.
I hope our story helps you, someone you know, or helps you to understand the experiences and emotional journey of someone you love.

Click on the links to view:

We tried for 2 years before learning we were infertile.
J was not open to adoption. Then he was.
We met our son's birth mother.
We met our son.

Our Adoption Story - Part 5: Crushing Disappointment

Motor Mouth was a wonderful, calming influence in my life. He was a fabulous baby. Our relationship with his birth mother was on-going. In fact, she slept over so often, J made a plaque that sat on the dresser in our guest bedroom and said: KK's room.

There is a little known fact about the local adoption world.
If you have a card that proves you have registered, certifiable Native American blood, and that blood is of a recognizable tribe, your ability to be selected as an adoptive parent increases to the nth degree. J has such a card. It is the gold card of the adoption world. Once you have such a card, your wait time is reduced drastically. It has to do with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). If you are interested in learning about ICWA, comment with your email address, or email me and I'll email you the details.

In 2005, two potential birth moms previewed our makeshift life book. Normally, the agency does not tell you when someone is previewing your life book. However, we were approached by the agency director, when Motor Mouth was 2, and we weren't ready to adopt again. We didn't have an updated life book, or Dear Birth Mother letter. I talked to KK about it, to see if she was okay with us adopting again. She was. In fact, she loaned us her life book that we put with our family album. KK also did a few phone interviews with potential birth moms for us.

Both of the birth moms decided to parent, instead of placing their child for adoption. That was fine with us. We weren't ready. They were having boys, and we wanted a girl. But you can't tell the agency director which sex you prefer. She would tell you, "You can't choose which you'll get when you have a biological child."

But then it started to hurt.

Anonymous #2's daughter knew of a girl who was pregnant. We traveled to Dallas, to meet with the girl, the boy, and their parents. They were wonderful. It was weird meeting with them without our agency representatives. But, at that point, we were equipped to handle it. We were speaking at adoption workshops together, highly involved in the agency, mentoring girls, planning events, and I was on the Oklahoma Adoption Coalition.

A week later, the girl called to tell us her parents were going to help them care for the baby so they would parent. If you saw how much those two kids loved each other, you would know it was the right decision for them. For me, it was fine. But J had his heart set on this child. It crushed him.

There were several other babies who came across our paths. J and I would take turns feeling the crushing sadness when we were not chosen.

One day, one of the first girls who had decided parent had a change in circumstances. Photog felt as though she was supposed to place her now 6 week old son for adoption. Photog called our agency again and asked if we had a baby yet. As she lived in another city, we started talking on the phone. I didn't think this was our baby and I had to tell her. We were sure there was another family in the agency that would be great parents for her baby, so I took life books to her family home in another city for them to look at.

While there, I got triple hit. The agency director called, J called, and Photog's mom asked if I had changed my mind and wanted to parent the baby. I had a 90-minute drive home to 'work it out' in my head. By the end of the week, I called Photog and told her we'd like to be considered to parent her son. She had appointments setup that Sunday with 3 other couples. They made time for us and thought it would be us. But she choose one of the other couples instead. I was devastated. To say I was crushed was an understatement. I was angry at myself for going back on our decision and for allowing myself to get my hopes up.

We put together a new Dear Birth Mother letter and life book. Soon, we met with a new birth mom and her mother. The baby was due in just a week! We told everyone. But then that adoption fell through. It was more embarrassing than painful.

It had been a full year of emotional upheaval. Around this time, we didn't know where KK was. I missed her. She is a part of our family. She is vital to our son's emotional and psychological development. We didn't know where she was living or working. I felt like my heart was bleeding for KK. I started on a mission to find her.

In the meantime, Photog selected a wonderful family and she moved to Tulsa to live in the agency's transitional home. A home designed to help the girls get back on their feet. The agency assigns a mentor to each girl. I asked to be Photog's mentor. I know, how insane is that! But let me tell we became very good friends. She has babysat our kids and slept over. She is fabulous. Last year, I set her up with the second best man in the world - my Hero, PR. They were married a week ago.

And the girl in Dallas we met? Her mom and I kept in touch. I've seen pictures of that adorable little boy. Next time we go to Dallas, we will be sure to meet up with them for coffee or dessert, or something.

On Saturday, March 18th, 2006, the agency director called to tell me about a birth mother who was due in June that would be a great match for us. She was having a little girl. How perfect was that!!



Anonymous said...

Wow, what a roller coaster of emotions. Thank you for sharing your story.

Mabrie said...

Wow! You guys are my hero's!