Adoption: Our little girls, part two

(Our little girls, part one)

We were matched to an expectant mom at Thanksgiving. We talked to her on the phone every few days, and it seemed that the talks went well. The time between then and her Christmas due date dragged. Could we really be getting a baby?

Finally a couple days before Christmas she called saying she was in labor. Could I come? Within a few hours I was on a plane to Chicago, bringing along my two oldest boys. I peeked in to say hello to her as she labored, then waiting with the boys in a hospital waiting room as she labored more. Hours passed. More waiting. I tried to imagine holding a baby soon, but it all seemed unreal.

Finally a nurse came out and let me come back to talk to the mom. One look at her face and I knew. She’d changed her mind. She apologized and said she couldn’t do it. I totally understood– I’d been wondering how she could do it too. But it felt like a bad dream, a bad dream in which I hugged her and smiled woodenly and told her I understood and it was okay, and went to look at an impossibly adorable newborn girl that wasn’t meant to be my daughter after all.

The boys and I went back to our hotel. I still held a tiny hope that she would change her mind, would call and say the baby was ours after all. No. It was done. The next day was Christmas Eve, which the boys and I spent in a hotel room because the first available flight home was on Christmas Day. John and the other kids saved their gift-opening til we got home on Christmas evening. I smiled and acted enthused, grateful to be home, but was all too aware of the newborn sized car seat sitting empty in the corner of the living room.

The brightest bit of that odd, sad Christmas was a picture on the fridge of our now 18-month old daughter, still waiting in Ethiopia.

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Related posts
Adoption: The first time
Adoption: Our second son
Adoption: How we afforded it

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  1. We had that happen too, I didn’t find out in her delivery room, but right before. It was devastating, even as it was best for her and the baby and we knew it and were glad for them too. I still think about that little girl, she’d be twelve now. Thanks for sharing this, these memories are an important part of the big picture, I think!

  2. Oh, my goodness, what a heart-breaking experience. I truly don’t understand how someone could give up their baby after carrying & giving birth to them, and feeling them kick…but, wow, what a painful experience for you. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!

  3. Mary, Thank You for sharing this story — and all the stories you’ve shared so far — with us! It allows all of us who have not had experience with adoption to see “inside” — if only just a teeny bit.

    I think, though, that what a lot of people don’t understand about adoption — at least in MY opinion — is that the birth mother is truly the hero. It seems so unimagineable to me to give up my precious son. But, imagine the love these birth mothers have for their babies to realize that for whatever reason (financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually), they cannot provide for their babies and they believe in their heart that their babies would be better taken care of in another home. I mean, HURRAY! for them for not choosing abortion and giving a loving family out there a chance. Sure, some of them change their mind and sure, it’s devistating for the anxiously awaiting couple/ family….but it’s God’s way of telling us that He is in control.

  4. I’d not heard this story before…..heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking….however the joy is, God had a plan! Isn’t it amazing to look back on it now? 🙂

  5. Rebecka says:

    I’m a birthmother. It truly was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Walking out of the hospital without my baby, by my own choice…to this day (19 years later) I don’t know how I managed to put one foot in front of the other. Even though I knew that if I’d chosen to parent her, we’d be “okay”, I wanted better for my child. I guess that was what kept me going out those doors.

    Now, my husband and I have six wonderful children (all under 10!) and we hope someday to foster/adopt. It’s been wonderful to read your stories on affording adoption…it gives us hope that even though we don’t have much money, we may someday be able to give a child who needs it, a home.

  6. I was wondering if you would email me–I wanted to ask you some questions in private. My husband and I are beginning to consider adoption.

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