So, that happened. Kind of doesn’t seem real. We knew statistically it was likely to have an adoption that didn’t go through, especially after Joe’s adoption was so smooth. So here we are. It’s been an emotional roller coaster, but we are okay. We will be ok. The hope for another adoption is fueling us.
To be honest, this was a high risk from the start. Knowing that, it’s possible I am not devastated right now because I didn’t fully emotionally attach. I felt it would be healthier for me to not attach and be pleasantly surprised than to be attached and then devastated. I know many people don’t operate like that in adoption and tell you to go all in with the emotions and faith and everything. This time; however, the wait from match to adoption (or disruption) was much more bearable for me than last time. This time I didn’t panic or get overly anxious. Like a 6 in nerves instead of a 9. I am not someone who’s ever a 2 anyway. Just wanted to pat myself on the back though for waiting better than I waited last time.
We found out we were chosen while on a boat in the middle of Smith Mountain Lake. We met the expectant mom once at the agency, once where she lived 1.5 hours away, and once at Cox Farms. Over Thanksgiving her family tried to convince her to choose parenting, and as we heard she was 50/50 on adoption. Then the birth father apparently returned to offer some kind of support and that pretty much completed the decision. We truly hope she will have a good life and wish her the best. This is her daughter; she just wasn’t ours.
This baby, who is half black, half Hispanic, and already has a half sister, opened us to the potential of becoming a transracial adoptive family. We had discussions with our families about this aspect and tried to educate ourselves more on what that means. I read articles, talked and connected on IG and FB with other transracial adoptive families, and listened to the agency’s education.
I’m thankful for our agency, especially the director. Catholic Charities in Fairfax- can’t recommend enough. We may stay with them for the next try or go through another agency which we’ve been on the waitlist for awhile now. Many people call this a “failed match,” but those in the adoption community have now started saying “disruption” or some other term because we never want to say it’s a “failure” to have a mother choose to parent her own child.
Now for my 2 practical pieces of advice for those pursuing adoption and for all agencies that this experience taught me:
- As I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter how sure the expectant mom says she is or the agency says she is. Up until papers are signed after birth, she can change her mind. Don’t go around announcing “our daughter is due on xyz date!!” because it’s silly and you look silly. We got a card from the expectant mom where she called us “new parents” and said “our daughter” and I knew even that did not mean there was certainty. There is never certainty. Guard your heart and don’t claim a child still in utero as your own. Just don’t. What happens then, is if you do say your daughter is due, and then expectant mom changes her mind, what everyone not in the adoption world hears is “the birth mom took the child she promised back.” It demonizes the expectant mom and gives a negative picture of the agency, when in fact, they did nothing wrong.
- If you want a closed adoption in today’s world, (which we don’t) um, good freaking luck. I’ve told you all before about how wonderful open adoption is so I won’t go into the million reasons why that is. What I mean is, I don’t see how it is even possible to have a closed adoption in today’s technologically connected world. You don’t exchange last names with the expectant mom until you sign the contact agreement form (in an open adoption) but let me tell you- people can find things out anyway. This could be emails that were supposed to be copy and pasted but instead got forwarded, and so the expectant mom or hopeful adoptive parents’ last name was seen on an email address. Just a simple mistake. No big deal to us, but closed- would be a problem. Also, if you type our first names and “adoption” into Google, a link comes up to an article I wrote for adoption.com which has my last name. Again, good luck with a closed adoption. It’s kind of funny, actually. Just thought I’d throw that info out there, guys! Everything is connected these days.
I would not say all is lost with this disrupted adoption. I mean we’d like that 8K back, but hey, that’s on the low end for what it could’ve been at other agencies. We had a journey, an experience, and I’m not sure why, but we’re moving forward and we’re ok. All adoption journeys are roller coasters. In ones that go through, you have bumps, go up a big hill, and feel the rush going down the big hill. In a disrupted adoption, you have the bumps, the uphill climb, and then just continue on flat. Straight. Anticlimactic. Alright, I can’t think of any metaphors or other ways to say it. I’m tired. Good night.