So today is a unusual emotionally heavy day for me. Not for sure why I'm writing this blog but perhaps I just need to get this off my chest.
For some that know more about me, the real life me they know I'm the proud father of a beautiful girl. Me and my wife were both unable to have children and nearly 8 years ago we were blessed with the honor of being adoptive parents. We have a open adoption with our oldest daughters birth parents. At first the relationship was kinda distant as this was uncharted waters for both of us. We sent emails and pictures and arranged for two visits that year through the adoption agency. Slowly but surely over the years we have grown closer as a extended adoptive family. My daughter has got to meet two of her half siblings. She even got to attend the graduation of the oldest half sister. We share social media info with the birth parents and now we consider them part of our family. Although we are completely different people with different backgrounds and even ideas we are one in the same through this beautiful child. It's really amazing what this relationship has transformed into. Our child will continue to have some difficult questions as adoption isn't always easy, but hopefully through this open relationship she can understand the decision that was made and ultimately their love for her was real and a great sacrifice was made for her best well being.
Nearly 7 years later we decided to try to adopt again. This time our small agency wasn't really doing adoptions anymore. They said most placements were done online now and privately. We still had them perform our homestudy and my wife aggressively began campaigning online for our adoption. We were faced with scammers both by pregnant women looking to cash out on a potential family as well as people offering advertising sources that was mostly looking to scam a buck. This was a extremely emotional rollercoaster ride we rode for about 3 months. Even one of the women how emotionally scammed us appeared on Dr. Phil named Gabby Wabby. Who has a reputation in our adoptive community of messing with adopting parents just because. We almost gave up our online advertising due to the emotional difficulty when a friend of a friend of a friend called.
Basically my brother in law's half sister's aunt who works at a gas station in town has a friend who is the godmother of this new born baby. She goes to this gas station daily and became friends with this aunt. She told her that her goddaughter had been born but she was to old to care for her. The birth mom was on drugs and DCS was taking the child that day into fostercare. They needed a family to take the child and adopt it so they didn't lose the child into the foster care system. They knew due to her heavy drug abuse that she would never get custody but were hoping to at least keep track and know how the child was doing. My aunt said she knew her niece new some people and she called. The niece called us with the god mothers number and told us she had a baby for us. We called the godmother who was with the birthmother. She told us how she was on heavy drugs and they needed a adoptive family. We talked very briefly about open adoption and kinda what that would look like at first. They notified DCS that we were coming to pick her up. DCS called and ran the background checks and pulled our homestudy and we picked up our second daughter later that evening.
Talk about a emotional rollercoaster, only we wasn't done there. When we arrived to the hospital we thought we were arriving to a child we were taking home forever who's birth mother and fathers rights had all ready been surrendered. That was not the case, the mom had signed a IPA but did not waive rights. We had basically became respite care parents for this child. We had to tell our oldest daughter who wanted a sister so badly that there was a possibility this wasn't forever. For now we knew this child needed a home and whatever reason we were put in this place so we had a job to do. We could only pray for the best outcome for this child.
Come to find out this was the birth mother's 7th child. All been taken away for drug abuse. The last two both taken away cause she was actively using at the time of pregancy. There were a few complication but nothing life altering to the child.
Upon our first meeting with birth mom and DCS to discuss adoption or the next steps of respite care the mom went MIA. She also missed her first court appointment as well. Due to her history we filled a petition with the court to be given temporary custody so we could care of the child as we needed to. Normally they wouldn't grant that this early in the process but they elected to since the birth mother had a prior and severe history of MIA to court appearances. Luckily that day we were granted temporary custody of the child and now we had a moment of security knowing the child couldn't be taken out of our home without taking us to court first.
Another month goes by and several court dates missed later birth mom was incarcerated on drug charges and given a 11/29. Her release was set to Nov with early release June. We finally got to have our first court date as she was transferred in. We were hoping to talk about open adoption as the next court day was to settle on the severe abuse charges which would lead to termination. However we wanted to keep a open relationship with her so she could at least see how the child was doing.
Our next court date was set but the tornados closed down court for the day they needed to put in the request to transfer. Without her there could be no settlement on severe abuse to it was postponed.
Then the next day was set 3 weeks later but the coronavirus scare postponed it yet again.
Then we found out yesterday morning she was released early due to the coronavirus. They were releasing tons of non violent prisoners.
Two hours later we received another call from the godmother they found her dead yesterday morning. She passed away from a drug overdose.
Not the way we wanted this chapter to close. Although she used drugs while pregnant. Risked her own child's health and safety forever there is part of you that hopes they can get clean. Although we didn't know her there will always be a special place in our heart for the gift she gave us. Although she abused drugs you want your child to grow up one day knowing more about her birth mom then this.
My heart is sad today for my daughter. My heart is sad for the godmother who tried her best to help her. My heart is just sad.
Our lawyer has already filled our motion for adoption. The birth father who actually knows the godmother well had signed her rights away last month. This will fast track the adoption for our child, but this is not how we wanted it.
Adoption is a tough tough road to go down. Each story is unique and difficult in its own way.
I hear all the time how your child is so lucky... In adoption there are a couple of gains but its mostly filled with loss.
We don't get to celebrate being pregnant.
Not many showers are thrown for you.
It's hard to get materity leave approved unlike pregancy.
We share our children with others, we don't get the safety and security of feeling like they are only "ours"
Our child has abandonment questions that will come to surface
My daughter doesn't understand why she can't live with her half sisters and brothers
I could go on and on.
I'm not saying we are not lucky and blessed. Trust me I'm a glass half full kinda guy not empty. I'm just saying there is a lot of loss in this process as well. It's a emotionally exhausting situation for all involved.
I don't know why I typed all this out, maybe just being a silent guy felt the need to say it all.
Today my heart hurts for my child, but tomorrow will be better.
Our adoption journey closes as we officially declare our family complete. I'm not here to advocate adoption over abortion and even break into that discussion. I will say though for every child there is roughly 30 adoptive couples waiting. If you are ever pregnant and decide you don't want to parent. Before chosing abortion I ask you give adoption a consideration. Even if its a closed adoption. There are ton's of good families wanting children.
Love ya lodestone, thank you for listening. Stay salty
I'm speechless after reading this and tearful. I believe it was fate that brought you (your family) to your new family member. It's heartbreaking how it all happened.. Some would say you were being tested. You saved this child and your family is now +1 stronger. <3
I’m very sad to hear she passed away. But I am so happy her daughter has a loving family to take care of her.
Geez, this is some incredibly heavy stuff.
I can't imagine how it must have been like to deal with all of this.
I know nothing about adoption or child custody issues, so I don't feel qualified to comment. But I feel your giving this child a new life takes an incredible amount of courage and compassion. I wish you and your family all the best.