Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Surreal Few Weeks

These past few weeks have gone by in a blur – a kind-of dream state almost. It started just before Thanksgiving with a call from our lawyer. It seems like everything starts that way lately… with a call from our lawyer. She said she had been in contact with a birth mother who was due the day after Christmas.

Of course I had my suspicions due to the previous experiences that we had had, but somehow I felt this one was going to be different. First, because our lawyer had actually met with this birth mother, and second, we had a long conversation with the birth mom, and for the first time, we made arrangements to meet her and her two girls in person – in the flesh. Lunch was the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving came and went with a bang. As I mentioned earlier, we had 30 people over. It was stressful planning it, but in the end it turned out to be the best Turkey Day Ken and I and our friends and family had had in a long time. I think there’s something magical when everyone sits down at the same table (in our case, a really long table that that took up two rooms) and goes around and says what they are thankful for. It was very memorable.

Of course, I said I was thankful for my amazing husband, my family and friends making the journey to our house, and of course this new and exciting prospect that we could actually become parents by Christmas. It was all happening at once.

Saturday came and we were off to meet the birth mom about 3 1/2 hours away. I remember her coming down the stairs and giving me a hug as soon as she saw me. Maybe it’s just a female thing because we’re all so emotional, but it meant a lot to me. Over the next few hours we got to know her and her two adorable girls, how she grew up, what she hoped the future would hold for her kids. We drove away feeling really good about the whole thing.

Fast-forward to a week and a half later – after we’d been calling and texting one another – to me waking up to my phone buzzing near my head at 5am. Of course I jumped out of bed to answer it. It was her. She had been brought to the hospital for significant bleeding. After running some tests, the doctors determined that she was OK and so was the baby. I could hear his heartbeat … thumping through the phone… so I knew that things are going to be fine. Well, that same day, around 2:00 she called to say that she was in labor. WHAT!!??

I ran to tell Ken who was packing his bags to leave on business. He immediately thought I was messing with him, but quickly saw that I wasn’t kidding.  We race to the hospital. In the meantime, things are pretty official. We have entered an adoption plan together. Papers are signed and checks have been written.  So we do what any expectant parents would do and excitedly tell our friends and family that “HOLY S#@*” this is finally happening.

We were trying to be cautiously optimistic of course, but then again, we’re only human and emotions took over. We spent a few hours with her in the hospital, but the baby was not coming that night, or anytime soon, which in hindsight is a good thing – because it turns out she needs more time to work out some stuff in regards to this adoption – the most specific thing being visitation.

When we entered the adoption plan, it was letters and pictures and updates once or twice a year. We have no problem with that at all. But, in the end, “K” decided she wanted 5 to 6 visitations a year, and Ken and I just don’t want to have that open of an adoption – even though I know it works for some families.

Answer this question for me: Parenting is hard enough, so how do you raise your child without them getting completely confused when their birth mom visits them every few months?

I am sure someone has some really good answers out there.

(By the way, in between the two days that were shacked up at a Holiday Inn Express outside the hospital, we got a little ahead of ourselves and bought a whole bunch of things at Babies ‘R Us. We looked pretty sad when we returned it all 2 days later! Well, we used the money for a good cause. Keep reading to find out.)

In the end, we told our lawyer we were walking away, because the most important thing to us right now is not becoming parents. The most important thing is to have the birth mother of our child feel 100 % comfortable with her decision. We don’t want her to feel pressured and we certainly don’t want her to wake up every morning thinking that she’s made the biggest mistake of her life. I would be heartbroken if that happened.

So we walked away, and over a couple of shots of tequila and a lot of tears (on my end), we decided the best thing we could do is give her some breathing room and some time to think.

In the meantime, we ran off to Key West to drown our sorrows.(see photos above) And I must say it was absolutely the best thing we could’ve done with the money we got back from that Babies 'R Us shopping spree: Toes in the sand and cocktails at noon. 

I didn’t want to come home. I didn’t want to come back to reality and the realization that this was not happening again for us.

But strangely … it’s not completely over. She hasn’t had the baby. She’s on bed rest due to the bleeding, and her lawyer said she doesn’t want to look at any other couples. She said she sees us as the parents that she wants for her son.

Ken and I just want what is best for her and her kids. So, I guess we just have to wait and see what that is.