So what do you do to get back on track when your adoption process has been completely derailed? Here’s what’s been happening the last couple weeks.
We’ve pretty much moved past what happened to us. It will always be a part of our story now, but there’s not much we can do or accomplish by dwelling on it.
My tears have long since dried up, and our friends and family have been incredibly generous with their support of our GoFundMe campaign.
We hadn’t quite ironed out with our agency what, if any, parameter changes we wanted to make to our adoption criteria. In the meantime, we agreed to them continuing to present us to potential birth mothers knowing we could always say no to a match that didn’t feel like a right fit.
They send a status report early in the month that indicates how many times you were presented the prior month and where each of those birth mothers stand in their decision, as well as if you were one of her top 3 choices.
Since our failure happened on September 18th, there were only about 10 days of the month left after that for them to present us, and yet we were still presented to 8 birth mothers in those 10 days. Five of them hadn’t picked a family yet as of our receipt of that status report a few days ago.
With both of our adoptions, we were picked by a birth mother in less than 2 months, and I like to think (hope) that will happen again.
We are also on an emergency placement list now. When the agency gets a call from a birth mother who is about to give birth or perhaps just gave birth, and makes the decision last minute to place her baby for adoption, that’s an emergency placement.
Part of me likes the idea of getting an emergency placement. There would be little to no cost in birth mother expenses. We wouldn’t have to wait through the last weeks/months of her pregnancy and wonder if she might change her mind (would you believe I’m a little gun shy?). We’d have an instant baby (I’m not getting any younger here).
On the flip side, we would have to drop everything at a moment’s notice to go wherever this baby is. So not much time to plan and prepare logistically, no knowing how long we’d be gone, how much work Jeff would miss, etc. That kind of stuff stresses me out a little. Okay, a lot.
I finally connected with our caseworker yesterday to go over our parameters again.
By the way, we are back to our original caseworker. So, when you call our agency to say “I want to adopt a baby,” they assign you a caseworker. You work with her (a woman in our case) to handle and get through everything up until you are matched. Once you are matched, the caseworker who has been working and talking with the birth mother and building a relationship with her is the one who takes over, and that may or may not be the caseworker the adoptive family has been working with up to that point.
In both of our adoptions, we moved to another caseworker once matched. The one we moved over to in this last match also handled our son’s placement 3 years ago. In light of things failing, it was nice that we already had a good relationship with her and had that successful placement the first go around.
Anyway, now we are back to our original caseworker as we wait for another match. And she and I finally connected on the phone yesterday to talk about any changes we might want to make.
The bottom line for us right now is keeping the cost as low as possible. We’ll have the money the agency returns from what’s left of the birth mother expense and third party retainer accounts. We have the very generous contributions that friends and family have already made to the GoFundMe my friend Lauren set up. Then whatever else we can save up between now and the next match. And that all has to get us through to the end of this process.
In an ideal scenario, we’d get a birth mother who is within driving distance and close to her due date (say, within 2 months). We could probably handle travel by air if she’s even closer to her due date, though then you have the issue of paying a licensed in-state attorney to handle things, and the added cost for that probably starts at $5,000-$6,000 and would just go up from there. I learned yesterday that Florida and Colorado don’t make it easy, and the legal costs run up to $15,000 – on top of everything else – so we have actually knocked those two states off our list of places we’re willing to go.
We also won’t consider any birth mothers who aren’t at least 6 months along in their pregnancy.
Other than that, we kept everything else pretty much as is. Our caseworker said we are pretty open in our parameters and we have an appealing family and profile, so she is also hopeful that we’ll get picked quickly. Plus we’re now on that emergency placement list too.
So now we wait. I know I’ve said this 100 times before if I’ve said it once: there really is so much waiting in this whole process. And it’s the hardest part.
Apparently, however, there’s another baby out there that is meant to be ours. I just hope and pray we meet him/her sooner rather than later.
2 thoughts on “Jumping back in”
Your baby is there. As an adoptive parent, with one failed adoption that I think I told you about, I know all too well the emotional roller coaster you’re on. I remember when I got a call from the church we adopted our first two from. The director asked us what we were looking for in a baby. She left the question open as not to tip us off to what she wanted to know. I told her I just wanted a baby. She asked if we had racial, gender, etc. preferences. Uh, no….a baby, we wanted a baby. She wanted to find out if we wanted the “perfect,” blonde haired, blue eyed, baby. It seemed like we waited forever. Then we got a call and the birth mother chose us that afternoon. What’s funny about the entire thing was that we had just moved from Texas to Seattle. We found out later, long story, our son was conceived the day and hour we arrived at our new home, August 13, 1990 at 2 pm. Nine months after we moved nearly 3000 miles away, to a place I would never have chosen to live, my husband cut Michael’s cord and sang Amazing Grace to him. I guess my reasoning for telling you that is our God is so great He moved a family across the country so we would have the baby meant for us. Michael was the first of 6 we adopted and, without a doubt, the reason we moved to Seattle. I know it’s difficult but know God’s got this. I believe that with my entire being. My husband and I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing your story. Know people you’ve never met are praying for you. I’m thankful I found your blog through Story Greenlight. I am counting the days until we are in LA. Michael, now 27, and Nikki, now 28, want to relive childhood vacation memories. That makes my heart smile. Looking forward to following your journey. With love and confidence, Teri
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