Who’s to blame?

I have been getting a lot of inquiries into how we are doing in the aftermath of our adoption failure. I have also received heartfelt messages and notes of encouragement, all of which I’ve read and very much appreciated. And hugs. Thank you for all the hugs. I’ll never turn down one of those.

My dear friend Lauren started a GoFundMe to help us try and recover what we lost and be financially prepared for the next match without going further into debt. I am humbled by that gesture.

If you have been following our story and are open to helping us along the financial path to finding our second child, here’s where you can do that.

Huge, heartfelt thanks to you in advance, and to all our family, friends, and not-yet-friends who have already donated.

I am also starting to hear stories from people who’ve experienced a similar loss (typically without the fraud part) or know someone who has.

And like I felt for quite a while (and still do if I let myself), a lot of people are outraged. They want to know why this happened, why more can’t be done, how to prevent it from happening again, and who we can blame.

So I want to address a few of those things. Continue reading


One of the risks adoptive parents face is a birth mother changing her mind and backing out of a placement.

At any point before she delivers, while at the hospital, even days or weeks after giving birth in some states or cases, she can change her mind and choose to keep her baby or ask for the baby back if she’s already placed him/her with a family.

It just comes with the territory, and no one can fault her for deciding not to go through with it, for choosing instead to parent herself. We would not fault a woman for doing that. It would be heartbreaking and sad, but we would be able to understand and sympathize with her choice.

That’s exactly what we thought happened to us this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, we have since learned that was not the case. Continue reading

A mother’s grieving heart

We got news this morning that no adoptive parent ever wants to hear.

As mentioned in my last post, birth mom had gone past her due date with no sign of baby, so we’ve just been waiting.

I had some pleasant text exchanges with her over the weekend, with nothing unusual. We knew she had a check-up with her doctor today and that if she hadn’t had the baby by today, they were going to schedule to induce.

At 9:15 PM last night, she texted me to say she’d message me after her doctor’s appointment scheduled for 11:00 AM today.

I busied myself this morning, but had my eye on the clock the whole time. I knew exactly when it turned 11:00. And then at 11:31, the phone rang. Continue reading

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Baby’s due date has come and gone, and still no sign of him.

This is one of the hardest times during the whole adoption process.

Since the birth mother of this baby is not having a scheduled C-section or being induced (unless either become necessary), we are playing the waiting game.

Waiting for a call or text, day or night, work or no work, school or no school, running errands or at home, etc.

My phone is on 24/7, ringer on audibly, waiting for word that birth mom has gone into labor. Every time I get a text notification, I check. If I hear it in the middle of the night, I check. If I’m out to lunch with you, I’ll check.

We went through the same thing when we adopted our older son. Continue reading

Please don’t call my kids “lucky” – adoption words and why they matter

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not the expert on all things adoption. The more I learn and talk with other adoptive parents, the more I see how vastly different adoption experiences can be. So what I share, I share from my own experience.

I also don’t assume that most people are outright trying to offend when they make certain comments or ask what some might consider inappropriate or invasive questions. Heck, when my little family is all together, it’s pretty obvious that we are not blood related.

I choose to believe that curiosity gets the better of many an inquirer, and they don’t really take time to filter or think through what’s about to come out of their mouth. In moments like that, I can choose to be indignant and retort with a snarky comment (though frankly, I’m not quick on my feet with stuff like that), or I can see it as an opportunity to help educate people about adoption.

So with that being said, I want to touch on some phrases and terms that often get tossed out around adoptive families, and offer some alternatives that more positively label or depict the situation and adoption in general. Continue reading

We’re getting close!

We are within six weeks of birth mother’s due date.

People keep asking me if I’m ready, and I’m never quite sure how to answer.

Ready for a baby? Pretty much. We already have all the stuff. It will just take a quick trip to storage to grab the bassinet, infant car seat, and a few other items. It’s another boy, so we already have all the clothes. This baby is even arriving in the same season our son did, so no need to worry about having a newborn wardrobe inappropriate for the time of year.

I’ll need to sterilize some bottles and probably order a few ingredients for my homemade formula (yes, I make my own… plus a wonderful friend donated half a freezer full of breast milk to us!). It’s all pretty quick and easy stuff to get us set up with what we’ll need to provide for a newborn.

The thing that makes me hesitate when people ask me if I’m ready is the knowledge that there is no guarantee yet that we will actually be bringing this baby home. Though I’m pretty sure that’s not something on most people’s minds when they ask me that question.

Well, it’s on mine. Continue reading

Let’s talk about adoption money, part 2

So what did we do when we got hit with that $25,000 adoption bill that was $10,000 more than I had estimated we would need once we were matched, and that was also due immediately? (See part 1 if you haven’t already.)

First, I wanted to know why it was so much more than last time.

I started pouring through the outline of all the expenses and eventually figured out that they were pre-billing us for some of the expenses (like the ASP and private attorney advising the birth mother) that we paid directly to those parties during our first adoption and who we paid later in the process. So they were all legit costs we would eventually incur either way; we were just paying them up front this time.

I asked the finance person at the agency if they’d changed the way they do things, and she said each case is different and it just depends how the caseworker sets it up. Had I known that, I might have asked for it to be set up differently, but it was what it was.

So after I shed a few tears, lamented to some friends and family, and got a pep talk from Jeff, I got to work figuring out how to make this work (I handle all the finances in our family, which is why this task fell to me). Continue reading

Let’s talk about adoption money, part 1

Dave Ramsey would choke on his latest beans and rice recipe if he knew the amount of consumer debt we have.

(Didn’t know Ramsey had ventured into meal planning? Neither did I until recently. Hey, it’s an area where people can save money if they plan wisely, so why wouldn’t the King of Financial Frugality offer some help?)

Anyway, the reality of it is that adoption is expensive. Or at least, private adoption is.

Many people wonder why it costs so much when there are supposedly all these babies and children all over the world who need help, a home, a family.

If only it were that simple… Continue reading

 The adoption version of “We’re pregnant!!”

I didn’t expect to be writing this post so soon after this one.

We got a call with another potential birth mother match exactly two weeks after the first one.

There’s often much that has to be weighed in considering whether or not to accept the match. You may or may not get a ton of information in order to make the most informed decision. We did not get near as much detail on this birth mother as the last one, but that was mainly because she wasn’t as wordy as the last one was on her paperwork.

Because birth mothers pick the adoptive parent(s) first, once they’ve made their decision and let their caseworker know, they’re often excited and want to know the adoptive family’s answer as soon as possible. Typically, the agency wants an answer within 24 hours. Continue reading