Failed Match. Were we ever going to be parents? By Kristine Collins

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After our failed match, I quickly started to research foster to adopt. This was an avenue we originally decided not to pursue as reunification was the primary goal, I was actually told by an employee that “adoption was a failure of the foster care program” so we didn’t have much hope. We also wanted to adopt an infant, which is possible, but unlikely through the system. I honestly didn’t think I was strong enough to care for a child, bond with the child, then return the child to their parents. All the reasons we had initially for not going this route, were still, heavy on my mind. We felt our experience of our failed match may be a message sent to us to look for our child through another route. We decided to attend the information sessions for foster to adopt to gather more information.  This route requires many meetings and classes to prepare parents of possible scenarios they would face and eventually vet out the ones that are not cut out to be foster parents or adopt through the foster system. To be honest, I was terrified!

My husband printed (before GPS on our phone or car) off the directions to the initial meeting.  We were hopeful, yet apprehensive. It was about 40 minutes away so we left early hoping to have a little time to get the lay of the land before the information began to flow. We seemed to be driving forever, driving back and forth looking for the damn building. The start time was coming fast, then past. I was devastated. We never found it. Was this another sign? What the hell was the universe telling us to do? If our child wasn’t going to find us through private adoption and we aren’t meant to adopt through Foster Care, how the hell is our child going to find us? I was at a complete loss. What if this was all so we would realize we aren’t meant to be parents? I thought I felt lower than low then I felt like I hit bottom. Maybe we needed to stop and rethink all of this.

The very next day was Father’s Day. The second Father’s Day my husband is not a father, Ugh. The attorney that matched us previously called (on a Sunday, this is VERY odd) to tell us about a baby girl that was going to be delivered the very next day. He told us about the potential birthparents and the health of the mother and baby. We were elated but cautious and said we would love to be considered. We didn’t realize it until that minute we were a bit “gun shy”. Could we handle another rejection or failed match? He told us to stay put as he would call us right back. This was really weird as every other time he called us with a potential adoption situation it was always a few days or a week before he would call us with any news, whether it was good or bad. Within minutes he called to tell us it was between us and one other family. He would call us the following day.

I went to work, as always, not knowing what was to come of the baby girl I assume was on her way or born. I received a call from our attorney saying she was not induced as planned but bumped to Tuesday. I was a bit deflated as I took this as a sign the baby girl I was so sure was ours, may not be. So, she was induced Tuesday morning but didn’t give birth until late that night. I received a call Wednesday morning saying we were the parents of a healthy baby girl and could bring her home the next day!

OMG! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!! There were many expletives in there but I’ll keep it clean here J the pure elation I felt! I called my husband immediately and shared the news. Every tear, every heartbreak, the hurt, anger, confusion…all of it, disappeared. We were going to be parents. The feeling that this was our path all along was apparent to both of us. We had to go through what felt like Hell to feel this level of euphoria. Or, we were supposed to sit back, relax and let God’s plan play out. I have no idea; all I know is that I am a mom!!!!

As she was delivered via C-section and the mother received pain meds our attorney advised we needed to hold off on her signing the parental termination documents until medications were completely out of her system. Because of this, we became the guardians of the baby, not the parents. We took her home, introduced her to family, stopped sleeping and having the ability to put a coherent sentence together, all while holding our breath.

I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until this baby’s mother signed the documents. We were told both she and the father were adamant about placing but we never truly believed. A week after she gave birth she was completely drug free and ready to sign. Her attorney went to her home and had both parents sign the documents to terminate their parental rights. I then exhaled.  At least, I thought I did. Three months to the day after our daughter was born we finalized the adoption in front of a judge surrounded by our family. It was a powerful experience that I am forever grateful for. Once the judge stated we were the parents of our baby girl, I truly and completely exhaled. I exhaled all of the heartbreak, what-ifs, all of the guilt I was feeling from the heartache I assumed her birthparents were feeling, all of the unknowns I gathered and held onto along the way. It was all gone and now I hold my breath worrying if she ate enough, pooped enough, is growing enough, if we were doing the parenting thing right! Oh the joys of parenthood.

After our failed match, I quickly started to research foster to adopt. This was an avenue we originally decided not to pursue as reunification was the primary goal, I was actually told by an employee that “adoption was a failure of the foster care program” so we didn’t have much hope. We also wanted to adopt an infant, which is possible, but unlikely through the system. I honestly didn’t think I was strong enough to care for a child, bond with the child, then return the child to their parents. All the reasons we had initially for not going this route, were still, heavy on my mind. We felt our experience of our failed match may be a message sent to us to look for our child through another route. We decided to attend the information sessions for foster to adopt to gather more information.  This route requires many meetings and classes to prepare parents of possible scenarios they would face and eventually vet out the ones that are not cut out to be foster parents or adopt through the foster system. To be honest, I was terrified!

My husband printed (before GPS on our phone or car) off the directions to the initial meeting.  We were hopeful, yet apprehensive. It was about 40 minutes away so we left early hoping to have a little time to get the lay of the land before the information began to flow. We seemed to be driving forever, driving back and forth looking for the damn building. The start time was coming fast, then past. I was devastated. We never found it. Was this another sign? What the hell was the universe telling us to do? If our child wasn’t going to find us through private adoption and we aren’t meant to adopt through Foster Care, how the hell is our child going to find us? I was at a complete loss. What if this was all so we would realize we aren’t meant to be parents? I thought I felt lower than low then I felt like I hit bottom. Maybe we needed to stop and rethink all of this.

The very next day was Father’s Day. The second Father’s Day my husband is not a father, Ugh. The attorney that matched us previously called (on a Sunday, this is VERY odd) to tell us about a baby girl that was going to be delivered the very next day. He told us about the potential birthparents and the health of the mother and baby. We were elated but cautious and said we would love to be considered. We didn’t realize it until that minute we were a bit “gun shy”. Could we handle another rejection or failed match? He told us to stay put as he would call us right back. This was really weird as every other time he called us with a potential adoption situation it was always a few days or a week before he would call us with any news, whether it was good or bad. Within minutes he called to tell us it was between us and one other family. He would call us the following day.

I went to work, as always, not knowing what was to come of the baby girl I assume was on her way or born. I received a call from our attorney saying she was not induced as planned but bumped to Tuesday. I was a bit deflated as I took this as a sign the baby girl I was so sure was ours, may not be. So, she was induced Tuesday morning but didn’t give birth until late that night. I received a call Wednesday morning saying we were the parents of a healthy baby girl and could bring her home the next day!

OMG! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!! There were many expletives in there but I’ll keep it clean here J the pure elation I felt! I called my husband immediately and shared the news. Every tear, every heartbreak, the hurt, anger, confusion…all of it, disappeared. We were going to be parents. The feeling that this was our path all along was apparent to both of us. We had to go through what felt like Hell to feel this level of euphoria. Or, we were supposed to sit back, relax and let God’s plan play out. I have no idea; all I know is that I am a mom!!!!

As she was delivered via C-section and the mother received pain meds our attorney advised we needed to hold off on her signing the parental termination documents until medications were completely out of her system. Because of this, we became the guardians of the baby, not the parents. We took her home, introduced her to family, stopped sleeping and having the ability to put a coherent sentence together, all while holding our breath.

I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until this baby’s mother signed the documents. We were told both she and the father were adamant about placing but we never truly believed. A week after she gave birth she was completely drug free and ready to sign. Her attorney went to her home and had both parents sign the documents to terminate their parental rights. I then exhaled.  At least, I thought I did. Three months to the day after our daughter was born we finalized the adoption in front of a judge surrounded by our family. It was a powerful experience that I am forever grateful for. Once the judge stated we were the parents of our baby girl, I truly and completely exhaled. I exhaled all of the heartbreak, what-ifs, all of the guilt I was feeling from the heartache I assumed her birthparents were feeling, all of the unknowns I gathered and held onto along the way. It was all gone and now I hold my breath worrying if she ate enough, pooped enough, is growing enough, if we were doing the parenting thing right! Oh the joys of parenthood.

 

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