Adoption – Tears of both Joy and Sorrow
Today, we started the celebration of my youngest son’s 10th birthday! Our children’s birthdays are extra special around our house. There were way too many prayers, tears, and smiles bringing all three of our children into our family. Why is that?! Because adoption is a joyful yet sorrowful, an exciting yet scary time for everyone involved!
I have permission from my son’s birthmom to share a little bit about our story. If you do not know us and our story, you may be wondering if maybe his birthmom is family for us to still have contact with her. Yeah, she is family…. but not blood family. We have just kept an open relationship with her for the sake of our son and because of the deepest admiration we have for her. She gave US what no one else could. Our Ryan!
Here is OUR Adoption Story
With infertility rearing it’s ugly head in my husband and I’s life, we found ourselves trapped not knowing where to turn. We knew we wanted children but we aren’t rich. So adoption just seemed so far out of reach. Having a baby naturally was not an option and in case you didn’t know… babies don’t really fall from the sky like in the movie Dumbo!
We had adopted our oldest son (who is now 14) but found ourselves wondering how in the world we could ever afford another adoption.
We had someone come to us and tell us they wanted to pay for us to adopt again. My husband and I HATE taking money from anyone so we just told them we would see what we could come up with first. They gave us $500 of the 16 thousand dollars it would take to adopt and then we used every penny we had to make the initial payments to the adoption agency.
After proceeding with all the paperwork and the lovely homestudy, we were all set for birthmothers to start contacting us. We had chosen open adoption meaning that we would have open contact with the birthmom from the beginning and for the future. For a long time we had no calls. Then, it seemed as if we were getting very promising calls back to back. Each one would turn into NOTHING. One night around Christmas, we had a lady call us from Virginia. She was due in 2 week with a little girl. We talked for HOURS and she even set up a time for us to meet at a mall in Virginia on New Years Day. We drove several hours just to be heartbroken with a no show and never ever heard from her again.
I remember crying out of disappointment, anger, and frustration most of the way home. For the week between Christmas and New Years, I had spent my time making a pink baby blanket expecting we would be bringing home a baby girl within a week or two!
The very next day, we had another lady call us. She called several times and then we never heard from her again. I grew more and more skeptical with each phone call.
Then, towards the end of January, I was sitting in the lawyer’s office parking lot waiting to sign papers to sell a house that we had bought to flip. The money we made was just enough to pay off the rest of the adoption but we still had no baby. It had been over a year of waiting and we were growing hopeless. While we were sitting there, we read an email from a birthmom who was just wanting to let us know she MIGHT be considering us.
Email after email and we finally had a phone conversation. She was very upfront about her feelings, her situation, and her uncertainty in a choice of parents for her son that she was over 7 months pregnant with.
Our hearts began connecting. She had found herself in a bad situation but it didn’t stop her from loving the baby growing inside her. As a senior in high school, she was forced to grow up much quicker and make very adult decisions. We were floored with how well she handled everything.
Soon, we met. From there, everything just fell into place. I went to spend time with her knowing she would deliver at any time (and I did NOT want to miss the birth). She asked me if I wanted to go to one of her doctor appointments. We just knew that it would be a typical exam without an ultrasound. BUT WE WERE WRONG! I got to experience watching that little baby boy on an ultrasound! It was so exciting!
From that appointment, the doctor decided to send her immediately to the hospital to be induced because the fluid was too low around the baby. Due to some emergency situations at the hospital, it took forever before they actually started the inducing. A few days later, Ryan can into this world wide-eyed as a happy, peaceful, content baby.
Roller Coaster of Emotions
We got a hotel room to stay nearby but the night before she was to sign the paperwork, we wound up spending the night in her hospital room. She was alone, scared, sad, and just hurting so badly emotionally. She loved him so very much that it hurt but she knew she was making the right decision. It was the second time I witnessed a birthmother in extreme agony because they knew what needed to be done even though it nearly killed them to have to give up their baby.
Our hearts had already connected with Ryan’s birthmother. I sat with her head in my lap crying until she fell asleep that night. I wanted to take every ounce of pain away from her. I wanted her to keep her baby but yet I wanted him. It was the most emotional experience I think I have ever dealt with.
Adoption is not for the faint at heart. Many people do not see the deep emotional rollercoaster of a ride it will take you on…. both the birthparents and adoptive parents. My heart ached. As she cried, I cried.
The next morning, we sat in the hall as she signed the paperwork. She signed with courage. Too often, birthmothers are looked at as “taking the easy way out”. If you EVER sat near a room let alone IN a room with a birthmother making that decision, you would realize it is FAR from the easy way out. It is the MOST DIFFICULT “way out” that anyone could take.
My boy’s birthmothers are by far the most heroic women I know. The pain they face, the sleepless nights they endured, the tear-stained pillows they laid their heads on were only an insight to a portion of the love they had for our boys. They knew the decision they made was far from easy but would benefit our boys the most long term.
Celebrating my son’s birth story bring back a lot of emotions. I am so beyond appreciative of both of my boys birthmoms and the choice they made for the boys. I admire their strength. My boys know we look at them as heroes. They ARE family.
Next time you hear the word adoption, be extra sensitive to and less critical of those involved. You have NO clue the rollercoaster of emotions they have or will endure.