Jack's Adoption Story, Part II

Thank you for joining me for the second part of Jack's story. If you're just joining in, you can read part I here.

A couple weeks after we told Shelly that we were absolutely interested in adopting Liam's blood sibling, BM's sonogram showed that she was carrying a boy. We were delighted to think that Liam would have a baby brother. I immediately knew that his name would be Jack.

We began preparing our hearts and our home for baby Jack's December due date. In September, we received a phone call from Shelly informing us that BM was having some premature labor. The doctor was able to stop her labor, but she was going to need a procedure to stitch her cervix in order to prolong the inevitable. (I'm sorry I don't know the name of the surgery. Those who have carried babies probably know what I'm talking about. But I've never carried a child, and there are some medical terms that I would rather not know.) In addition, BM would need to be on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. And, oh, by the way, she asked for more money, because she couldn't work from the couch, and she was trying to buy one-half acre for her mobile home.

In my original post, I told you that we have been through eight failed adoptions. These failed adoptions all occurred before we adopted Liam. Most of these babies fell through our hearts as a result of birth moms deciding to parent. Birth moms have the most difficult sacrifice to make when they place their very own flesh and blood up for adoption, so my heart goes out to anyone out there who has ever had to make that decision. But I also must admit that because we had so many birth moms change their minds, and because Liam's BM begged for more money 24 hours before his placement, that I could only be so sympathetic when she asked for more money as a result of being bed-ridden. Rick and I agreed that, although we were very concerned for BM's condition, we could not pay her any additional funds.

Although I knew that this surgical procedure was relatively minor and common, I could not rest. I now look back on that time and recognize that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me and trying to prepare me for a rough road ahead. BM did go through with the out-patient surgery without any complications, and for that we were grateful. But even then, I could not relax. We were, however, able to make it through the next couple of months without any mishaps.

In early December, Shelly called to let us know that the doctor was going to induce labor on December 20th. We were thrilled, because we knew that we would hold Jack for the first time on Christmas morning, as a result of Louisiana's five-day relinquishment period. As we were living in Colorado at the time, we made plans to head to Texas to visit family for the five-day waiting period. On December 20th, we tried to stay very busy with our extended family, and we even went house hunting, since we knew that we would be moving back to Texas shortly.

By lunch, we hadn't received a single phone call from Shelly. We had been told that BM was to arrive at the doctor's office early that morning, and since this was her fourth delivery, we fully expected this to go quickly. I was getting very nervous, and I made Rick call for an update. Shelly reported that BM called to say that the doctor's office was unexpectedly closed. I immediately knew that it was happening again. Call it my mother's intuition or whatever you like, but I knew that this was yet another adoption gone wrong. What clinic schedules an inducement and then closes its doors without any explanation? Shelly made many attempts to reach BM by phone that afternoon, yet BM couldn't be found. Shelly was able to contact the doctor's office, and they reported that BM simply didn't show up. My "gut" told me it was over, but my heart held out hope.

We remained in Texas for the next few days. Each day, I would phone all of the hospitals in BM's area to see if she had arrived and/or given birth. With each of those calls, I pretended to be a concerned friend, and with each call, my heart dropped a little further to hear that she was still "missing". After a day or two of that, I began to not only fear that Jack was no longer mine, but I also worried that perhaps BM was roaming the streets. Maybe her family was pressuring her to keep the baby, and she was confused, and she went on a walk and got lost, and.... In my heart of hearts, however, I knew that she would eventually give birth and end up in a hospital somewhere, so I continued my twice-daily phoning ritual and prayer vigil.

By December 24, I had had enough. I remember talking on the phone with my dad and not being able to hold myself together any longer. I stayed strong for four days, because I didn't want Rick to say it was over. Because once he said that, we would have to return to our home where there was an empty nursery. But I just couldn't hold it together any longer when my dad began to tell me how sorry he was. My parents had been through every single failed adoption with us, and they felt the pain right along with us. I remember sobbing into the phone, "I don't know why God thinks I can go through this again. I think eight times is enough! I can't do this again!" And at that, I dropped the phone and fell into a heap. I don't even remember ending the conversation or hanging up the phone. The next thing I remember is Rick picking me up and holding me. We cried together for what was probably the umpteen-millionth time. And then he said it. "We need to go home."

1 comment:

Kate M said...

thanks for commenting on my blog. I am so happy to have found your site, it looks wonderful and your son's are so very very cute. I can't wait to read about your journey.