Monday, September 24, 2012

Three years ago

This Saturday marked a three year anniversary for me.  I put the day on my calendar right after it happened, because I knew it would be a life altering day for our family.  How right I was.

D sleeping off whatever ailed him in 2009
Three years ago my youngest son was in the hospital.  At the time the doctor thought he had meningitis.  He had a high fever, extreme headache and slept for almost 3 days.  Because he was only 8 years old, the doctor had him admitted to the hospital so they could monitor him and try to determine the source of his illness.  They never did determine what caused him to be so sick, but in true D fashion, he pulled out of it just fine.  But those few days were stressful for all of us.  Add to it, I was pregnant, my family did not know, and I was wrestling with an adoption decision.

The week preceding the illness, BF and I had met with two potential adoptive couples that we were considering for our daughter (although at the time, we didn't know she was a little girl).

One couple owned a ranch in a western Kansas town that BF had grown up in.  They were a neat Christian couple who we enjoyed getting to know.  They brought us a huge gift basket filled with pregnancy craving items that they had picked up.  They were so excited to be considered as parents for our child.  You could tell that they were giddy with the thought as we talked with them.  At the time, I felt terribly guilty about accepting the gift basket, but I could tell that they just wanted to show how appreciative they were that we had taken the time to choose them for an in-person meeting.  (For HAPs who are wondering; for me, this gift was over the top.  I understood their heart, but even eating anything out of the basket made me feel guilty.  I gave everything in it to my kids, except for the Tums.  I did use the Tums.)

We met with the second couple the next day.  We met them at a Starbucks and it was a very casual meeting.  They did not bring gifts.  They were not polished about adoption.  They were not clients of an agency.  They were a friend of a friend, and they were having a hard time conceiving children and they desperately wanted to be parents.  They did not own a ranch.  They were of modest means and younger than us.  They lived 10 minutes from us and the wife was even in the same field of employment as me.  They too were Christians and they seemed very easy to talk to.  The kind of people we would hang out with.

BF and I drove home from that meeting and knew this was going to be tough.  Both families seemed so kind.  It was obvious how desperately they wanted to be parents.  And with my tender heart, I could just feel their pain and desperation.

BF and I wrestled with our decision.  We had agreed not to talk about it together until a week later giving me time to pray about it, and him time to visit with his parents about their thoughts.

The second prospective adoptive couple dropped off a letter to us a couple days after the meeting thanking us for meeting with them and assuring us that they would be the kind of parents who we wanted for our child.  The letter assured us that they would "raise our child in a Christian home where love, compassion and respect for others is paramount."

We told both couples that we didn't want to leave them wondering too long, and we planned to make our decision by Monday of the following week.

When BF and I came together a week later with our lists of pros and cons of each couple, it was obvious that we were both swayed to the same couple as our decision.  We wanted our child to grow up near us.  We wanted her to have the same lifestyle that our boys were living.  We wanted them to have common childhood experiences that they could draw upon when they had a relationship.  We wanted her to visit the same zoo our boys go to.  We wanted to know which schools she was attending.  By choosing the second couple, we felt confident that all of those things would happen.  So the decision was made.

I told BF that I would call the couple who we chose to place with and he had the tough call to the attorney for the other couple.  (It broke my heart for them, so I let BF do the tough stuff.)  It's only fair since I was the one with all day pregnancy sickness, right?

Then D got sick that night.  The fever went through the roof and I even had my ex-husband come to my house in the middle of the night to help me determine if we needed an immediate trip to the ER.  We ended up nursing D along until morning when the doctor saw us and told us that day that he wanted him admitted.

My ex-husband had left to go to training out of town which left me alone to handle all of the details needed to transport a child to the hospital, get him admitted and figure out what the plan of attack was.

I was tired, stressed out, and had just a ton on my plate.

But all the while I knew I needed to contact the couple who was anxiously awaiting our call.

So when D had been in the hospital for about 24 hours, I excused myself from his room and went to the waiting room to call who was soon to become Brit's parents.

When I reached the mom, I told her that I was sorry that I didn't call the day before like I had said I would.  I explained what was going on with D and she was very understanding.  I could tell by her voice that she was very apprehensive about what I was about to tell her.

I then told her that BF and I had chosen them to parent our child.  She nearly came through the phone.  She said that they were certain they weren't the family when we had not called the day before.  So my call of affirmation caught her by surprise.  She kept saying "I have to call my husband at work!".  Her elation was evident.  It made me happy to know that I had brought them so much joy.

So that is how it started.  The beginning of the relationship that would include Brit's mom being present at every doctor's appointment with me.  Our sonograms together.  The beginning of the life we were creating together for the sake of our daughter.

Three years ago.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful beginning.

Anonymous said...

That is a very beautiful beginning. I just wish it had continued. Hugs to you. I know it has been a hard 3 years.

Anonymous said...

She created a great facade. Then decided that she couldn't return the favor. What a perfect way to show "love, compassion and respect for others being paramount." WOW.
With love, compassion and respect like this......who needs enemies?
Brit will be like you, as a complete stranger sitting next to me on a plane this past week said to me, 'You can't change your roots.'
I pray for both of us, that she is right. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Yes, they are all "such good Christians", aren't they? The couple I chose supposedly were. Very interesting how very "UN" Christian like they have treated me and my whole family upon reunion with my child. How very "UN" Christian of them to badmouth me and my son's father to him, to paint us in an unfavorable light while painting themselves as "such good Christian" saints.

They can all call themselves good Christians until they turn blue in the face. I, for one, ain't buying it anymore. Living this nightmare has taught me a few lessons. Trusting people who call themselves "good Christians" and getting burned (I mean torched) is among those lessons...

Lavender Luz said...

So so SO many emotions I feel when reading this post. I can only imagine what you felt as you wrote the post and relived this time 3 years ago.

MommySquared said...

it always saddens me to hear how it began and where you are today...where is the familial relationship they began with you? how can they just turn it off? I know I've said this before, keep journaling and keeping things for your Brit she will want them when she comes to you on her own ... with much love, prayers for continued strength and {{{hugs}}} to you my friend!

Anonymous said...

As a amom in a very open adoption, let me say for all of us who DO honor our commitment to openness 'I'M SORRY' I wish had words to fix thing, to change your story, to make it right, but I don't, so from my heart, I'm so sorry and sending (((hugs)))

Mina said...

I’m so sorry you are dealing with such grief…I hope some day it gets a little easier, although I know it will never go away completely. I can't even imagine the pain you feel each day. I pray that Britt’s adoptive parents give you the kind of open relationship with them that you had intended on in the first place.

Heather said...

I have always wondered how it all began; thank you for sharing. It is a beautiful beginning but somehow I feel more sad than ever. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

And now.....three years later - you don't matter. They got what they wanted, and that wasn't anything to do with you - other than your infant that is. They can't take that from you or Brit.
It truly is 'sickening'.