Monday, September 22, 2014

Phone Calls From Our Adoption Attorney

Last week, I shared an adoption update, complete with what I've accomplished and what I still want to do.

But that's only part of the story.

Over the past few months, we've received a number of phone calls from our adoption attorney relaying information about potential birth parents. Initially, this took us by surprise because with our first adoption, there wasn't much activity at the beginning of the process.

While it's been exciting to hear from Jan on a regular basis, it's also been somewhat stressful. 

Here's how the first two calls played out:

1 | I got a frantic phone call from our attorney while I was sitting in the hairdresser's chair getting my hair highlighted. (Awesome timing, right?) A baby girl had been born in Las Vegas and her birth mother had decided to place her for adoption. The birth mother, who is in her 30s, already had a child and knew she couldn't support a second one.

I was surprised. But excited. I kept thinking, Oh my gosh, the baby's here! On this earth. Right now. My heart started pounding. I had a huge smile on my face, but I felt anxious, too.   

Of course, I wanted to say "Yes, yes, heck yes!"

Yes, we want a healthy baby girl. Yes, we know how to get around Las Vegas (that's where Noah was born). Yes, it's fairly close to us--just the next state over--which means we'd have the option to drive, not fly. Yes, because it's highly unlikely the birth mother would change her mind.  (Every adoptive parents' worst fear.)

But we couldn't say yes. See, our profile books had been ordered, but they hadn't arrived yet. We tried desperately to get a PDF file of our book to the adoption agency in Las Vegas before they presented them to the birth mother, but we simply ran out of time.

As disappointing as it was, I knew it wasn't meant to be. She wasn't the one for our family. (I trust that God placed her with a wonderful adoptive family. And that she will have a beautiful life. Truly.)

And getting that call from Jan--as emotionally jarring as it was--spurred me to finally finish our adoption website and order pass along cards.

2 | Two weeks later, Jan contacted us again. This time, there was a birth mother in Indiana expecting twins.

Yes, TWINS! A boy and a girl.  And "oh by the way," Jan says, "She's 35 weeks pregnant and could go into labor at any time."

Whoa! Anytime?! I thought. 

Of course, I was excited. But then the panic set in. What if we were presented and she actually chose us? I couldn't wrap my head around how that was going to work. How was I going to care for three children under the age of three (two of them infants) ALL. BY. MYSELF? For 3+ days at a time?

I remember thinking, BREATHE, Jen, and my body did just that.

Then, I talked to Brian. I thought for sure he'd say, I don't think we're ready to care for two babies. But he was on board. I hadn't anticipated that he would be enthusiastic about it; he still surprises me after all these years!

So, despite my anxiety, I agreed to take a leap of faith. To say, Yes, we'd like to be presented. I trusted that if the birth mother selected us, we would find a way to make it work. I trusted that God wouldn't have presented this opportunity to us if he didn't think we could handle it.  I trusted that it would play out as it should.

Brian scrambled to get a PDF file of our book. (Now that we actually had our profile books, the agency wanted a PDF file, with certain specific requirements. Go figure!)

At the advice of our attorney, I typed up a personal letter to the birth mother, which included our connections to Indiana (primarily Brian's fondness for Notre Dame and our trips to see the football team play) and our level of openness (the type of contact we'd like to have with the birth parents).

Just keeping it real: Noah may have watched two episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates that I frantically typed away at the computer.

We emailed the PDF file and letter to our attorney, but then didn't hear anything for weeks.

I figured that the birth mother must have chosen a different family, but I was curious, so I called Jan.  She informed me that the birth mother decided to parent. As Jan said, "She took the babies and the [profile] books home with her."

A part of me was disappointed. But truthfully, another part of me was relieved.
Since then, we've been presented to two other birth mothers, but we haven't been chosen.

Some of you might be wondering, "Don't you get discouraged when you're not chosen?" And the honest answer is yes, a little.

But I know they might not have chosen us because we live too far away or because we already have a son. Or because we have dogs and they don't want their child growing up with dogs. Or maybe because Brian is a Notre Dame fan and they're a die-hard Michigan fan! Just kidding...

In all seriousness, it could be I'm not sweating it.

I remain very hopeful. I know that when the time is right--God's time--it will happen, and a little baby girl will join our family forever.  

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