Friday, March 2, 2012

Three Years Ago

Three years ago this weekend our first adoption journey unraveled completely. I'll never, ever forget that day; where I was when we got the call that the birthmother had changed her mind. My phone buzzed. I remember seeing the agency's number, looking up at my husband and thinking Oh No. We had a feeling she might change her mind. There were signs. So it wasn't a total shocker. But we had waited 12 months before we even got one match, and we were beginning to worry that we'd never get matched. That we would be the rare couple who waited on the list for years and never got picked.
Photo via Etsy

In hindsight, it's so obvious that the situation wasn't quite right. But at the time I didn't know what "right" felt like. I thought that all adoptions felt a little awkward. Now I know - when the "right" one happens, you know it. 

We had talked to this birthmother several times in the weeks prior to the unraveling. We knew she was having a baby girl. We had a name picked out (Baby "A"). We had pink onesies, and pink blankets and tiny dresses and shoes from Babys-R-Us in the nursery. We had reservations for where we would stay when we traveled to meet her and the birthmother said she wanted me with her for the birth. I was really excited for this. She wanted me to be the first to hold Baby A. 

When it all unraveled on that day three years ago and I hung up the phone and said "It's over" to my husband, I think I was so numb that I barely felt anything. My heart was already in pieces from four years of heartache, it couldn't break any further. I remember staring straight ahead, directing my husband to take me right to the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine so I could try to forget everything. When we got home I went straight up to the nursery and took out one of the pink onesies. I stared at it, willing it to come to life. And then I put it and the other baby girl things back in the Babys-R-Us bag and into the closet, to be returned later. The nursery was green again, gender neutral and bland. Pretty much reflecting how I felt. 

It took me almost two weeks to gather the emotional stability to return all the pink baby stuff to Babys-R-Us. I returned them on March 16th. On March 17th, I got to go back and buy them again, for Bean. And they did come to life. And the nursery is pink and happy and full of joy. And my heart mended back into one piece, mostly. 

My story has a happy ending. I'm not sure about Baby A's story. She's only two weeks older than Bean so her birthday is this weekend. I can't help but wonder - what's she like as a 3 year old? Does she get to have a birthday party?  Is her life as difficult as I imagine it might be given the choice her birthmother made for her? I can only hope and pray it is not, and that she is safe and warm and loved.

And I'll always think of her every year on this weekend.

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