Diary of a Failed Adoption - Part 1

Exactly nine months ago, we lost a baby. No, I didn’t carry her in my belly, but we planned for her, we dreamt about her, we named her, we told Dylan, family and friends about her and shaped our lives around the certainty of her joining our family. The pain of losing her was just as strong as if she had been ripped from inside me. It took me a long time to be able to mourn and process this loss, but I finally feel like I can open up and talk about it.

 Here’s what happened:

After about a year of waiting for a domestic adoption match, we finally got the call we were hoping for: we had been selected by a birth mother to parent her baby! Immediately upon hearing the cautious tone of our case manager, though, I became concerned. He just didn’t sound very excited at all. There was a reason for this – the baby had a serious medical condition called Duodenal Atresia, which meant that the lower intestine was detached from part of the stomach. The baby would certainly require surgery after birth, and the total severity of the condition would not be known until after the surgery was performed.

As you can imagine, this was certainly NOT the news we wanted to hear. However, Bill and I decided to be open-minded, ask for the birth mom's medical reports, consult some doctors, and do some research on our own about Duodenal Atresia. What we found out was very encouraging: if there were no other genetic abnormalities or problems with the baby (and the ultrasound and amniocentesis had not found any additional issues), the baby had a 95% chance of having no further complications after surgery and growing up a completely healthy child.

After much soul-searching and consulting about five different doctors, we decided to take a leap of faith and agree to the match. “A,” our birth mother, was only about 36 weeks along at the time we were match, so there was still a lot of time between our match and the baby’s birth.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how different this was from Dylan’s adoption. Back then, we had only 10 days from the moment we got “The Call” to the moment we were boarding an airplane forKazakhstan. Those 10 days were the most frantic of our lives: scheduling flights, applying for visas, paying 3 months worth of bills and getting everything organized for a very extended time away from home. 

This time around, there was nothing to do but wait and hope that “A” wouldn’t go into preterm labor, since that would increase the possible complications in the baby’s condition. Of course, when you have that much time on your hands to wait for something you’ve dreamed of for so long, you begin to obsess, and that’s exactly what I did.

I started perusing the baby name books and making lists of possible names. I bought cute little pink baby girl onesies. I started perusing the Babies R’Us website looking for new products and baby girl nursery items. I researched Duodenal Atresia online on a daily basis. I started clearing out the clutter in Dylan’s old nursery. In short, despite the fact that I knew a million things could go wrong and there was a real possibility this match might not happen, I started getting excited…

(Continues next week)


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  • Looking fwd to next week... I can only say and think things happen for a reason.. What doesnt kill you makes you stronger. And it seems to be an experience that helped you guys grow in many ways.. And now look at the bundle of joy that just joined to be a part of your beautiful family! ; ) Nice post, and admire u for being able to open up to such delicate subject! ; )

  • In reply to camoll:

    Thanks, my friend! You are right of course. Things do have a way of working out in the end :-). Glad you liked the post!

  • Haré mis comentarios al final de la odissea.

  • In reply to Valmir:

    Uh-Oh... :-)

  • Khadine,

    Reading your post really took me back in time. We had a handful of failed domestic adoptions, and I remember one in particular that was agonizing. We had even picked the name "Katie" for that baby (and when we finally ended up adopting successfully later on, the baby was a girl, and we decided to still use the name Katie, because we felt that we were meant to be parents to a daughter named Katie). Now my Katie is almost eight, and I can still feel the pain of the adoption process. Hang in there, and you will get your baby. And contact me if you ever want to talk- Carrie from Portrait of an Adoption

  • In reply to Carrie Goldman:

    Thank you for commenting and sharing your story, Carrie. I felt it was important to share this experience so people will realize adoption is not necessarily the "easy" way to have a child. It is a long, bumpy, sometimes heartbreaking road, but definitely worth it in the end!

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