This is a story in multiple parts. If you are just joining me, start at the beginning.
After a wait of only 3 weeks–THREE WEEKS!!! We got THE CALL. Let me paint the picture for you:
August 2018. I am taking a rare and much needed break during the (amazing) annual Savannah VOICE Festival (hi to all my singers out there!). I’m with a friend at a nail salon. My phone rings. I don’t recognize the number, but my friend immediately says “This is it!”
I think, “No way, too soon.” I let it go to voicemail. It is the adoption agency. They ask me to call them when I get the message. I think, “They probably just need something for the profile video.” Regardless, I rush through slipping into sandals, and with my freshly painted toes, I forgo the dryer to slip outside and call back. It is so early in the process that I haven’t even saved the agency number into my phone yet.
As it turns out, this friend was right (typical) and we had been selected by a woman who would be giving birth in March, 2019. I fished a random business card out of my purse (the only paper I had on me!) and wrote down all the details they could give me, then eagerly called my husband, who did not answer his phone. Then I called him again. And again. And again. And again. No answer. Heart pounding, I walk back into the nail salon, to lock eyes with my eager friend. I nod. We both smile.
We go to dinner at a favorite spot to celebrate and soak it in. The Winskyes have been chosen. We don’t even have a finished video yet. The ink is barely dry on the printed profile books. This is the first person to be presented with our profile. It is all unreal. My husband finally calls me back and I dash out of the restaurant to tell him. We are elated and trying to be cautious with our hopes. There will be medical files and social histories to review. We’ll have to wait to receive that paperwork and then we’ll have a few days to look it over and make a decision. We are in different cities, during my busiest time at work, and this is a big decision to make.
We get the paperwork and ultimately agree to the match. We ask if the birth mother would be willing to meet us via video or in person. She is in the same city as us- so lucky! She will give birth at a local hospital! What luck! A week or so later I arrive home amidst this chaos and excitement and we debate whether to tell anyone yet. After all, we know so much can change about the situation.
After some time passed we decided to tell people that we’d been matched. We told close friends and family. We got excited, cautiously. And then….
….nothing. No updates, no replies to our inquiries. The match fell through, for reasons that are not mine to share. We were disappointed, but we persevered. We were told that we were now top of the list, because we’ve experienced a disruption. We waited. We got another call! Another match! Baby due in December, which was right around the corner. We were more cautious about sharing this time. We learned that it was a baby girl. I found a lactation consultant immediately because I planned to breastfeed (yup, that’s a thing you can do, even if you aren’t pregnant). Then…silence. Again.
We got nervous, because no news isn’t good news in this situation. Then we got the phone call- the mother decided to parent. In that moment I am happy for her, that her circumstances have changed, that she is able to care for her sweet baby girl. I am also crushed. We had so much more information this time and the due date was so soon. We built a crib. I was storing breast milk. We grieved the loss of this possible child in a way I didn’t anticipate.
The week before Thanksgiving, 2018, I had a meeting at the adoption agency, to talk about next steps. I took a friend for moral support, since my husband wasn’t available and the recent match falling through is still raw. I was heartened by that meeting. They mentioned that there was a baby due Thanksgiving week and that the parents intended to place with the agency, but would not do so until the baby was born. This is called a “Stork drop” – the baby is already born and then you get the call to come take placement of that child. I said I would keep my phone on over the holiday week.
Thanksgiving came and went with no phone call, and we went back to work the next week, business as usual. We assumed that either the parents decided against adoption or that the baby had gone to another family. After all, we weren’t promised anything. Life goes on.
Stay tuned for Part 5- THE GIRL
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