Over breakfast one day last month, the message light flashed on my BlackBerry. A friend of a friend was trying to find adoptive parents for a 15-month old boy. He had been relinquished to foster care, and the original placement had fallen through. There was no backup. Were we interested?
My heart raced.
My mind sifted through a million thoughts at once.
Ron and I had let our paperwork lapse when our previous adoption plan busted to pieces. We hadn’t though about adoption in almost a year. What should we do?
“Scramble!” my friend said.
So we did. We were on vacation that week. On the golf course that afternoon, I texted like crazy, lining up calls and gathering information…off to swing a crappy shot…than back to the golf cart and my BlackBerry. For three days and three nights Ron and I talked and talked and agonized. Were we ready for this? It was so unexpected. Also, the fees were high, and we weren’t getting clear answers as to why.
We saw photos of the boy. He was cute. Super cute. I kept his photo up on my computer screen for days as I wondered what his personality was like. Would Ron and I be his parents?
Part of me wanted to move forward on pure emotion, paying no attention to logic, practicality, or finances. But a phone conversation with an adoption expert caused us to slow down.
“You should buy a plane ticket and go meet the boy,” she said. “Make sure he’s a good match.” She told us to review all medical records–of the child and the birth parents–and to be sure we understood all costs before making a commitment.
All that takes time.
Too much time.
We lost our chance. The little boy was placed elsewhere.
For weeks afterwards, I was in a slump. “I feel like I had a miscarriage,” I told Ron. It was true. I felt like a part of me had been scooped out and had gone missing. It was similar to the way I felt when I miscarried a few years ago. I also felt like we were being punished for proceeding with diligence and caution.
I e-mailed the lawyer on the case for an update. She said the boy was adjusting well to his new home and new family. I hope that he’s in a good place. As for me? The lawyer wanted to know if Ron and I were still interesting in pursuing adoption. I hesitated. Did we want to ride this emotional roller coaster? Not really. But then we asked a more important question: were we willing to? Were we strong enough to open the doors to adoption and explore this path once again?
We’ll see where the road take us.
About Jenny Rough
Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at www.jennyrough.com