by: Grant Kirsh
This adoption plan has been in the works since December of last year. Just this past weekend, it all fell apart. It was heartbreaking, to say the least. The prospective adoptive couple was at the hospital, held the baby and then mom changed her mind. It was a devastating situation for everyone, including the birth mother. She felt bad that the adoptive couple had to go through this situation. Mom got home from the hospital. The baby had to spend a few more days in the hospital. Yesterday afternoon mom, with the help of her own mother, came to the realization that she needed to give her daughter a better life. She realized that she needed to proceed with the adoption, like she originally planned.
Some back story might be helpful here to build some context…
Around 4pm, yesterday, my cell phone rang with grandma’s number. I was very surprised to see this number come through on my cell phone, because the last I heard from this number was a text message early Sunday morning that simply read:
“[Mom] Keeping Baby Don’t Come.”
This text brought a sobering reality for the adoptive parents, us at Kirsh & Kirsh, and everyone at the hospital (nurses, doctors, social workers) that were eagerly waiting for the adoption papers to be signed. The adoptive parents, at 6am that early Sunday morning, packed up their bags, said their goodbyes to everyone at the hospital, and got in their car for that long, sad, drive home. The adoption was over for them.
This is the harsh reality of adoption. This is the very situation that keeps many of you prospective adoptive parents up late at night, constantly wondering if that will happen to them (33% of the women we meet with change their mind, and decide to parent, at some point in their adoption plan. This number is high because it includes every single woman we meet with each year, including those that we only have one initial meeting with).
Fast-forward to my receiving a call from grandma. I answered the call, at 4pm, and everything for this one sweet, beautiful baby girl changed. Grandma said that [Mom] wanted to proceed with the adoption. In that one instant this little girl’s life dynamically shifted in a completely different direction, even though physically she lay sound asleep in her crib, in the nursery, at the hospital. Think about that for a minute… In life, we encounter people and event and we react in certain ways that have effects on the world around us. I think this is sometimes referred to as the “butterfly effect” for some or God’s plan for others. It is rare that such a shift is recognized first hand, that without a shadow of a doubt you know that someone’s life just changed dramatically. I can tell you that these situations have a profound effect on me every time they happen.
Sometimes they are amazing, awe-inspiring, other times they feel like my heart is being ripped from my chest and stomped on (Tangent – Like the time a birth mother signed a consent to adoption, the adoptive parents flew into town, took the baby back to their hotel, and then the birth mom realized she could get food for the baby at a local food pantry so she asked for the baby back. The adoptive parents did not have to do it, but they agreed to return the baby. I had to meet the adoptive parents at their hotel room, where the adoptive mom stood at the window crying and the adoptive father stood at the hotel room door, holding the door open. The baby laid quietly on a blanket, on the bed, next to her baby carrier. I had to pick her up, buckle her in and carry her and a basket full of baby clothes and gear down to the lobby. The birth parents arrived at the hotel 30 minutes late and then could not figure out how to find the front door of the hotel. I sat and waited for them. They finally entered the hotel lobby and approached me. They both reeked of stale cigarette smoke. I helped them carry everything to their car, which also reeked of smoke, and was absolutely filthy. The floor boards of the car were filled with trash. I helped buckle that little girl into her car seat and then they drove away. It was one of the worst moments of my life.). Every time that it happens though I am brought to tears, tears of joy or tears of sadness. This is always an extremely moving part of the adoption work that we do here at Kirsh & Kirsh, something I wish more people could be a witness to.
After grandma’s call Emley, Crystal and I then proceeded to have about a dozen calls back-to-back with about a dozen different people to get the ball rolling again. Crystal, who was getting ready to leave for the day, dropped her belongings and got back to work to create all of the adoption documents. Emley and I proceeded to make phone calls to various people that needed to be involved so that we could make this adoption happen right away. After finally getting everyone back on board with the adoption plan, and calling in favors for others to help this little girl have the brightest future possible, I got in my car and quickly drove to meet with mom. I arrived after 6:30pm and we met for a while to go through the paperwork. I then got back in my car to head back to the office. To protect the prospective adoptive parents emotionally, we purposely did not inform them that any of this was happening. We wanted to wait until mom signed before we brought them in on everything. While driving back I called the prospective adoptive parents to tell them what had transpired over the previous 4 hours. Before you pass judgment here please understand that there is more to this situation then I am comfortable sharing.
The adoptive parents decided to pass on the situation.
This means that we needed a new family right away! We have been working with one family for years now. They adopted a baby a little while ago and the baby, due to health complication, suddenly and unexpectedly, passed away. It was a horribly traumatic experience for everyone involved. The same birth mother got pregnant again, and asked if they would adopt her baby. They happily agreed. They made it through her entire pregnancy. She delivered the baby… and then decided to parent. They were crushed.
This morning, Emley and I got this couple on an unannounced conference call. We informed them that they were selected by a mother and gave them some of the background information and stipulations to the adoption situation, without disclosing to them that the baby had already been born and was in the hospital. After they happily, even eagerly accepted all of the stipulation of this situation, Emley, who had been working with them though the ups and downs of the previous situations, told them that their beautiful baby girl was waiting at the hospital to meet them. They both immediately starting crying tears of joy. I can assure you that these are the two happiest people on the planet right now.
They are currently driving to the hospital to meet their beautiful baby girl.