I’m thrilled to deliver the first of what I hope will be many adoption stories here at the blog. On every Friday in the foreseeable future, guests will post here about their experience with foster care and adoption. It’s a lifestyle I have watched my sister, Sharalee Halvorsen, and her husband Ben dive into feet first. They’ve taken in two children in eight months (in addition to the four children they already had). I hope you’ll enjoy their story and Shar’s perspective on adoption.
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“We have a mama due in 3 weeks with a baby girl. And we were wondering if you could be the family she is looking for?”
An option that for some reason had never been in our radar. A long year pursuing an international adoption only to have to pull our case when things got a bit messy. Foster training nearly complete but feeling like we still had such a long way to go. We were confused and unsure as to where our baby was,
a baby that already felt like ours, yet never had a face.
24 hours after receiving the first email from a friend we were sitting across from the mother, listening to her story.
Disbelief that someone so young could have been through so much.
She wanted her baby girl’s life to be different.
She wanted it to be filled with love,
24 hours later she was signing the forms that confirmed we were the ones.
3 weeks later we got the call.
Everything felt surreal. Walking into the hospital room is a moment I will never forget.
Mama was yelling. She felt alone and was scared.
Curtains and blankets hung to ensure she made no connection with the little one she had just brought into the world.
All I could hear was sweet baby girl’s cry. She felt alone and scared.
Curtains and blankets hung to ensure no connection with the only mama she had ever known.
And I stood there wondering my part in all of this.
I wanted to run.
She didn’t want me. She didn’t cry for me.
She wanted to be placed on her mama’s chest. She wanted to be close to the only voice that was familiar.
But in that moment I realized that things don’t always work out they way they are intended.
The situation wasn’t ideal.
An hour and a half.
That’s how long we had to prepare for baby boy.
9 days old. So fragile and small.
The scene in our kitchen was surreal, and it is a moment in my life that I will never forget.
We were strangers yet instantly bound by the common paths we were walking and the treasure they were entrusting us with.
The couple had dreamed of their first baby,
longing to love him and give him all they had,
and now they were here handing him to us because the circumstances had changed.
chances were they weren’t going to be able to keep him
so many things out of their control
birth parents playing tug of war
with the baby right in the middle.
They held him
said their goodbyes,
and walked out.
And we stood in our kitchen, staring at this little baby boy
We knew nothing about him
how often he ate
Was he scared?
What were the pieces of his past, his story?
We didn’t know him.
And for a second
I wanted to run.
Deep down I knew that it was impossible not to fall for this baby that had landed in our kitchen.
I knew deep down that it was going to be torture for our four other kids if we had to say goodbye.
And now, four months later,
I know the weight of the loss we would feel if he were to go.
It would be more than I could possibly handle.
It doesn’t make sense. This isn’t the way it was supposed to work out.
When things are in limbo with my babies
are ever present.
We walk each day with a weight on our shoulders
some days the weight is lighter
but it’s still always there.
Last week as we talked through the latest developments with baby boy,
I could feel my chest tightening and anxiety setting in
trying to figure out how this was going to work out.
I looked at my husband,
hardly able to get the words out
and I said “Why would we ever do this again?
It’s just too hard.”
“Someone has to.”
That’s all he said.
It would be so much easier to run.
When things don’t make sense,
when things aren’t working out the way they are supposed to,
when things are less than ideal.
Sometimes I wish we weren’t that “someone”.
Sometimes I wish I could just walk away
and not feel anything
but to be honest
with each baby that has been brought to our home
my feeling couldn’t be more opposite.
Looking at our baby girl and baby boy
there is only one thought that consumes my mind
We can love on one more.
I wonder how many times in the past I have made a decision based on the thought that if it’s
hard or painful
if it doesn’t make sense
then surely it isn’t right.
I wonder how much I’ve missed out on because of that thought.
Thank God I didn’t miss out on my babies…
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If you’d like to submit a post for consideration, please email your 500-word story to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking for stories regarding a poignant moment in your foster or adoption process to post on a Friday.