I forgot the most important preference! The relationship between us and the birth mother! In all my research, I’d read that an open adoption was best for the adoptee. They could get any answer they wanted, and there was no dealing with the ‘not knowing.’ I had a young friend whose birth mom refused to acknowledge her. Who refused to even give her a photo of herself . It destroyed her. She told me she wished she’d never been born.
Except AmateurLiars did not allow open adoption. They did only closed-where we’d know nothing about the birth family and history, never communicate, and they too would know nothing about us, or they allowed semi open. If I wanted to communicate with birth mom, I’d send a letter and photos to Baddie, and she’d send that letter to Better. Better would then give it to birth mom. If birth mom wanted to send a letter, she’d do the same but in the opposite direction, write via Better, who’d then give it to Baddie to give to us.
Could we trust that our updates would reach her just the way we’d sent them? Also, we wanted to talk about God. Would they let us? We wanted her to know that no matter what she’d done before, she was still His child. She’s said she wanted her child raised by Christians, obviously she was amenable to Him… Sadly, semi-open was the only real choice we had, just like the other agency we had considered.
Back to the process! We’d been told we’d have a final meeting, discuss and sign consent for updates depending on what kind of situation the birth mom wanted -semi open, or closed. Then we’d go home and await that call. I couldn’t wait. I would take my phone everywhere with me so I’d not miss it. I imagined myself phoning my husband at work and breathlessly telling him, “Cancel your 4pm meeting! They’ve found us a baby! We need to go find out about her and see her picture!” As I said, for once, I’d be the one to announce a coming baby to my husband at last! I couldn’t wait to surprise our two children.
So, we happily attended the final meeting to close off our screening and declare us ready to adopt. We discussed everything, discussed how they were sure we would be great parents and then…
They pulled out two photos and told us they had identified two babies for us to choose from, or a set of twins held by their sister agency. Twins another couple also wanted but who were not Black, so we would take precedence if we wanted them.
The twins… We were conflicted. Just do one adoption and be done! But we said no, it’s ok. Let the couple that wants them have them. It also didn’t feel fair. After all, they went to that agency, let them have the agency babies.
But now we had a different dilemma. Choosing a baby! At that moment, I wished we could take both and be done with it all forever! But no, we could only have one. So we chose our little girl. So much for my grand “Our baby is ready!” surprised announcement to my husband!
This is where thjngs get iffy again. They told us that somehow during birth, her arm had gotten broken but that she is fine. They also told us that she was currently with a foster family but had been somewhere else before. At the other nameless place, the “person who took care of her disappeared” so we don’t have her records from before one month. No photos, no idea what kind of a newborn she was.. nothing! That was WEIRD. How does a person just “disappear” and why take records and photos??
This didn’t dampen our joy though. At least we knew who she’d been with for month two and three. And..we had a baby on the way!! Woohoo! We were told we had 24 hours to confirm we wanted her. We didn’t need it. She was ours! And she’d be coming home in 10 days’ time.
Of course, I went online and posted the latest surprise developments in the adoption group. And that’s when things got even weirder. Someone asked if they could have my number as they wanted to tell me something.
I was curious and gave it to her. She phoned me, telling me she’s one of the safety moms AmateurLiars uses for their newborn babies. She sent me a photo of our coming baby to prove she really knew her. And she told us we’d been lied to.
Our baby had first been in a very well known baby home. Not in a family as almost implied. And a volunteer had picked her up “incorrectly” and fractional her arm!😭It was NOT broken during birth! She said that legally, the baby home was meant to have shut down completely while they investigated the incident. But the baby home did not shut down. And they did not investigate, they just told the volunteer to leave. And THEN sent our baby to the foster family where she was the only foster baby. The family only took one baby at a time. Cool with us!
She begged us to keep it quiet so she wouldn’t get into trouble as she truly enjoyed fostering babies and didn’t want AmateurLiars to make her quit.
This was not the end of the lies. They’d only get worse. But we didn’t know this. We just knew our girl was coming home! Fractured arm or not! Seeing the photo made it real. She was not a figment of our imagination!
And guess what? The birth mom also wanted a semi open adoption and to meet with us the day baby came out of foster care to come home with us. Wonderful! I’d be able to take photos to show our child one day. It was awesome.
We were told we could give them gifts. We gave the father a tie should he ever have a job interview. And to the birth mom, I wrote the same letter I had written for the profile book. The book she had NOT seen, though at that point I thought she had! It was a letter full of promises. I told her we would love the baby just the same as we loved our biological children. I mentioned all the things she wanted her child to have -good education, many opportunities, health and safety and lacking nothing -and promised we would ensure her dreams for her baby would come true. I told her that the baby was not mine and my husband’s alone, it was ours- theirs and ours. I promised that the child would always know that what prompted the decision was love, not hatred. I tried to imagine what I’d want and promised it.
Ladies in the adoption group organized the first ever baby shower I had ever had. Complete strangers! I’ll never forget their love and speedy and secret planning! I didn’t receive gifts growing up. This was amazing to me! Wow.
Time moved so slowly! We wanted our baby and we wanted her NOW! Not in ten days time! But wait we had to do! We bought everything she needed and got her room ready.
Our baby was coming home forever! I knew for sure her seSotho name would be Oarona. It means “ours.” She was to be ours just as I promised her birth mother in the letter I put in the front page of the profile book she’d used to choose us.
We were more than ready!