Looming in the heart of nearly every prospective adoptive parent is the nagging fear: “What if our birth mother changes her mind?” Unfortunately, this fear was realized for us eight weeks after welcoming into our hearts and home a beautiful baby girl we named Kimarie Joy.
Because there were issues with the birth father from the onset, we knew there was a possibility the adoption might not happen. We embraced the belief that if it was meant to be, it would work out. Ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be. To our shock and dismay, our birthmother changed her mind.
Yes, we were heartbroken and angry and went through an intense period of grieving. Pam remembers it as “drowning in sadness.” Although there wasn’t a physical death, we mourned the loss of our hopes and dreams for this precious baby we had hoped to raise. We were saddened that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy the comforts we could offer her. We were angry in giving up a name we had chosen years before. While we could have reused the name, we didn’t wish to confuse our three-year-old son, Cory, and felt there could only be one Kimarie in our lives. We struggled with what we should tell Cory, and like us, he was angry, confused, and sad.
While this was an incredibly painful experience for us, we found great comfort in knowing that we gave Kimarie a wonderful, loving start in life. We tried to allow that knowledge to be our guiding light as we began to venture back into the world of adoption.
In our timid and cautious steps toward adopting again, we were not abandoned by our agency. The staff at our adoption law firm worked many hours on our behalf. They empathized with us and truly felt our pain. We were grateful for their dedicated service, and for the fact that they promised to reapply our fees to another adoption when we were ready. The question of whether to try adopting again would not be made for us by a lack of remaining funds, as would have been the case with other adoption services.
Even as we took those cautious first steps, we continually asked ourselves: Did we still want to adopt? Could we emotionally deal with adoption again? Would we be able to bond as deeply with another child? Is it worth it? Our answer was yes. However afraid we felt, we also felt this pull, this yearning for the child we felt was out there, ready to be part of our family. As we determined to make our failed placement a setback and not a defeat, we found the answer we’d been searching for.
Within a month of returning Kimarie, our arms held a new baby. Her name is Ariana, and she is our daughter.
Placements that don’t work out are painful—painful beyond words—but when you decide to move forward, in spite of that pain, in search of the child who truly belongs in your heart and home, that pain will begin to subside and you will feel hope again.