We were already blessed with three beautiful biological daughters, and my wife and I were talking about trying again for a boy. After becoming engaged years earlier, we had talked about having a family. We also discussed what we would do if we were physically unable to have children. We both had agreed that if that happened, we would try to adopt. Since twins ran in my wife’s side of the family, we discussed the possibility of my wife not only having another girl, but possibly twin girls! I thought for a moment, and jokingly said to my wife, “Possibly six women in the family, and me the ONLY guy! I would have to make an appointment to use the bathroom for sure!”
On a serious note, I then mentioned how we had talked about adopting years earlier, and asked what she thought of adopting a boy now. She smiled at me and said, “I had thought of that, also.” After researching domestic adoption and international adoption, we mentioned to our daughter’s first grade teacher that we intended to adopt a boy. She was a former foster parent and asked if we had considered adopting from the State of Massachusetts Department of Social Services. I had no knowledge of an adoption program run by the state, and my and I agreed to have coffee with her and a friend of hers who was involved with the state adoption program before spending $24,000+ for a domestic or international adoption.
We discussed the pros and cons of domestic adoption, adoption overseas, and adoption through the state. We were then offered, at no obligation, a free parenting course and figured it could only help with our current parental skills. After passing the course, which was quite informative and valuable, we were asked if we were still interested in becoming foster/adoptive parents through the state. We said yes, and once we passed a background check and other departmental requirements, we were placed on a waiting list. All through this process there was no pressure, and we were assured there was no obligation until we were matched and offered a child.
Then the time finally arrived! We received a call asking if we would be interested in fostering/adopting a baby boy. We met with the appropriate personnel, had a disclosure meeting, which involved learning about the child’s and parent’s history/medical condition(s), and the reason the child was in state foster care. We agreed and asked how much this would cost us? We were both shocked and overjoyed when we were told that it would cost “absolutely nothing!”
We were told to meet a social worker at the hospital to pick up the baby, who was only 3 days old and still in the hospital nursery. When we were told the name of the hospital, we were again shocked. It was the hospital where my wife worked. Not only did she work at that hospital, but she worked in the maternity unit there. The social worker couldn’t believe it either. What a coincidence! We arrived at the hospital maternity unit, and immediately my wife’s co-workers were wondering why she was there on her day off. When we explained what was happening, they just couldn’t believe it. When the social worker pointed out the child to us in the nursery, my wife started to cry, and said she had seen the baby the night before, while she was working, and thought he was absolutely adorable! We became his foster/pre-adoptive parents, and approximately one year later, we legally adopted him.
About one year later, just weeks before Thanksgiving, we received a call from the Dept. of Social Services Adoption Unit. They advised us that the same biological parents of our adopted son had another baby girl, who had been placed into state custody months earlier. When the mother had given birth, she used a false identity in attempt to try to keep the baby, since all of her previous children had been removed by the state because the mother used drugs/alcohol during the pregnancies. Allegedly, the mom and all the babies tested positive for drugs/alcohol after the births. Usually the state would call adoptive parents of a sibling, in an attempt to keep siblings together. Since the mom used a false identity, the state didn’t realize what she had done till the new baby girl had been placed in the home of another foster/adoptive couple.
The reason they were calling us was because the foster/adoptive mother had just been involved in a severe car accident and had been air-lifted to a trauma center and was undergoing major surgery. Her husband was out-of-state and could not be contacted. The adoption unit asked if we would be willing to take care of their baby pending the outcome of the mother’s surgery and her husband’s return. Since it was just before Thanksgiving and this was our son’s biological sister, how could we say no? We agreed, and a social worker brought over the 4-month-old girl later that night. The moment she looked at us, she gave us a big smile and put her arms out toward my wife as if to say, “Pick me up!” She did not cry at all and was such a well behaved baby.
We received a call from the adoption unit about a week later and were told some devastating news. The adoptive mother’s surgery was not a success, and due to her prognosis, she and her husband would not be able to go through with the adoption of our son’s sister. The social worker then asked if we could continue to take care of the baby girl until they could find a new foster/adoptive family match for her. I then asked her if we could adopt her so that the brother and sister could be together. The social worker laughed and said “I was hoping you would ask. I didn’t have the nerve to ask since you and your wife had been so nice to help us and the baby with such notice!” I told her to start the paperwork since my wife and I would love to adopt her. The baby girl stayed with us, and nine months later, we legally adopted her. After all, how could we split up a brother and sister? No way!
We are always asked if we would do it again, my wife and I always answer, “I would do it again in a heartbeat!” If anyone tries to toss off the events as just being coincidental, we tell them the day that both children were given to us–All Saints’ Day! It was not coincidence. It was destiny.