How I Adopted A Baby After 4 Years and 3 Failed Adoptions

This guest post is by Pamela, a single adoptive mother.

Adoption? As a single? Why not? I knew I needed to be a mom. I knew I was getting older. I knew I would always regret it if I didn’t go for it. So I did.

About 9 years ago I began researching adoption. There were so many choices. So many different options. Foster adopt? International? Domestic agency? Domestic Independent? Which road do I choose?

Initially I chose foster adoption. It had worked for thousands of families. Thousands of single men and women. Thousands of nontraditional families. And it is virtually free.

Plus, there are tens of thousands of children in need of loving families. I signed up for the initial meeting. I signed up for MAPP classes. I completed my home study and was certified. And then I waited. And I waited and I waited some more.

 

While I was waiting for foster care and was being told by the director of the placement office that she would NEVER give me a baby I began researching international adoption programs.India? Jamaica? Lesotho? I tried all three.

My dossier even got to Lesotho. But I pulled it and switched to domestic independent adoption.

Just after giving up on Fostering to Adopt, I got “the call” about a boy from DSS in May of 2011. He was 15 months old. Had been in foster care for 9 months.

I would be his pre-adoptive placement. What could go wrong? Well, EVERYTHING! He went back home a year later. My heart was broken.

In April 2011, just before accepting placement of the 15 month old, I chose to do an independent or private domestic adoption. I redid my homestudy, more background checks, and more finger printing.

In July 2011 I was certified by Suffolk County Family Court to adopt a baby. I created a website, got a toll-free number, hired an attorney, started placing newspaper ads and told everyone who would listen.

My phone rang and rang (which is unusual). I spoke with 52 different people. Some were curious, some were scammers, and some were frightened women in crisis trying to make the best decision for their unborn child.

I was matched with a woman named “T” in April 2012, She was, as it turned out, a “professional birth mom” who had placed 12 babies for adoption. I thought this was pretty perfect- she knew what she was doing and how she would feel.

She was carrying a baby boy who was bi-racial. I was excited to say the least. The weeks went on and we spoke often. Then I realized what was really going on. She was constantly asking for money.

She had apparently reached out to other families and agencies and was shopping for the highest bidder. So after a few weeks I decided to walk away. In May of 2012 my foster son went home to a terrible situation and I was a mess.

Soon after I got a call in the middle of the night from a Mexican woman named “E” claiming to be pregnant with her third child and wanting to make an adoption plan. So we did.

My attorney had her doctor fax medical records and it all looked great. The baby was due just two weeks later to be born via C-section. My mom and I drove to Nebraska.

I was in the OR for her birth and was the first to hold her. But something didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like I was supposed to be there. And 26 hours later “E” decided to parent.

I was devastated. The drive home was the worst drive I have ever taken. But I didn’t give up! I couldn’t give up! I knew I had to be a mom.

Before I even arrived back home I started placing more ads and posting to my Facebook page.  One night in July 2012 I got a phone call from a woman, “H,” in Michigan.

She had been given my name a number by the couple she’d been speaking with who for whatever reason chose not to adopt her baby. She was funny and sweet. She seemed honest and open.

I didn’t want to get my hopes up. She was due the end of November but wasn’t sure he’d make it to full term because her son hadn’t. We had an amazing conversation.

I felt like I knew her forever. We arranged to speak again and that conversation went great as well. We spoke about once each week until Thursday, October 11th when she called at 10 p.m. to tell me she was heading to the hospital because she thought she was in labor.

I waited by the phone for what felt like forever. It was early but not scary early. At 11 she called to say they sent her home. I called my lawyer who told me to be patient and not go anywhere until she was admitted.

I knew she was right but something kept telling me to just hop in the car. The next morning I went to work. I was like a zombie all day.

I felt like I needed to get into the car but all the professionals told me to just wait till she was admitted. So I waited. It was agonizing. “H” and I spoke a few times that day. She was sure she was in labor but the hospital wouldn’t admit her.

I packed a bag and impatiently waited and waited. At 10 p.m. October 12th she called saying they had finally admitted her. YIKES! This was real.

But there are no flights after 10 and I was exhausted so driving from New York to Michigan wasn’t a great idea. I spent the night reserving a rental car and booking my flight.

I arrived at Laguardia Airport at 4 a.m. got through security and was waiting to board the plane when my phone rang.

My heart skipped a few beats. It was “H”’s number but “H” wasn’t on the other end of the line. It was a nurse. Honestly all I heard was “Holly asked me to call you. Your son has been born and he’s doing great.”

That flight took forever. The wait at the rental company took forever. The drive to the hospital was the longest drive ever.

When I finally stepped off the elevator I walked past the nursery and my eyes locked on this bundled up newborn. My soul kinda said, “Oh there you are!”

I walked into “H”’s hospital room and she called for a nurse to “bring you your son”. It was amazing and magical and tragic all at the same time. Oh and yes, he was that newborn in the nursery.

Four long years, four continents, three failed adoptions, 52 phone calls and then “the call” for real. He was born October 13, 2012. He is amazing, from the wrinkles behind his knees to his smile in
the morning.

He is the child I was meant to parent. He was created to be my son and I was created to be his mom. He is amazing.

I am very lucky. I am even luckier because his amazing birth mom has agreed to have an open adoption with us. I am lucky to have her in our lives.

Adoption is not easy. But in the end (whenever that may be) there will be an amazing child waiting. Don’t give up!

Pamela is a special educator, literacy coach, mother of two boys through (private) open adoptions, and a former foster parent. She is the owner of 2Boys Adoption Social Media Marketing and has been teaching teachers and adoptive families how to use the internet to connect with others for more than 7 years.

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