Part of my heart died yesterday morning….in a crazy sucker-punch move the birth mother of the little boy we were adopting decided that she wanted him back. Since she did this right before the judge officially terminated her rights, we had no choice but to turn him back over….so in effect, a son was born to us on May 23rd and died on June 3rd.
Pain, grief, hurt, heartache… all words that mean a lot more today than they did Monday when I posted a celebration post… it is crazy how fast one’s life can change…
Before I get too emotional (which I will in future posts), here’s a bit about the technical realities of adoptions. In any adoption there are three major landmarks: placement, parental termination, and finalization.Placement is when a child is placed with the adoptive family. When this happens there is usually a one to two week legal risk period where everyone is waiting on the courts to terminate the biological parents rights. Once the courts have terminated the parental rights of the biological parents, the child becomes a ward of the state with legal rights granted to the adoption agency who passes custody on to the adoptive family. At this point the biological parents can no longer get the child back – all their rights are gone (at least in Idaho, other states have different laws).
The third landmark is finalization when the child officially becomes a member of the adoptive family and a new birth certificate is issued. This happens about six months after the placement date. During this period the adoption agency will send a case worker out to the adoptive family’s house to check on them two and four months out from the placement date. If for some reason the adoptive family decides not to go ahead with things, the child will go back to the adoption agency who would then place the child with another adoptive family.
Normally all this happens smoothly as the adoption agency has screened and counseled both the biological and adoptive families on all the ins and outs of the adoption (i.e. the emotions, legal issues, etc.). Yet there is still that slight risk…. as in our case when things went bad between the placement and parental termination dates. To give you prospective, this is only the second or third time in ten years that something like this happened with the adoption agency that we use (A New Beginning Adoption Agency – a GREAT agency who helped us with our first son’s agency and have been awesome to work with!!!).
So that does this all mean to us?
It means that we are back to square one (with a slightly more beat up heart…). We still want to add to our family (our four year old asked for both a boy and a girl next time!) so we have asked the adoption agency to put us back on the list… so now we wait until another birth mother picks us and we start the process over again. The good news is that all the funds that we raised will be rolled over to the next child so financially there wasn’t a total loss.
Emotional, spiritual… well that is a different post. 😕