Where to begin...
A few canny friends called me out via email or FB message after my most recent post about our quick trip to D.C. and Virginia and wanted to know whether we were "secretly" meeting with a birthmom. This past August we received an email from an 18-year old girl in Virginia who I will refer to as "D", letting us know that she and her 17-year old boyfriend were trying to decide what to do because she was pregnant and due in January. She was LDS, he wasn't; they had been banned from seeing each other and were secretly meeting at McDonald's to go through couple profiles on itsaboutlove.org; they had each made lists of their top favorite couples and we were one of three that they had narrowed it down to.
To make a very, very long story short (since I don't have it in my to write it all out), we emailed for more than two months before she made her decision and told us that she had officially chosen us to be the parents of the little girl she was expecting. That was on October 24th.
During the months of waiting and worrying and wondering about every email and every delayed response from D leading up to that decision, Paul and I had struggled with our feelings having gone through such a difficult failed placement back at the end of June/early July. We were guarding our hearts with as much strength as we could muster while still trying hard to be open and loving and honest with D. But after she made her decision and told her caseworker she was excited for us to come visit and meet her in person, we couldn't help but find ourselves growing more and more invested and hopeful and excited each day about the idea of a new baby girl in our home and a sister for Clara in January.
Our visit went well. Not perfect since there were some ups and downs with the birthfather and D at our first meeting and D's mom decided she wasn't up to meeting us, but overall as good as we pretty much could have expected. We think that was thanks to a solid and trusting relationship that was in place between us and D from the months of emails and texts we had exchanged and we loved finally seeing her in person over a couple of days.
There had been some complications with the pregnancy so even though D isn't due for 5 more weeks, we have been anticipating getting a text that the baby was on its way any day for the last 2 weeks actually. We've fretted and worried over D's pregnancy and celebrated each day that D was able to carry the baby longer because we knew it would help her to stay put as long as possible and we knew that it would be so difficult to have a preemie. Then last night, instead of getting the text we had been expecting, we got an email from D saying that she had changed her mind and decided that she would let her parents raise her baby. We knew that her mother wasn't ever totally (if at all) on board with an adoption plan and early on in our communication D had told us that the idea presented to her by her parents was to let them raise the baby as their 9th child (D has 7 siblings) and they would keep her true parentage as a family secret until she was older. I am so sad for D and for the baby about what will likely be and what could have been instead. It is a heartbreaking end for us when we felt so near to being parents again.
We don't have bitter or angry feelings toward D. We truly love her and wish her the best despite our sadness and the ache and confusion that comes from this kind of loss for us. It is our second time this year going through such a miserable outcome and we are very much looking forward to putting 2012 behind us and moving forward.
If anyone has wondered why we haven't mentioned adoption basically at all during the second half of this year, this is why. We still very much would like to have another daughter or son and if anyone is visiting relatives this Christmas season and hears of a cousin or niece or family friend or anyone who is unwed and pregnant, will you please consider mentioning us and passing along our contact information? Our profile (which was actually pulled from the itsaboutlove website when D made her firm decision) should be live again by Monday and I hope to update it in the next week or two (depending on how hectic it is getting ready to head to Utah for Christmas). And thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody who has offered prayers on our behalf - it has meant so much to us and has given us strength during this difficult time.