This is part of a series of posts about our most recent failed adoption. The first post is here and the second post is here, the third post is here, the fourth post is here, and the fifth post (I know, this is getting to be overkill - sorry, this post is the last one) is here, in case you want to start from the beginning.
M and B wanted to start making plans. What were we going to name him? They would make sure the hospital knew that we were to be allowed full access to the baby in the hospital and that they wanted us in the delivery room! They couldn't wait for us to get there!
We settled on a first name. It absolutely kills me to admit this but we were going to use the name Truman. The same name we wanted to give to the baby from adoption failure #1. We worried about it being taboo but decided to have faith and go for it. Truman was the very first name we ever decided on for any of our children and we have held it close to our hearts for almost our entire marriage. (On a sidenote, we have decided to scrap all names we have ever mentioned liking, especially the name Truman, and start over completely new should any future adoption possibilities present themselves. Clearly, we jinxed ourselves and tempted fate by telling B and M we wanted to name this baby Truman.) We asked them for suggestions for a middle name because we really wanted their input. B wrote back with a few different possibilities, one of which was perfect because it was a family name on her side and both of our sides. But interestingly, B also mentioned M's middle name as a possibility.
I had tried finding out more about M independently during periods when we were specifically worried about B being a scammer but going off only his name and B having a private Facebook profile, had been unsuccessful. But with a first AND middle name in hand, I was able to locate a match on Facebook with an open profile who wad mutual friends with B, graduated at the right time from the right school, and lo and behold, matched each of the pictures B had sent us of M, including a picture of M with his parents. I had found him.
And it started us to worry all over again. Because M was posting things from North Carolina when he was supposedly in Florida with B. And M as not going to the medical school B had told us he was going to - at least, not according to numerous posts of his on FB page. It was SUPER worrying but B was oblivious to the fact that we had this information and I didn't really want to raise it at such a late juncture when we were going to be heading to Florida in just about a week for the baby's birth. If anything has helped us get through all this heartache, it was this nagging doubt about B's validity through practically the entire pregnancy, so in hindsight, I guess I'm grateful we kept having this little flags come up because they made us tap the brakes emotionally and kept us from getting any more caught up in the excitement of being second-time parents than we already were.
We tried to make sure the adoption paperwork was sorted out on B's end because she had told us she had been working with a lawyer. Then she started saying that her lawyer had stopped returning her calls and she had found out he hadn't done anything on her case so she was going to go to a different lawyer. We tried numerous times to get her to just use the lawyer our agency had recommended - someone who practices only adoption law and who we knew would get everything taken care of - but B and M felt like they wanted to find somebody on their own. So they met with another lawyer for an "introductory meeting". And met with her again the next day. And were told she (the lawyer) would think about taking on their paperwork over the weekend.
At this point we were less than a week from due date and when the lawyer (predictably since we knew she had to be just some random attorney who didn't specialize in adoptions) told B on Monday afternoon (the Monday after her Saturday due date - so two days overdue) that she wouldn't be taking her on as a client, B finally agreed to contact the lawyer we had recommended all along. Her doctor kept saying that there were zero signs of the baby coming anytime soon and that B wouldn't be induced until Monday, August 5th, so we tried not to stress out as best we could. We breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that once B met with the lawyer, these lingering concerns about being scammed would be cleared up and all the paperwork would be taken care of and there would be nothing left to worry about but the birth. We came this close to booking our tickets for Saturday but decided to just wait for confirmation from the lawyer that this was all real.
Except the next contact we had from B was an email saying that after a wonderful date with M of going to lunch and going to a movie, they had had a big fight because M told her out of the blue that he wanted to parent.
The last few days leading up to the birth were confusing. B did finally email the attorney and explained the situation with M and how he had changed his mind and was saying he wouldn't sign relinquishment forms. This act has ultimately made us feel like B probably was pregnant all along. We understand her scamming us, but would she really reach out to a lawyer about it if the whole thing was a huge lie? There WAS a solution for M's change of heart and the adoption still could have taken place - Paul talked with the lawyer about it and was told that if B would just answer one of the emails or phone calls the lawyer had sent back to her they could figure it all out. But B's adoption plan seemingly just ... fizzled. She gave up. M's parents said that they would help him parent. B said M wouldn't answer he texts or calls and told her to just text him when she was in labor.
B's final communications were super confusing. She was induced late Monday (the 5th) afternoon. She emailed us on Wednesday but didn't say anything about the birth or the baby or who has him or what their plan is, other than that she is heartbroken because she doesn't know if she will ever see the baby again and has only been told to expect pictures. So it doesn't sound like she is going to parent and we can only assume this means that M's parents are going to raise the baby and that they won't let her see him or know him. But even that doesn't make sense to us because B would still have had to relinquish her parental rights for that to take place and I can't see how that would have occurred by Wednesday. By way of explanation for the outcome, B professed her love for M and said she decided she couldn't force him to prove his ability to parent this baby (he would have had 30 days under Florida law to show that he could provide for the child in order to retain his parental rights had B decided to go through with the adoption) and that M was adamant that he didn't want to place the baby for adoption and his parents supported him in that.
Honestly, I have a lot of emotions about everything that we have gone through with B since February. But the biggest one I am feeling right now is relief that it is finally over. No, it didn't end the way we had hoped and that is an awful feeling. But the rollercoaster of emotions and drama and vagaries of whether B was actually pregnant and if she was whether she was going to choose us and if she did whether she was going to follow through with a placement are all finally over with and we can finally move on.
Thanks for letting me share what happened. I'm sorry if it came off overly dramatic or pathetic or anything. I know it was incredibly self-indulgent to hash all this out for everybody to see and some people may feel like I shouldn't have shared all of it - that it is a matter best kept private - but I felt like I have friends and family who should know about this and I don't want to tell it 20 separate times. And I hope that it will benefit other adoptive couples who go through similar things to know they are not alone. I know it helps me to read their stories.
Amazingly, we don't have hard feelings towards B. Not exactly, at least. Mostly we just feel very sad for her. At least we have each other and Clara and small though we are, we are incredibly, eternally grateful for our little family. And for our extended families and friends who have been incredibly loving and supportive during this ordeal.
I promise I will try to get some posts up soon that are more cheery than these past few have been.