I already shared how we were first contacted by "B" back here at the start of this series of posts explaining our most recent failed adoption.
B explained that she was 18 weeks along and had decided on adoption within about a week or two of learning that she was pregnant. She talked about having a friend and a cousin who had both placed babies for adoption and surprised us with her knowledge of adoption in general. Clearly she had been doing a lot of independent adoption research. We started emailing back and forth on a daily basis.
To be honest, at first it was hard writing back to her. We had suffered an adoption failure just two months earlier after emailing with a birthmom for 4 1/2 months and we knew we were facing an even longer road with this birthmom with 5 1/2 months until her due date. And believe me, it was daunting.
One part of my brain was telling me to be excited! be hopeful! be positive! Another part of my brain started crying at the thought of months of pouring out our hearts and souls and giving support and building love and trust with somebody who may or may not decide to choose us to be the parents of her child.
This is going a little off track, but if adoption could be related to a distance race, it felt like we had prepared for and run a marathon (adoption failure #1) only to be told that our efforts didn't count and to start over. So we ran it again (adoption failure #2) only to get within yards of the finish line and be told that those 26.2 miles didn't count either and to go back to the starting line for another 26.2 miles of pain, fatigue, and stress on already overstressed "adoption legs". Every emotional and mental "muscle" was yelling and begging to stop the pain, but I just. could. not. give. up. I couldn't quit.
Even though I wanted to. Even though I want to now. But not really. Not truly have I ever wanted to quit when it comes to the idea of having at least one more child. I've said the words, of course, and thought for moments and maybe even minutes that I even meant them. But then I look at Clara and know that if ever a child deserved the right to be a big sister, she does. And I look at Paul and I pray that he will have a son to take on campouts or another daughter to take on daddy-daughter dates. And I hold a newborn and think I can't possibly not get to experience this again. (Incidentally, I write this blog from my perspective although Paul has had many of the same feelings and obviously we approach building our family as a team. Maybe someday I will be able to convince him to write from his perspective what all of this has been like but I don't want to put words in his mouth or alternatively, make it seem like he doesn't have a hard time with any of this.)
Anyway, back to the story - over the course of a few weeks we found a lot of common ground and really started working to develop a friendship. We were so grateful that her emailing was so consistent - we never had to worry about whether we would hear from her again (unlike the birthmom from adoption failure #2 who would go a week or two between emails). She told us early on that she was emailing multiple couples, and we understood that - it isn't totally unusual for a potential birthmom to consider more than one couple at the outset of the process. But we were worried that she didn't have a caseworker to talk to her about the process and she wouldn't talk with anyone from our agency until she had actually chosen a couple. We felt like having some professional guidance from a licensed caseworker could only benefit her and we were confused why she would refuse such help.
We really started to worry about whether she was scamming us when her ultrasound to determine gender was cancelled less than a week after her first email to us. Then rescheduled for a week later. Then rescheduled again. And again. Until we had been emailing for a full month and she was at 23 or 24 weeks and still hadn't been to the doctor to determine gender...