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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Footprints of a Family, our second adoption journey, part 7

this journey begins here

The following day I called our adoption agency and gave them L's information. Contact was made between them and L, paperwork was sent to her.....the process had begun!!! Our agency informed us that we would need to retain an agency in South Carolina also, due to their state laws. They were able to recommend one for us and we contacted them. Paperwork was flying between California and South Carolina. Everything was falling into place. Well, almost everything. Unfortunately the birthfather refused to sign any papers and was being difficult. We did not allow this to deter us....the process continued.

The baby was due the beginning of was now seemed like a lifetime away. We busied ourselves getting the room ready and gathering baby supplies. We redid the nursery. This turned into a complete labor of love. My mom and I stripped the old wallpaper off the walls. Dave and I painted the walls a cheery yellow color. My dear friend, who ended up becoming one of this baby's godmothers, and I painted the ceiling a soft sky blue. Our wonderful friend's twin daughters painted clouds on the ceiling. The room was lovingly completed by many hands....just like our children are lovingly raised by many hands. A true labor of love.

We were in constant communication with L. We spoke on the phone constantly and emailed pictures of each other. She really wanted us to fly to South Carolina and meet her in person. Unfortunately, this was not possible for numerous reasons. We did the next best thing...we sent her a video of us and our house. We filmed every aspect of our house, outside and inside. We filmed each other and our pets. It was a wonderful glimpse into our home. L loved it. She told me her favorite part of the video was at the end. Dave was filming me talking to L. I was sitting on the floor and Cassie was standing in front of me. Cassie started walking backwards and then sat in my lap without turning around. When L saw that, she saw the blind trust Cassie had in me to be there for her and to catch her. It was then she knew she wanted her baby to be in our family.

L was receiving regular prenatal care and had her first ultrasound.....she also started feeling pregnant and felt the baby move for the first time. She called me, very excited and I shared this wondrous news with her. Our phone conversations started taking a turn at this point. Fortunately, she was very honest with me...and I appreciated this and thanked her for it. She was vacillating in her decision. The baby was becoming a reality to her and she was not sure she could follow through with her adoption plan. My premonition was coming true.

By this time I had strong feelings for her. I really cared for her and her mother. We had established a relationship. I spoke to her mother as much as I spoke to her. Her mother was 100% committed to the adoption plan...L was not. I felt for her. She was making a momentous decision that would affect her entire life.

In November we were having a phone conversation that was very typical of our conversations at that time. L was vacillating in her decision. I finally said to her -

"You are about to make a decision that will affect you your entire life. I have no doubt in my mind that you will make an excellent mother and you have wonderful support from your family. If you choose to place your baby for adoption we will give him a wonderful home and promise to keep the adoption open and loving towards you. You and only you can make this decision. You need to make this on your own, without any distractions. I am a distraction. I will let you go now so you can make your decision. Whatever you decide will be right for you. Whatever you decide, please let me know. I love you L, good luck."

We hung up the phone and I cried....

to be continued...


lisa marie said...

Those words had to be so hard for you to say!

ChrisB said...

You were very brave and such wise words. Even though you had a premonition this might happen it must have been very difficult not to try and influence her decision!

Kelly said...

my heart is just breaking. How did you have the strength? You are so amazing. So many women would not have done what you did. You are a role-model for adoptive mothers everywhere. I'm in awe. However, I'm so, so, sorry that it was so hard for you.

All my love.

Stella said...

I think your selflessness is incredible especially in the face of such desire!

Such strength....

-Ann said...

Argh, again with the cliffhanger. I hate not knowing how a story gets to the end. Will you adopt L's baby? Will the woman who only wanted a plane ticket to South Africa show up on your doorstep? Enquiring minds want to know. :)

Alix said...

Alison, that was such an amazing thing to do for L. I imagine it would have been very easy to put pressure on her to stick to the adoption plans. It must have taken great strength to put her and the baby first no wonder your such a great Mum.
Eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

Heather said...

Wow! How fortunate L was to have you to talk to during this. As difficult as it must have been for you, it must have been equally tough for L to make such a huge decision. You are so special to have been so kind.

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Chrys said...

Oh so sad, that had to be one of the hardest things you had to do. I know you truly wanted what was best for her and the baby and being able to put aside your needs. It is so hard. I can imagine your fear and pain.

Andrya said...

I love you so much. I can't imagine how hard and how painful this whole process must have been for you and Dave. I am amazed at your strength, as many of your friends her, but also, I know how much love you have inside of you. And I'm not in the least bit surprised that you have enough to put her first. I'm eager to know if L birthed my cousin, but I'll be okay until you're ready to tell me. As I know that we got the best deal in the end.
I love you!

Irene Latham said...

I am struck immediately by twon things: first, how that image of Cassie backing into your lap is a great analogy for your approach to the whole adoption process. Second, how it takes such maturity and wisdom to be able to step back from the thing you want more than anything - a second child- and consider the reality of the situation from L's perspective. What a gift you gave her. This touches me deeply. xxoo

Alison said...

Lisa - yes, the hardest I've ever had to say
ChrisB - yes, very difficult which is exactly why I had to let her go
Kelly - thanks for the wonderful compliment!!
Stella - thank you
Ann - nice twist to the story about the plane ticket woman...if only this was fiction!!
Alix - thank you very much!!
Fenrisar - this is spam, ignore!!
Chrys - yes very hard..thanks for your kind words
Andrya - I love you too...are you coming for Easter??
Irene - as always, your words mean so much!!!

suchsimplepleasures said...

how heartwrenching that must have been, to feel the need to say what you said to her!! how brave and selfless, though!!
looking forward, of the next installment!!

Jennifer said...

I just can't imagine being as graceful and loving as you were. You are such an amazing person! I will gladly let you adopt my three children as long as you promise not to send them back!

Debra w said...


I was just catching up on your second adoption story. So different from your first, yet you had the faith and insight to know that you needed to give L some space. Such a wise way for you to approach the situation. You didn't want there to be any doubt in L's mind or heart that she was doing the right thing. Such a gift that you gave her.

You are a very wise and intuitive individual. I am so glad that you were blessed with such a beautiful family. You deserve to be a mommy.

Hugs and love,

Sherryl said...

Hi Alison,
I remember this story so very well as I lived it with you. The strength and pain that you guys went through was amazing. I'm still holding back on the story and will comment more when we get to the final chapter. I love your writing. It is absolutely amazing. I saw that Andrya replied also, I hope she goes to your house for Easter, and a huge THANK YOU to you and Dave for taking care of my baby.
Love you

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Hard to say but exactly what you needed to say in that situation.

I love this story. Thanks for sharing it with us.