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This is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. We are finally home. We arrived late Thursday night. But we have come home without Lauren. (Which is what we called her.)
We lost her.
At 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning, we received a call from our adoption agency.
Last Friday, the agency called us and told us that the birth mother had changed her mind. Lauren was 10 days old, and had been with us for a week. In the state where she was born, the birth parents have 10 days after the birth or seven days after signing away parental rights to change their minds. Our birth mother had until 5:00 p.m. on the 21st.
We got the call at 2:00 p.m. that we would have to prepare to return Lauren to the agency so that the birth mother could pick her up.
We explained as best we could to Parker what was happening. We have included him in the process from the beginning and told him what was happening in a way appropriate to a 4 3/4 year old. We packed, checked out of our hotel where we were waiting to hear that the interstate compact was complete and we could go home as a family of four.
We drove three of the four hours it took to get to the agency office, and finally stopped so that Parker could have dinner, and the baby could have a bottle and a fresh diaper. We were just sitting down when the agency called us and said that the birth mother had “un-changed” her mind and wanted us to keep Lauren.
We thought we were out of the woods.
Thurday morning we learned that while the birth mother had signed papers last Friday revoking her waiver of parental rights, when she “un-changed” her mind, because the agency office was closed, she did not sign the necessary papers rescinding her revocation. In the duration, she had talked to her father — who apparently did not know about the baby until now, and is anti-adoption. He asked her if she had signed anything when she “un-changed” her mind, advised her not to sign anything, and said that he would raise the baby.
The agency checked with their lawyers and were told that without that piece of paper the agency didn’t have a legal leg to stand on. Neither did we.
We made the drive again. Stopped so that Parker could have dinner, and Lauren could have a diaper and a fresh bottle.
This time no eleventh hour phone call came.
At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, we placed Lauren into the arms of the social workers at the adoption agency, kissed her goodbye, and began our journey home.
I only ever thought my heart had been broken before .
Now I know.