Apr 9, 2015

Invisible Loss

Adoption loss is often called the invisible loss. Adoption is full of loss. The biggest is when a child loses their first family. Another loss is the birth family losing their child. There is also loss of control, hopes, and dreams from all aspects. But the loss I’m talking about today is the loss of an adoption match.

On November 26th, 2014, the two year anniversary of our family day with Little Slick, we laid eyes on the most precious little chunky baby picture. We just knew this would be Little Slick 2.0, we knew he would be our son.

We were soon officially matched and so excited to be starting the process of bringing another little one into our family! We excitedly told family, including the new big brother to be. He was so proud of his little brother and even gave him the nickname Goose, since his last name sounded similar.

Our little Goose.

The paper work started to pile up, but we didn’t mind. We knew what was at the end of this hurdle. The process for this country is different than Russia’s, much less paperwork but more time. More waiting.

One thing that was different is that for the home study, they wanted to see the room where the baby would sleep. They wanted to see that we had adequately prepared, even though it could still be a year or more until we brought the little guy home.
His room was set up, bed was made, toys delicately placed around. Toys that his big brother had picked out for him from his personal collection and a few he saw in the store that his baby brother just HAD to have. All the items for his first care package were set aside, ready to send to him as soon as our home study was finished.

We were ready, just waiting.

We received each month’s well-baby check from our agency and looked it over and gave to our pediatrician who reviewed it all with us. There were some potential medical special needs but nothing that was too alarming and we, along with our pediatrician, were optimistic.

We received a few pictures of him. He has round, chubby cheeks and the biggest smile I've ever seen. His jet black hair is coming in and the rolls. Oh, the rolls! Such delicious baby rolls.

But, we’ll never get to meet him. I’ll never kiss those cheeks, never squeeze those rolls. Our agency has rescinded our approval for our adoption. We’d fallen in love with a boy we’ll never get to meet. As far as we know, he’s still healthy and still waiting but we are no longer seen as the right fit for him. While I understand the rule as a whole, I do think there need to be special circumstances, especially for a child who has been waiting as long as he has. He deserves better.

We have lost our son. Not through death, but a loss nonetheless.  We had to break our other son’s heart and tell him the brother he was so excited to have cannot be his brother after all.

My grief, anger, and guilt are overwhelming. It’s sometimes hard to function, in the beginning it was hard to get out of bed. I’m fortunate enough to have a little person here who needs me to be strong for him, otherwise I might fall apart.

Now for the why…

 Why are we now unfit? It’s not just the agency, although they could have held our file longer, I have conflicted emotions about that too. How can I ask them to hold his file when perhaps his forever family, likely not us, can get started on the process and bring him home sooner? And they could allow an exception to their birth order "rule" that they break all the time for other families.  The country also has rules. They have a one year policy. Meaning there must be at least one year between children coming into the home. Very few allow adoptions to proceed in circumstances like ours. 

You see, we found out on February 20th that we are expecting a miracle baby. No more miraculous than a child coming into a home through adoption, but a different kind of miracle, especially for us.

We gave up our dreams of a biological child three years ago. After five and a half years, this is actually happening.

It’s strange and surreal to experience. And what should be one of my greatest joys is also part of my greatest loss. But I’m still grateful…and excited…and nervous.  

But for now I’m still mostly sad. I’ll get there though, I’m desperately trying to choose joy but it’s really hard some days. Like the day I tried to go mail Goose’s first and last care package from us. The only thing he’d ever receive from us all nicely packed into a one gallon bag. I couldn't get out of the car. I couldn't make myself go inside. 

How do you fit a lifetime of love into such a small package?

I’m still processing all of this. WE are still processing all of this. We love this little life inside of me, but we also love our sweet little Goose, the boy we’ll never know. The range of emotions we feel is strange and overwhelming but we’ll get through it, but never over it.

We love you, Goose. There will always be a place in my heart for you. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you remember me, but I have been following all along. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for your adoption loss. And congratulations on your pregnancy! Wishing you all the best!