Written On Our Hearts: God, Love, Family

To Bench or Not

In the past few months we’ve been presented with adoption situations that fell through, only one of which (thank God) where we had the baby-back in June. But still, thinking something’s a sure thing and then its not is tough.

We’ve been on the adoption roller coaster almost a year now. And it’s beginning to take its toll. It’s hard living this long on a “maybe.” It’s hard living this long not really being able to make plans, decide to go back to work or not, take that vacation or save that money for a baby….it’s hard living on the edge of this kind of push-pull tension this long.

We were presented with a situation way out of our price range a few weeks ago, we stepped out in faith and said yes….but then weren’t chosen.

We were presented with a situation to adopt a three year old girl, we stepped out in faith, said yes, then it didn’t work out. We didn’t get the details, just that the “situation was closed.”
And then today, we were presented with a situation slightly out of our price range. Baby girl born 12/29, birth mother utilized the safe haven laws and left the hospital, then when her social worker told her it would be better for the baby for her to sign adoption papers, she went back and did so. Her parental rights are already terminated, so no chance of her changing her mind and deciding to parent.

Birth father is unknown, one night stand.

Birth mother is HIV+ but the baby is testing negative at this point. It’s not considered 100% negative until a second viral test done at 12 months, but 98% of the newborn negative tests are true negatives, no HIV at all.
This little baby is staying in the hospital now as there is no where for her to go.

Anyway. I was at my MOPS meeting this morning and prayed for surrender, I let go the idea of a baby, decided it would be ok to be a mom of one, got prayer, felt good…and then the phone rang. I saw the area code for our agency and got butterflies. We conferenced in on the call with Art, who was at home working. Discussed it and hung up so Art and I could discuss it more in person.
I felt overjoyed, I really thought this was it.

Got home, Art wasn’t feeling so sure. The cost was making him nervous. Which I completely understand. And having another child is something you do NOT do unless both parents are 100% on board, at least when you have a choice like this.
Our social worker is talking to the birth mom’s lawyers and they are going to see if they can get the cost lowered, but they don’t think so. One reason is that even though the baby is testing negative for HIV, they still give routine preventative medicine which is VERY expensive and we’d be paying that hospital bill. I don’t know if our insurance would cover that, they might since the baby would be on our insurance “from birth.”
But anyway……of course, since we didn’t get all this figured out until late Friday afternoon, nothing was able to get done today. We are now waiting until Monday to hear back from the lawyers about the fees being lowered.

Our agency, however, said it doesn’t look good for them to go down.

I honestly don’t know what to do at this point and I feel like a failure for not knowing.
I have to admit, part of me wants to just bench ourselves and get out of this game altogether. Be done. One and done. A family of three with an AWESOME kid. Sell or donate all our baby stuff. I’d be able to head back to work full time in a year or less….keep the money we do have saved for an adoption as retirement and/or emergency funds.
And I don’t know if that’s the lazy way out. Because I don’t know how much more of these ups and downs, having a baby for a few minutes, days and then not I can take.

I honestly don’t know.

I will be praying this weekend about whether Art and I are done. Out of the adoption game.

We’ve thought about fostering instead, but that’s a whole other game and will not factor in our decision. We want to make a clear choice to close or keep open our adoption profile and not use fostering as a “last resort.”
I wish I could afford to go to a nice hotel this weekend and just sit in a whirlpool tub, get massages, sleep a LOT, eat decadent food and have someone else cleaning up my messes.
Remember those old commercials: “Calgon, take me away!”.
Yeah. It’s like that.

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2 thoughts on “To Bench or Not

  1. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just take that little vacation in the middle of all this stress. But I understand the financial side of it not always making it possible.

    I was exactly where you are right now in April 2008. I remember this time so very well. They say you forget the pain, but I don’t and I don’t want to. I don’t want to forget my weakest moment because it lead to such joy.
    I told Dave one night that I was done. We were both at our weakest point. If we weren’t parents by the end of the year I was quitting, and I was serious. We’d been in the adoption process 2 1/2 years.
    It was the night before that our daughter was born we just didn’t know it.

    Praying for you and Art to make the best decision regarding this baby and what to do.
    Oh and during our 2 1/2 year wait we had 8 different situations come and go. I remember them each and the disappointment after each one. Praying that God would strengthen your heart.

  2. Jessica on said:

    Unless adoption laws are CRAZY different in your state, this baby should qualify as a special needs placement, and therefor also qualify for your state’s stipend (the state pays part or even all of your fees. This is still more cost effective than putting a child in the foster care system.) The hospital will be able to get Medicaid for the baby, I would imagine the social worker at the hospital is already on it . You can keep that until you finalize.
    Not sure where you are getting your HIV information, but the baby will again be tested at one month. If the second PCR comes back negative, the child did not contract the HIV virus. As of 2002, when we were heavily researching this, there were NO documented cases of a child testing negative at the one month PCR later testing positive. The 100% thing has continued to be stated because experts theorize that it could be possible, but it has never happened. They will still carry the antibodies for the disease until they are a year. However, a newborn can test negative in the hospital, receive all the proper preventative medicine, and test positive at the one month PCR. We’ve lived this reality. If you are sure you are not open to parenting an HIV positive child, you really need to know the medical condition of the birth mother. Was she taking her meds? Did she receive prenatal care? How did she deliver? What was her viral load? If she was on meds and receiving care, she delivered by c-section, and wasn’t carrying a high viral load, I would say it is VERY unlikely that the baby would suffer any ill effects and will be completely healthy. We’ve lived this reality, too. If you are open to the risk, by all means, RUN to the hospital, and love that baby girl like crazy!!

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