I'm Terrified Of Losing Our Adoption Battle For The Baby We Fostered Since Birth

Third time is definitely not a charm for Briar Rose*, whose latest adoption process has been the most turbulent and stressful so far

I was recently approached to write a series about our journey to parenthood through adoption. I’ve never had a problem sharing our story. In fact, I have been asked to on many occasions, either out of curiosity or by someone looking to follow the same path. Although I have shared the details of our journey through the technical aspects, I have never shared the personal side, the emotional stuff, outside of my circle. I am hoping that I might be able to do that here, as an outlet, as we navigate through one of the toughest parts of our journey thus far.

As I sit here, the house unusually quiet—all three babies in bed—and I can almost remember what it felt like merely two years ago, when it was just my husband and I. When we were anxiously awaiting what would be some of the happiest, most fulfilling, exhausting and emotional days of our lives.

We always knew we wanted to adopt. This was something that we established years before we actually became parents. So when we got married and didn’t immediately fall pregnant, we knew exactly where the path was leading us. We knew we had the option of exploring our infertility—and we did do some initial testing—but we knew this wasn’t for us. There are many preconceptions when it comes to adoption, and infertility is one of them, but this isn’t what drove us. We saw this as an opportunity to do what we had always discussed before fertility had become a factor.

We were in no real rush, so when the time was right to start our family we did our research between the three types of adoption—public, private and international—and decided that public was the right route for us. Not wanting to spend tens of thousands of dollars that could go towards our children's futures, we also didn't see the point in leaving the country to adopt a child, when there are many children in need of homes in our own community (and I realize this is a personal choice and hold no judgment towards the other options).

Once the decision was made, that was it. I called and made an appointment with our local CAS for an information session, and we never looked back.

We didn’t know it then, but over the next few years, we would be exposed to a whole new world. The things on our mind at that point were superficial; how long the process would take, how invasive it would be, trying to ignore the constant horror stories we were told, and holding on to the success stories that countered them. Not to mention worrying about how to fit in all the appointments that quickly filled our schedule, while balancing work, and maintaining a constantly spotless house, which is what we assumed they wanted to see. But these concerns would quickly fall away as we began to experience things we may have known existed but had never given much thought to, and surely had never considered being a part of. We would make some of the hardest decisions we ever had to face. We would also grow more than we ever thought we needed to.

We took it all step by step and quickly learned how to balance our emotions in a system full of technicalities and paperwork. We didn’t have many, if any, people in our lives that had been here and there is no etiquette for most of this stuff. I couldn't have anticipated what it would feel like to wish for your own success when inevitably that meant wishing for someone else’s failure; when welcoming your baby into the world meant watching a mother say goodbye to her baby for the last time. Or how it would feel to have someone tell you that the child you have been raising from birth is now officially yours! These are a few of the things that we could have never prepared ourselves for or imagined until they happened.

We are currently in the process of adopting our third child, who we have been fostering since birth. We never intended to pursue foster-to-adopt, but as we have learned before, things don’t always go as planned, especially when dealing with CAS. This baby is the birth sibling of our older two children. However, unlike our previous adoption, this one has been turbulent and stressful. We had just started talking about having a third child when we found out about him, and we knew right away that this was the best place for him to be. As I sit here now, I am counting down the days—10 to be exact—until CAS tells us whether our two-month-old son is still at risk of being removed from our home in order to be placed with a birth relative. Our two-month-old son is the youngest of six children, all of whom have been apprehended. The thought of losing him tears at my heart and has caused me a lot of anxiety lately. The thought of my older two children losing their brother, whom they have grown to adore, terrifies me. I continue to push the thought to the back of my mind, and just hope that things will work out for the best.

*Author's name that has been changed to protect privacy

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