In 2003 we were contacted about a woman that was pregnant and going to abort. After talking to us she decided to allow us to adopt. In March of 2004 that fell apart and we said that we would not ever try adoption again. A few months later we were contacted about keeping a baby while the mother was in prison, kind of like a foster care situation. We were 99% certain that this was not for us. We agreed to talk to the mother on the phone and were honest with her, that were were looking to adopt, not foster, but agreed to pray about it. We asked for a week to make our decision. A few days later she called back asking us to adopt. She had a 7 year sentence for statutory rape (Abbie's father was 14 when the 'relationship' started, mother was in mid 30's) and did not think that it was fair to ask someone to keep her for that long. If we chose not to adopt her she would go to foster care. We agreed to adopt and began the home study process and met with a lawyer (this was in September). Things were moving forward until the mother learned that she had a parole hearing in January, right around the time the baby was due. So a few days before Thanksgiving she said that she needed more time. We knew that she was reconsidering because she might get out. We understood that. But we also knew that her chances of parole were almost zero. So on January 11th, 2005 we decided to proceed, hoping and praying that she would either be released and we would only have the baby for a short time, or that she would remain in prison and allow us to adopt.
In late January she was denied parole yet refused to allow the adoption. She was using us and we knew it. We loved this little girl to pieces but knew that we could not keep her. We had her for 2 months when we issued the ultimatum: find Abbie a new home or allow us to adopt. There was a local religious group that did foster care for the prisoners and she had contacted them prior to us and none of their families had been willing to take Abbie due to the length of the prison stay. She contacted them again and they found one family willing to take her. We had lost. My heart was shattered. Yet I knew that it was the right decision. The mother spent 6 years in prison, getting out when Abbie was 5 1/2 years old. Over 5 years living with one family and visiting your mother on the weekends in prison, then ripped out of that family and placed with your birth family at 5 years old. How is that healthy? Its not. But it wasn't our decision to make.
The year after we lost Abbie was a dark year. The good part of it was that while in the process of trying to adopt her, our church began to provide health insurance for us. My infertility issues and thyroid problems had made it extremely difficult to be self insured. Hubby is self employed (in ministry) so there was not a work option for us. Since we needed insurance in order to adopt this was an answer to prayer. It also allowed us to begin the long, arduous journey of infertility diagnosis. We had some prior testing, but not much. So once Abbie was gone we began to jump into the infertility game and though it was a long 4 years it led us to embryo adoption. It led us to Maddie. And now Olivia. But no matter what a piece of my heart belongs to Abbie. I wonder what she looks like. I wonder if she is well taken care of. I wonder if her father has ever tried to see her. I wonder if she suffers from her mother's decisions. And most of all I pray for her to know Jesus one day.
Happy Birthday, my sweet Abbie. May Jesus watch over you and keep you safe. And may one day you know that you have a "mom and dad" that love you even if we cannot see or hold you.