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Adoption Blog: Adoption: Not Just My Profession, My Life

“For 12 Days, I Got to Be Your Momma”

Important Note: I find writing therapeutic. So, when we found ourselves in the throes of what looked to be a disruption and I had trouble smiling, speaking, or praying, I wrote instead. We also wrote the birth father a letter at that time. There was no anger toward him for wanting to parent. We wanted to share with him what the first two weeks of her life had been like. In the end, the disruption did not occur, but it is still a part of our journey, and so I wanted to share what I was going through in that moment.

My sweet little girl. For 12 days I was gifted the honor of being your momma. I stayed by your side and held you on my chest for days on end in the hospital, caring for your every way I knew how. On day two, my heart dove to depths I couldn't imagine, not only for you but for your birth mother, who made such a difficult decision. When we were finally able to leave the hospital after day four together, we settled in room number 502 and snuggled for hours on end. You pooped, cried, ate, snuggled, burped...all things newborns do best. You also stole my heart. Your deep dark eyes and precious cooing sounds when you sleep. Your tiny fingers grasping my hand while you drank. Your beautiful soft skin and precious lips. The way you lifted your eyebrows when you heard our voices in the room but were not yet sure you wanted to wake from your slumber. The way you reminded us over and over how you did NOT like to be put down and how we smiled sweetly and obliged, knowing that we really didn't want to put you down either.

Jonah and Seth were amazing "brothers-to-be" during your time at our house. They were so content helping to care for you and asked about you any time you weren't in the room with them. They hardly let you get 10 seconds of crying out before running to our sides to tell us that the baby needs us. Even without the official title, YOU were and always will be their first sister. They learned, however briefly, what it meant to hold a sister in their arms and hearts. You have given them such a special experience by being in their lives.

You have now been let go, not once, but twice. This time to your birth father's care. But my dear precious little girl, loss is not the only thing that has built up with each goodbye. Also magnified are the number of people who love you, whether you are in their arms or not; those praying for you and who will always be thinking about you as you grow older.

Even though tears fill my eyes, please know that you have brought so much love into our lives. I cannot even tell you how the past 12 days have changed who we are. We honored each and every day we had to be your parents. God put you in our arms temporarily but you will live in our hearts forever.

Our prayers for you will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Twelve days...less time than we had hoped for but long enough for you to become a piece of who we are, a part of our family's story, and, knowing the pain we feel now in saying goodbye, it was still all worth it to be able to be your momma for 12 days…288 hours…17,280 minutes…1,036,800 seconds.

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This post is beautiful, but it was heartbreaking to read.  We are in a similar situation with our daughter.  Her birthfather (although he has not completed the paternity test yet) is petitioning for custody of her and will likely be granted. She has been in our lives for the past 38 days and I cannot imagine my life without her.  It astounds me that she became my world the first moment I laid eyes on her. It has devastated me knowing that she may not be mine. Reading your post made me realize that even if we do not get to keep our daughter with us forever, at least for a short time, I was her mom.  It has been an amazing 38 days, and that is something that no one (or birthfather) can take away from me.

By LJGeorgia on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm.

Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear that you are facing a similar situation. It is an extreme test of faith in the process and having the utmost respect for the birthparent’s rights and desires as well as balancing your emotions and heartache as well. No matter how long your daughter is in your arms, she will be forever in your heart. Adoption is bittersweet. There is pain and joy no matter what the result. I’m thinking of your family as well as your daughter’s birthfather as well. May you find comfort and peace in knowing that YOU were meant to be her Momma for the time she is in your arms and you didn’t hold back loving on her every moment you were blessed with!

By Kristy Hartley-Galbraith on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 8:54 am.

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to write. My husband and I unfortuntaly just had a devastating failed adoption. We too had 12 days with our beautiful little girl before we had to give her back. I am looking for some words to help with the pain. I know there is probably not a lot, but anything will do. I do feel blessed that I was her mom for those 12 day and I pray for her everyday that she has a good life. This just happened a week ago. It’s truly unbelievable. Our hearts are broken, but I do hope to heal. She will always be a part of our lives.

By BSP on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 10:28 pm.

Bobbie I’m so sorry to hear that you experienced a disruption. This is such a painful time. I know you are looking for some words of wisdom and comfort and I hope I can provide that in some way. Now is the time to sit in the pain, if that makes sense, experience it so that you can fully grieve. And then when you find some peace you will be able to fully open up to another placement. You fell in love with her and for those 12 days you were entrusted as her caretaker to watch over her and love on her! Surround yourself with those who love you and can be supportive to you. Voice to them what is helpful and what is not, sometimes you don’t want to be alone but you don’t want to talk about it either. And more often than not, all those kind sentiments people say (which are indeed true but don’t really help at the time) such as “what is meant to be will be” or “when your successful adoption happens you will understand why this happened” or other things along those lines aren’t really helpful to you. Writing helps me so grab a piece of paper and write everything: your thoughts that maybe you won’t even say out loud, your sadness, the beautiful memories, the togetherness you and your partner felt as parents those first 12 days. It can be therapeutic to write it down and get it out on paper.

The thing that really helped me was remembering that we are but one side of the experience. From the moment that our daughter’s were placed in our arms and we were experiencing an amazing joy, there was a mother with empty arms experiencing a pain we cannot even imagine. This is true even in the case of non-disrupted placements. Adoption always stems from a loss and bittersweet is the only word I have found to touch on that experience. I’m not sure of your specific situation however there is a bond unique to only you and her other mother. You two are the only ones who have the wonderful experience of being called mom to that amazing little girl and although you had 12 days with her, the love you shared with her will last a lifetime. She needed you those 12 days. Her mother needed you too. She needed the time to make the most difficult decision of her life and during that time her precious little girl was being not only well cared for but loved and doted on as well. She was secure and safe and loved. Her birthmother also needed you to be able to empathize with her experience on the deepest level and support her decision even though it is incredibly painful for you. Know that she didn’t make her decision to cause you pain or because of anything you did. Keep in mind she choose you and entrusted her baby with you and planned to have you raise her in the event that she decided she was unable to. That’s tremendous faith. In the end, the decision was made which causes intense pain on your end. The pain is also a reflection of the love you have for her. That love can also aid in your understanding that someone who also loves her with all of her being is struggling and trying to make the right decision.

For me, even though I was feeling one of the deepest pains I had ever known while experiencing a possible disruption, I stepped back and realized that I still could not imagine the level of pain that birthparents must experience when signing the paperwork relinquishing their rights and placing their baby in the care of another. It too is a pain that never goes away. This acknowledgement didn’t make my pain any less, it just opened my eyes to have a better understanding of the other side of the experience and to embrace that this was a part of our story as a family and will be a part of your story forever too.

Now I feel I’m rambling so I won’t continue going on but know that you are not alone. The thing that you feel is coming between you and the birthmother is actually the thing that bonds you, love for the same little girl who has forever changed your life.

I’m here in case you want to talk further or if I can offer additional support. If you private message me I can respond as well.

Here is another blog post I wrote about going through the possible disruption. Keep in mind, in the end it didn’t disrupt however there was 4 months of uncertainly after she was placed in our arms.

By Kristy Hartley-Galbraith on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 8:15 am.

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Kristy Hartley-Galbraith

Kristy Hartley-Galbraith


I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
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