So, the sharing conference was a big fat washout! We met our adoption person, P, at the agency on Monday, June 1st for the conference call. We began exclaiming how excited we are (and we totally were) only to be countered with the commend “We’ve been thrown a curve ball…” Turns out, the younger girl (9 year old) has been placed in a pre-adoptive home with her oldest sister. As disappointed as we were, we were also relieved. You see, the week before this conference call, on May 20th, S and I had gone to an adoption event in Massachusetts. I didn’t’ want to go, but my wife is always prepared, “What if something happens and the upstate placement doesn’t work out?” she asked me. She always thinks ahead like that. I was certain those were our girls so I wasn’t reading to engage with the waiting children at this event. I went…but I was determined not to participate.
While at the adoption even, a social worker named M-K introduced us to a 12 year old girl named “M——-“. We recognized her from an adoption website. S and I would often drank coffee and search the various adoption websites on weekend mornings. In fact we commented to one another about how perfect she was, but… she had very little hair. “I wonder what that’s about?”, I said as I showed S her picture. There she was, with big fat chunky glasses with big beautiful blue eyes and fuzzy short blonde hair.
When we met her, at the adoption event she smiled, wiped her cookie crumb hands on her pants and offered us a hand shake. She was full of excitement and interested in where we were from. “Long Island!?” She squealed with childlike excitement. I wondered if she even knew where Long Island even was.
She shared with us she loved to eat, enjoyed electronics and playing games. We learned from her social worker that she has Trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder which explained the fuzzy short hair.
I spent very little time with this M because I was determined not to be disloyal to the upstate girls who have been matched with us. Plus, I’ll admit the hair pulling issue kinda freaked me out. I kept my distance trying not to be obvious or too awkward. I couldn’t keep my eye off of her. I watched her interact with the animals in the petting zoo. I watched her run from activity to activity, then go eat pizza. She was certainly animated and she seemed really smart. Then, as we were getting ready to leave she approached us. “I’m leaving now” she said smiling “and I wanted to just say goodbye and It was nice meeting you.” Just when I wondered if I should hug her, she extended her hand for a goodbye handshake. Ughgh…my heart. I was hooked.
As we drove home, I tried to convince S that we should submit our home-study to her social worker and reminded her – “Just in case.” S was unsure about the hair pulling. I decided I would research it.
I did…i researched it. It’s not that frightening and I also decided if M is meant to be our kid, then S will be on board and it will happen organically. So, when we found out that our upstate placement fell through, we were both so relieved. We looked at each other and confessed that we really wanted M! We immediately submitted our homestudy to her social worker.
Monday, June 19th 2017, we went to Massachusetts for our “Disclosure Meeting”. We were handed a stack of papers three inches thick and was told “this is M”. Wow…I read some really disturbing stuff. It left me breathless and sickened. I decided that is NOT M.
I don’t really know exactly what we have just signed up for. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But for now, I just know I’m expecting a daughter. A bouncing preadolescent girl. I am preparing myself to protect her, guide her, advocate for her and love her unconditionally with every ounce of passion I have. She doesn’t have to like me, or appreciate me, or even respect me (but I hope she does all three!!!!), she is our daughter and she doesn’t even know it yet.