Baby M. holds a very special place in my heart. I will never forget the moment I laid eyes on him. He is and will always be one of the most beautiful little creatures I have ever seen. Baby M. also remains one of the most heart breaking experiences of my life.
I have to call him Baby M because of the sensitivity of his case. He is now considered a “Warden of the State” So I am unable to use his name. In February Eric and I began our adoption journey. We had just put the wheels in motion for our Home Study and started to work with a few agencies (and the not so honest Facilitator I had mentioned in my last blog post). We were spending some much needed time in Arizona with Family. This was one month after I had lost William to a cord accident and delivered him at 20 weeks gestation. The hormones were through the roof! I was pumping 5 times a day working very hard to store as much Breast milk as I could because I wanted to give this milk to the baby that we adopt. If you have ever lost a baby than you would also know that pumping after a loss is very therapeutic and gives the grieving Mother something to hold on to. It gives the grieving Mother some control over the world around her.
At the time I thought I was only pumping my breast milk for our future baby, but I was more so pumping to maintain my sanity. I would pump and pray. I would pump and envision my little baby that I would soon have through adoption. I would imagine my baby boys playing in heaven with Jesus. By the end of February I had an entire freezer full of pumped breast milk. It got to the point that I would just sit and cry while pumping. I felt so emotional and so broken. How could I be at this place AGAIN. Not just 7 months prior I sat in my bed room in our home doing the same thing after losing our baby Jack at 32 weeks. I would sit and cry, pump and look at photos of Jack. As some time has passed since those days I have come to realize I was acting out of complete intuition, hormones, and survival. Just like child birth, it was almost animalistic. I just did it without putting much thought into it!
I remember the day I saw his eyes. Baby M. looking right back at me with the biggest brightest baby blues! My now friend Melissa had reached out to me to share Baby M’s incredible story. In a nutshell Baby M’s mother had given birth to him in a circle K parking lot. She was high on various drugs and her baby was literally laying in her under wear when she was picked up by the paramedics. She literally lived in a dirt lot behind the church she attended. Baby M tested positive for Meth and Heroine. He went right into detox and withdraw from these narcotics. He started his life in a very painful and tragic way. After a few days postpartum Baby M’s mother left him in the hospital and she returned to the streets to continue her lifestyle as a drug abusing criminal and most tragically a lost and broke soul. Baby M. was left to go through the most painful moments of his life and his very first days on this planet ALONE. Fortunately Baby M’s mother had enough where withal to leave a note saying that she wanted her pastor from her church to be the temporary care giver for Baby M.
This miraculous and loving Pastor and his Wife very quickly became Baby M’s hope. Without much hesitation these wonderful people took Baby M. home and cared and loved him as if he were their own. It became apparent to the Pastor and his wife that Baby M’s Mother was not coming back any time soon. They began researching opportunities for possible adoption. They knew that the best opportunity for Baby M. was a home with a growing family. The Pastor and his wife needed to find Baby M’s mother as they needed her to sign off on various documents to give them custody. She was finally arrested after Baby M. was about 3-4 weeks old for burglary. She was very quickly released giving no one the opportunity to sit down with her and make a solid adoption plan for Baby M.
It was a shot in the dark. It was an impossible miracle lead by a place of love and hope. My friend shared with me that this Baby might need a family and we came to mind for her. We were elated and honored to learn about this little miracle baby. He had fought through so much in his short little life and has already inspired so many people. Just like me, he too experienced loss, and heart ache. We both had lost something very important to us. He lost his Mother and I lost my son. I felt an immediate connection to Baby M’s story and life and I absolutely fell in love with his perfect little face. Something grabbed a hold of me tightly and it begged me to not let this go. I knew that Baby M would be a shot in the dark. There were no guarantees and this would take a miracle! Baby M’s mother would need to be sober and willing to create an adoption plan. When we were first notified about Baby M. his Mother had been missing again and likely back to being on the streets.
We took a leap of faith and hoped that this situation might be the answer to our prayers. Perhaps we were Baby M’s forever family? My heart said yes, my mind said… not a chance. We asked our friend to set up a day to meet with the Pastor so that we could talk about Baby M’s future and to see if it would be at all possible to adopt him. He so graciously met with our little family and I poured my heart out. I explained the loss I had been through and how I wanted to badly to give that love to Baby M. I wanted Baby M. to feel the love that I had for Jack and William. I needed somewhere to Chanel that love and Baby M. seemed like the person most deserving. The Pastor and my little family hit it off! Without thinking it through and acting completely from my heart I asked to meet Baby M. I had no idea why. I knew that this could lead to tremendous heart ache but every fiber in my body said that I had to at least meet this little miracle.
The Pastor kindly agreed. I am certain he knew what sort of pain this could cause but he could also see how serious Eric and I were about potentially adopting Baby M. We rushed to a grocery store and picked up a few gifts for Baby M. The next day we met him! When he was placed in my arms my heart was so broken for this tiny human. I think about the love I have poured into Scarlett and how this baby deserves that type of love from a Mother. He was also just so completely beautiful. My heart melted as I held Baby M. and fed him his bottle.We also learned his birth Mothers incredibly heart breaking story. She was attending college and running track. She injured her back and was put on prescription pain medication. Soon the medication became to hard to obtain. Her then boyfriend introduced her to heroine because it was an easier to obtain option and a heck of a lot cheaper. My heart broke for this Woman and for this sweet baby.
We left that meeting hopeful, we left that meeting thinking… maybe we just met our baby? We were in the right place at the right time, I mean what were the chances that we just so happened to have been visiting Arizona at that time. I had lost William right around when Baby M. was born. While driving to meet Baby M. there was a rainbow in the sky following our car! I prayed and I prayed that this would be our baby boy.
We were warned that this was going to be a long and hard road. Once meeting Baby M. we were in. When I got into the car after meeting Baby M. I looked at Eric with tears in my eyes and Eric said “we are going to do what we can for him.” Once we returned home from our trip to Arizona we began aggressively finishing up our home study and we began reaching out to various attorney’s to seek legal advice and see if this adoption could really happen? We were completely lost and had no idea if this was going to be possible. Just when we found some great news, even worse news was presented to us. It became more and more impossible. Moments of hope were torn apart within days. This was one of the most intense emotional roller coasters of my life. There were nights that I cried myself to sleep thinking about this baby. I was in love and I couldn’t figure out why? This was a baby, just like any other baby… why did I feel so much love and connection to him. It was really bizarre, but I just kept following my heart.
One thousand tears later and thousands spent in legal advice ultimately Baby M. was never to be our son. We soon learned that because the Birth Mother was high during the pregnancy, and the baby tested positive for narcotics Baby M. became a Warden of the state. In conclusion Baby M. was to either stay with the Pastor (which was a miracle that the State allowed this) or go into Foster Care. Because the Birth Mom had such an intense criminal background and was not considered of sound mind during the times that she needed to be she was no longer able to make an adoption plan. According to the State the Birth Mother wanted the Baby to be cared for by the Pastor and made no efforts toward an adoption plan. We came to the realization after months of guessing that Baby M. would be next to impossible to adopt since we are not residents of Arizona.
Why was this so hard to swallow? We had turned away several other adoption situations because we were committed to adopting Baby M. We waited a few months to come to the painful conclusion that we needed to move on. This hurt terribly because it is not like the baby is no longer alive. He is not alive in my life… but he is still alive and will never be ours. I had become so attached to the idea of him, and I became so dedicated that I acted on emotions and listened to my heart more than I listened to my mind.
There were many lessons that I learned from the Baby M. situation.
- I could in fat love someone else’s biological child. I could love a baby that was not biologically mine. This was something I pondered and worried about when deciding to adopt.
- Never meet a baby before it is even a possibility to adopt them.
- Gaurd your heart. Expect several situations to not workout for you before you find “The one”.
Without Baby M. there might not have been Baby Warren in our life. Baby M gave me the push and motivation to comlete our home study very quickly. We had started the process in February and were Home Study approved by April. The Baby Warren situation came to be at the end of May. If we had not rushed to get our home study done in order to adopt Baby M. we would not have been home study read and ready to travel for Baby Warren. My love for Baby M. will always be there. He holds a very special place in my heart. Loving the idea of him helped me to heal during the days after I had lost my third baby. My love for Baby M. gave me the confidence that I was ready to adopt, and that I was doing it for the right reasons. Baby M. showed me that I am capable of such incredible unconditional love. I knew I was capable for that love with my sweet biological daughter Scarlett, but could I be capable of that for another baby birthed by someone else?
The answer is yes.
Baby M. I will always love you and I will always have gratitude for the brief period that you were in my life. My love for you was real. The tears I wept for you were real. The visions of you playing with Scarlett on our trampoline were real.
You and I were real.