A Failed Adoption

One of the families that used our service experienced a heart wrenching adoption failure wherein the baby was taken back after the adopting parents had him for a week. The mother , Lauren , put her feelings in writing and we felt that it was , although very sad, beautifully written , and oh so emotional . With her permission , we are sharing it.

This beautiful boy broke our hearts wide open when he was born (Tuesday, March, 24th at 9:35am) exactly one week ago today! Chance and I gave him the name, Lochlan. 💙
Shortly after we got the call that we were officially matched to adopt Lochlan (New Year’s Eve, 2019-best NYE ever!) we began lovingly preparing his nursery. Chance created beautiful paintings of an elephant (my favorite animal) and a lion (for my Dad and my friend Danny who both passed in recent months, they were both Leos). Chance was careful to make the faces look extra kind, because that’s just the kind of Dad that Chance is. He wanted Lochlan to be surrounded with art, positive energy and love.
Music is my love language, so I immediately started curating a playlist of songs that reminded me of Lochlan and of us. I also asked his birth parents what their favorite songs were to add to the list. I would listen to the playlist every day and tweak the order, while I spoke to Lochlan’s spirit and cried tears of joy in anticipation of his arrival. Whenever I spoke to him I could feel him in my heart.
We put a lot of time and effort into developing a consistent and beautiful bond with his birth parents. We talked multiple times per day and visited them in person. It was always our intention to have an open adoption. It was important to all of us that Lochlan know how much love and care went into making this plan for him.
We prayed each and every night for the health of Lochlan’s birth parents and for his safe and peaceful delivery. When he was born he had to be resuscitated. The hospital called to tell us that he would need to be transferred to the NICU, but by the time we got to the hospital he was thriving. He was a fighter from the very start.
On Lochlan’s first night, I stayed overnight in the same room as his birth parents. At the time, I thought it was beautiful that they trusted me to stay with them. But I also acknowledge that it was hard and it was complicated to hold the complexity of our enmeshed emotions in that shared space. On the one hand, I felt heartbroken for them and their anticipatory grief, but selfishly I felt joy, love and hope for me and Chance-our boy was here! I wanted so badly to kiss Lochlan’s face and tell him everything I was feeling, but I knew I had to be sensitive to their conflicting emotions. Instinctively, I created a tiny boundary that night.
(Chance wasn’t allowed to visit-due to hospital restrictions, so he met his son for the first time on FaceTime. I can’t imagine how hard it was for him to not be there with us. But he selflessly prepared a family sized portion of pasta for me and the birth parents and dropped it at the hospital entrance, because if you didn’t know already my husband is a living saint).
That night, I stayed awake for 24 hours watching Lochlan and caring for him while his birth parents slept. It was the most heart opening, exhausting and soul-stirring adrenaline rush I’ve ever felt in my life. It was in the quiet moments of this night that I was first able to whisper quietly to Lochlan that I loved him.
I spent the next night in the hospital with Lochlan. Just the two of us (and the incredibly warm nursing staff who showered us with attention, extra snacks for me and a full collection of beautiful little hats for Lochlan-I cry when I think of their kindness). Once we finally had a moment alone, one of the sweet nurses set Lochlan and me up for skin to skin contact and I cried the happiest tears I’ve ever known. Let’s be honest, I sobbed. I was overcome with emotion. I didn’t know I could love him so much, so soon. I was also overwhelmed at becoming a first-time mom, especially being there without Chance, but Lochlan literally held my hand while I anxiously changed his diapers and looked straight into my soul when I held him-which was every possible waking second. Through the night, with Lochlan’s trust, I learned that I can be patient, that I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for, and that my capacity for love is far greater than I ever dreamed possible.
After two beautifully full days, I was finally able to introduce Lochlan to Chance. This was a reunion I wish I could relive over and over again. After four years, two miscarriages, an adoption process and finally being matched with Lochlan: Chance was a Dad! And I’ve never seen a more loving father. I knew Chance would be great, but I’ve never admired him more. He is the strongest, most present and the most kindhearted man I’ve ever known.
Lochlan was with us for 7 divinely inspired days, until this morning, when we experienced the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure in my life: We said goodbye to our baby. His birth parents changed their minds and we had no choice but to give Lochlan back to them.
As an adoptive parent you legally have no protection or rights until the birth parent(s) sign(s) a termination of their parental rights. We hired four attorneys (one to match us, one to represent birth mom, one for baby, and one for us-for finalization), an advertising agency, a pregnancy counselor for birth mom in her state, and an adoption worker in our state. And I’m sorry to say, but not one person that we hired could protect us through our process. We were and still are completely vulnerable. We sacrificed a lot to get to this point. We fought so hard with reason and passion to buy more time with Lochlan, but in the end we packed up our bags and are traveling home without the beautiful boy we prayed for, made space for and loved beyond comprehension.
Tonight, our hearts are actively breaking, but Chance and I both agree that even for just this one week with Lochlan, we’d take all of the pain and do it all over again. I hope that in our time together we were able to give Lochlan half as much love as he gave us.
I feel blessed that we had the chance to play him our favorite music, dance with him in our arms and whisper in his ears all of our secrets and best wishes. We told him more times than I can count how much we love him. We thanked him over and over again for trusting us, for his patience and for choosing to spend his first week with us. I personally kissed his face, his head, his hands, his feet and his heart 5 billion times. And we collectively cried (our dog Vernon included) for our gratitude and for our sadness more viscerally than we have ever cried before.
We will continue to pray for his birth parents (in-spite of what my ego wants me to feel: anger, fear and disappointment). We will pray. For their health, courage, integrity and highest good so that they may be thoughtful and conscious parents, and ultimately cultivate a world for Lochlan where he may thrive and shine.
And while I know that Chance and I will cry ourselves to sleep for a while, we’re glad it happened. Lochlan made our hearts double in size in the short time that we were blessed to know him.
There’s always a chance his birth parents will change their minds again. And with that on our minds and in our hearts, we will always keep a light on and a space for Lochlan to return to us should he need us. If given the chance, we will choose him once more.
For now, we vow to move forward stronger, prouder, and more open to love than we were before, always in Lochlan’s honor and grace.
We love you, Lochlan. It was an answered prayer to finally meet your gaze and greet your soul. You will live in our hearts forever. And may our love for you be imprinted on your heart for the rest of your exquisite life.

((Of all of the songs in my playlist this was always my special song for you: “Remember Jah,” by Satsang. Jah=God. And while I don’t understand yet why our time was cut so short, I think it’s clear you came here to teach me to Remember Jah. And to trust that when the pain is blinding, deafening and even soul crushing that God has a plan)).

Thank you for being you, Lochlan. And thank you for letting me be your Mom. It has been the best part of my life so far.

I love you. I love you. I love you.