“In July of 2019, we were chosen by M’s birth parents to be the parents of this beautiful 6-week old baby girl. We had waited 16 months to hear those words, ‘They chose you.’ I fell to my knees and wept. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening.
This particular situation was an intervention. I’m going to do my best to explain what an intervention is. Please forgive me if I get some of the information wrong. In the state of Florida, if a child is under the age of 6 months in DCF care, the child can still be placed through an adoption agency rather than staying in the foster care system. There are three major court dates in an intervention: request and granted to intervene, best interest hearing, then finalization.
M’s maternal grandparents had an expedited home study through DCF in order to have M placed with them. We were told multiple times how the grandparents did not want to take care of M. We were shown text messages of how the last time they took in a grandchild, it was weird for their marriage and they pushed for adoption. While waiting two months for our first major hearing, the birth parents changed their minds and wanted to parent, which meant our court hearing was pushed back while the birth parents had a hearing for their rights back. Another month went by and the hearing came. The birth parents changed their minds again because there was no legal argument to have their rights reinstated. Instead, the birth parents wanted the grandparents to adopt M. The grandparents had changed their minds as well. I can’t blame them. It’s hard not to fall in love with M.
At this point, it had been around 3 months of waiting just for our first hearing. We could have backed out and walked away. People constantly asked us why we didn’t. When does a mom become a mother? Is it when she gives birth? When her baby is placed in her arms? When she feels the first kick? When she hears the first heartbeat? When a pregnancy test tells her she’s pregnant? I don’t know but for me, it was when a white stick told me I was pregnant. From that point on, I put my child I was growing first and did everything to care for her.
Then it happened again when we got the phone call saying, ‘You have a daughter. Her name is M.’ That’s when I became M’s mother. I’d go to the ends of the earth for her. I’d pay every last cent I had for legal fees. I’d never NEVER stop fighting for her because that’s what a mother does for her child. That’s why I didn’t walk away, that’s why I kept fighting. She was mine and my love for her was and is the EXACT SAME as my biological daughter.
We had our first major hearing and were granted intervention and visitations with M. After three months of waiting and silently suffering, we had a big win. The next hearing would determine if we or the grandparents would be in the best interest. That was 4 months away. We had visits at a minimum of once a week. Sometimes M’s caseworker had another opening and she’d let us have more than once a week.
I can hardly think, let alone speak, of our first visit without crying. She was so beautiful and happy. I held her and she bounced from so much excitement. I sobbed when we had to say goodbye. We drove 3 hours multiple times a week for months for our visits with M. Each visit, we bonded and loved her more and more. On Christmas, we opened gifts and had matched sweaters. During one visit, M was crying because we woke her from her nap. We wanted to play so badly but she wanted to sleep, so I rocked her in my arms. While she started to doze, she stared into my eyes and fell asleep in the comfort of my arms. In that moment, I knew she was bonding with us as much as we were bonding with her. I stared at her while she slept and thought of all the things I wanted to do with her when this was over. I thought of her first birthday theme, her first bike ride, if she’d love sports or if she’d love music. I thought of all the nights I wanted to hold her in my arms and never let her go.
Little did I know, that would be the last time I ever saw M. We had our best interest hearing, where the judge hears from three major people: M’s caseworker, the guardian ad litem, and the DCF attorney. Every single one advised the judge we’d be in the best interest for M. We were confident. There was no way she wasn’t going to be placed with us. I didn’t have a single doubt in my mind she’d be home with us. When we got the news the judge decided to have M be with her grandparents, we were blindsided. The pain was excruciating, indescribable. I was never going to see my baby girl again. We wanted M’s grandparents to stay her grandparents. Come to games, come over for Sunday dinner. No matter what, they were never going to lose M. We lost her. We had M’s room completely ready hours after finding the news we were chosen and every night, we’d walk in her room and silently look and think another day without our M. Now, I looked at a room she was never going to know. Putting away her things knowing she’d never use them was the most painful thing I’ve ever done. The only thing I found comfort in was knowing I did EVERYTHING I could. We literally gave our last cent and then some for her. We never gave up. I hope one day, when she’s 18, she’ll want to meet me and I can look her in the eyes and tell her I never stopped fighting and for the past 17 years, I have always thought and prayed for her. I have never stopped loving her.
A few months went by and we got a call from our agency on May 30, 2020, at 7 p.m. There was a stork drop situation, which means the baby is almost ready for discharge and the birth parents have decided adoption. With our agency, only families who have experienced a disrupted adoption are presented for stork drops. That meant the birth parents were deciding between us and one other family. We would find out the next day. I had little hope we’d be picked. We have a biological daughter, Scarlett who is 2.5 years old and during those 8 long months of court, we were asked over and over and over again why we wanted to adopt when we can have biological children. We spent the better part of a year being told having a child, especially a biological one, was a deterrent.
Sunday afternoon, we got a text we had a daughter. Her name was Anastasia, and we need to be at the hospital in 5 hours with a car seat. I literally ran back and forth, not knowing what to do first. We couldn’t believe it. There was no time to even think. Here is something I will never forget and I hope others will learn from. We were told the reason Anastasias birth parents picked us was because of Scarlett. They saw Scarlett’s picture and said, ‘We want her to be Anastasia’s big sister.’ Don’t lose hope because you’re not right for someone. You’re perfect to someone else.
We arrived at the hospital. The security guard was over the moon for us and allowed for both of us to go up. Because of the pandemic, only one parent was allowed up. We walked in Anastasia’s room. She was tiny and beautiful. We had to wash our hands for 2 minutes and let me tell you, that was the longest two minutes of my life.
I held her in my arms for the first time and I could barely get the words out because I was crying so hard, ‘Hi baby, I’m your mama,’ and then she smiled. Granted, it was a reflex smile but still, she smiled. I thought my heart was going to explode from all the love. The nurses were fantastic and let us stay as long as we wanted because Anastasia wasn’t being discharged until the next day. On June 1, we brought our miracle angel home. We went to the hospital and I got that classic new mom treatment and was wheeled out while holding my new baby.
We had Anastasia home with us a few weeks when we realized we never would have been presented to Anastasia’s birth parents if our situation with M fell through. Even though that brought comfort to our soul, we’ll always love M. If you’re wondering how Scarlett is as a big sister, she is amazing and extremely protective over her baby sister. I don’t think there’s a better big sister out there.
We had another realization. I hadn’t had my period yet. Turns out, I’m pregnant! We went from the most painful experience to having two babies in 1 year, making it three girls total!
Even though we were in pain, we pushed through and on the other side, we had miracles we never even dreamed up. Don’t give up. Keep fighting, keep pushing. Your miracle is coming.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sosha Cox from Orlando, FL. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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