How My Wife and I Surrendered to the Realities of Adoption


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Written by Karen Izzi

We learned about the opportunity to adopt a newborn from a young couple on February 24th, my father’s birthday of all days. Phyllis and I proceeded with bells on.

We have been on an emotional roller coaster with this young couple – quite a lot of ups and downs, yes’ and nos. We hired the very best attorney and we just kept affirming – all joy, all good, so much love.

In just a few short weeks, Phyllis and I had done the best we could to make a safe and happy place for our little baby boy to arrive. Since the baby was not going home with his birth parents, we busted a move to put everything in place before his arrival. We created a nursery, purchased a crib, and bought all of the essentials we would need to make home to this precious child, our child.

Throughout the nesting process, our friends and family members reminded us to “stay in check,” because things can suddenly change with adoption.

“Got it!” we would reply. We affirmed every day for months that things would “happen the way they were supposed to happen.” We believe strongly that the Universe provides and God knows what is best for both of us. After all, we are two fifty-year-old women with a lifetime of experience behind us.

On arrival day, the young mom wanted nothing to do with him, so I was asked to be with her to be the first one he saw, offer Reiki, and reflexolgy to induce labor. She was terrified. It was a strange experience because the doctor handed the baby to me immediately after he was born. No one in the room acknowledged the baby! It was crazy- the birth mom/dad, two grandmothers and her sister- NO ONE. It was he and I in a corner of the room.

My heart melted as soon as I laid eyes on him. His fingers and toes were so tiny, his mouth so small. He had that fresh and intoxicating newborn smell. I fell in love immediately and I knew he had, too.

Since the baby was not legally allowed to leave the hospital with us, we paid additional fees, had an additional home study done to become his “foster home” and legal guardians until our adoption papers came through the court system. The kids brought him over at 9pm after they were released from the hospital- we signed papers and thought everything was fine and final.

The next morning we woke up feeling quite accomplished after making it so successfully through the night. What a fabulous team of parents we are. We changed him, treated his little body with necessary creams and ointments, and watched him smile for the first time in his life. We talked to him and knew he understood that we were going to love him and teach him everything he needed to know to be a good person. He made us feel complete, as individuals and as a couple. We even made plans for him to meet his aunts, cousins, and god-parents later that day.

Everything felt right with the world during those first few hours with our child….until it didn’t.

We had zero time to think about him being taken away. At 12:30, with his swaddle and bottle came a phone call from our attorney saying that the birth father had changed his mind and was on his way. At the exact same time, before there was even time to think, he and a family friend pulled into the driveway. “Wait, WHAT?!!” I panicked.

A bolt of heat went from my heart to every part of my body. I felt myself shatter. I felt adrenaline and blood pulsing in every vein. I was in shock, experiencing anger, disbelief, sadness, insufficiency, and regret all at once. I felt physically sick and faint.

Phyllis hung up the phone and came to answer the door. The three of us greeted them. I couldnt move. The birth daddy was trembling; explained how “he just couldnt….” When we originally met the birth father, he had warned us that his mom was not happy about a lesbian couple applying for adoption of her grandchild. Apparently she became violent and unruly after the baby was born.

Tears rolled down my face before I could even think. I was crying for him, the baby, and ourselves. So many things flashing through my mind, I was unable to speak! Phyllis did the talking and I was the one who had to just hand him over to the huge gray fleece they brought with which to carry him home. The baby was screaming – he first time he had ever cried in his life. Energy shifts.

“He IS the baby’s daddy,” I just kept telling myself. “I understand. I want this for the baby.”

“But, how can they just do that?” we asked each other. We had just signed papers. We had just sent a text to our families to invite them to come and meet him. In a half hour’s time, we had to tell them the unthinkable.

We even feared hearing, “I told you so.”

Phyllis and I sobbed, held each other, and agreed it would be best to get away for a bit. We packed our bags and drove to the beach – our place. We walked around, shared a meal, had some drinks, and talked about the events some more. We finally regained our breath!

Then we thought, “Maybe we were just supposed to get a puppy!” Thousands of thoughts poured from each of us as we took in the ocean, salt air, vastness of the sky. What next? We slept on it.

In those 24 hours, we felt every emotion possible and then some.

Today is a new day.

I just woke up to the sound of the monitor on the baby momma’s belly, listening to that swishy sound of the heartbeat for hours before his arrival. I was present for his birth because no one else wanted to be. I was there cause he chose me to be there. I was all alone in welcoming him into the world. Yep, me, him, and the nurse.

I am still unable to understand….

My mind goes back to earlier this week over and over again. Through my anger, tears and stutter, with all my guts, I offered the baby’s daddy everything we had for the baby: brand new nursery full if clothes, dispers, infant toys, etc. He very impolitely declined, and said something like, “he didnt need anything from us.”

Days later, I reflect back on this week’s events and I focus on the word SURRENDER.

Sometimes we just cannot understand everything. We must go on, trying to be who we are NOW. At this moment, as my heart aches, I know we must break it all down. We will re-group and consider what is next.

Our faith teaches us that everything is in divine order. We are spirit. We are strong. We have to believe that it wasn’t meant for him to be with us. While it’s so difficult not to keep analyzing the whole expereince, we want him to be with his birth parents. We wish all the best for him and his family. This experience has taught us so much about the process of adoption.

God bless all children who have come through adoption. God knows what is best and eventhough we don’t know what lies ahead for us, we know that it will be fantastic!

Phyllis and I are standing strong-together. We love each other infinitely, especially through this heartbreak.

Thank you, each of you, who have been with us in joy, sent us baby gifts, lent us your baby’s things, caught tears for us, called, texted, assembled things….WE LOVE & APPRECIATE YOU more than words can ever say.

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