Adoption Loss

My worst fear, when Walter and I were going through fertility treatment, was suffering a neonatal or late term pregnancy loss. I think it’s every infertiles worst nightmare, to fight so hard and for so long and come so close to achieving the dream of a child, only to have it snatched away at the very end.

Adoptive parents face a similar fear, adoption loss. Adoption loss was/is my worst fear, it was the reason Walter and I put off adopting for so many years prior to Ava’s birth.

This week, we got THE CALL, the call we’ve been waiting for for more than a year. Our SW called to say there was a baby for us, a son. We immediately dropped everything and flew to Cape Town to fetch our son. We prepped Ava that she was going to have a baby brother and she was going to big a big sister. We were so excited, so happy, to finally be a family of 3 become a family of 4.

We met our son on Wednesday, he is beautiful, content, chilled little boy and I started to feel those familiar stirrings of love for him. How could I not, he is perfect and completely innocent.

Ava was completely taken with him. Helping to change his nappies, stroking his hair and saying how cute he is and how much she loves him.

He was ours for only 7 hours before we had to return him as his birth mother had retracted consent.

My heart is broken and my head is a mess. I’m battling to come to terms with this loss. I’m battling to come to terms with Ava’s confusion over where her little brother went. I’m battling to come to terms with all that has happened. I feel betrayed, angry, confused and most of all, I feel lost.

I will write more about this experience as my mind settles over the next few week’s, for now, there is much noise in my head and sadness and confusion in my heart.

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  • Reply Tertia Emerson

    ah my friend!! i am so sorry!! that must be the worst thing to deal with!!

    thinking of you all xxxx

    August 24, 2012 at 9:05 am
  • Reply Chantal

    All my love to you, Walter and Ava in what must be an absolute nightmare of an ordeal to face. Many hugs and my thoughts are with you all.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:07 am
  • Reply blackhuff

    What makes me so furious about this whole situation you all had to go through, is what’s going on in Ava’s mind and heart? How is suppose to deal with a loss like this, where she had a brother for a short while and now he’s gone? I know it’s just as hard on you two but Ava is so innocent. This is what make me so furious about this whole thing – this BM did not think about the implications when she agreed to adoption of her child. That if she does decide to retract her decision, that she will not only hurt you as adults, but there is kids also who get hurt and might not understand.
    I’m so sorry for you all’s loss.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:08 am
  • Reply GAIL

    I can’t imagine what you 3 are going through. I will keep you in my prayers.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Charmaine

    I am so sorry to hear Sharon – my thoughts are with you all my friend! Nothing we say will change what you going through now, just know that you have a LOT of online support, prayers & love coming your way! xoxoxoxo

    August 24, 2012 at 9:16 am
  • Reply Jenny

    It totally sucks and I feel so angry and hurt and lost for you.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:22 am
  • Reply Juanita

    Ai Sharon, it is terrible that this has happened to you. Keep strong, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. xxx

    August 24, 2012 at 9:30 am
  • Reply Ella

    So desperately sad for your devastating loss, dear Sharon.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Sian

    This should never happen ever to anyone. I am so devastated for you, Walter and Ava. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help xxxxx

    August 24, 2012 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Warren

    Hi Sharon. I have no great words of comfort to offer you at this painful time…
    I just wouldn’t know where to start…
    All I can tell you is that I am adopted.
    And I’ve always felt like there was a higher force involved in placing me with my adoptive parents.
    I was meant to be with them, my life-path was altered when I left my birth mother’s womb.
    I don’t look for the reasons, I just accept that with those adoptive parents is where I was meant to be.
    Your son was not meant to be yours at this time. I know that sounds cruel and uncaring, but I believe in fate and I believe it has a plan for you too.
    Accepting that now will be the hardest thing you will ever have to do.
    But, there will be a time when fate brings you another soul. A soul you will love and cherish and who will love you back even more. For he will believe that you were the ones who gave him a new life. A life that he was meant to live.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:37 am
  • Reply Wynette

    wow sharon my heart physically aches for you. Its so sore and you right he was your son, I think the minute we lay our eyes our heart swallows them as our own. Grieve , give yourself permission to grieve the feelings, the dreams you had the thoughts you had in those 7 hours. Talk about it if you need to , especially to Ava if you able. If you not, let someone else who can. You all loss something special , does not matter how long it lasted its the emotional connection that matters, the dreams and hopes attached.

    I dont want to get political here becuase its the last thing you need in the midst of your pain, but I am interested who you went through. (I think as adoptive moms we want to protecct each other ) There is someone I have experience with where there been a few similar situations, not preping the birthmoms adequately may be some experts opinions. We nearly had a similar experience before Jesse but a little bird prepped our hearts beforehand. Perhaps you should tell whoever you working through to only phone you after the 60 – 90 days. I think sometimes social workers get so excited they may start to ignore their own inner voice thats noticing some red flag feelings. And so we need to be protectors of our own hearts.

    But for now grieve, I wish I could hold all your pain for you , so you dont have to feel this tremendous torcherous loss.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:37 am
  • Reply Beth

    I’m so sorry for your loss Sharon. Sorry doesn’t seem a deep enough word. Sorry doesn’t express the ache in my heart that you are hurting. Sorry doesn’t express how my thought turn to you so many times everyday. Sorry doesn’t express how I pray that the BM changes her mind again and that your LB comes home for good, even though I know that isn’t how prayers work.

    So in this stupid limited language. I’m so very, deeply sorry.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:41 am
  • Reply Toni

    I’m so sorry you have had to go through this heartache. I’m interested to know how long the BM has to change her mind and retract consent? Surely this needs to be addressed to prevent this happening all the time.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:41 am
  • Reply CalT

    So heartbroken for you, Walter and Ava. 🙁 Wish there was something more I could say, but no words could ease the heartache or pain so I am just sending you a big hug and lots of love xxx

    August 24, 2012 at 9:46 am
  • Reply Elize

    Ai my friend, so much sadness for you an Walter, and especially for Ava. How do you bounce back from something like this? I hope it never ever happens to you again.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:01 am
  • Reply panjels

    Oh No Sharon :-((( This is so hard to understand. I feel seriously heartsore – for you all.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:04 am
  • Reply Jeanette

    So very very sad for your loss :(( ((hugs))
    I’ve been thinking about you constantly

    August 24, 2012 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Amanda Harrison

    So sad for you guys Sharon, that is a devestating loss. Hope you can guys and Ava heal from this.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:14 am
  • Reply Robyn

    I am so, so sorry. I just can’t believe that after everything you have been through these last few years that once again life comes and throws a curve ball like this. I just dont understand how life can be so cruel. Thinking about you and your family and sending so much love. You are in my prayers. xxx

    August 24, 2012 at 10:20 am
  • Reply Coco

    I feel heartbroken for you and your family. May you and Walter find the strength to deal with this. Lots of love to little Ava. Thinking of you.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:51 am
  • Reply cat@jugglingact

    Oh Sharon, how do I ever begin to express how sorry I am about it all? How do any of us truly know what you must be going through? My heart ached for you all. Lots of love.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:01 am
  • Reply Tan

    Sharon my heart goes out to you and your family. I wish I had the words to comfort you in this time. just shout if I can do anything for you.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:50 am
  • Reply Tan

    Sharon my heart goes out to you and your family. I wish I had the words to comfort you in this time. just shout if I can do anything for you.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:50 am
  • Reply acidicice

    I am so sorry :'( x

    August 24, 2012 at 11:59 am
  • Reply Spiritedmama1

    I cannot even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. So sorry for your loss.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm
  • Reply Cassie

    My heart breaks for you, Walter and Ava. Hang in there and be strong {{hugs}}

    August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Olga

    Dearest Sharon,

    I’m feeling absolutely gutted for you and there simply are no words.

    Although we’ve never met, other than over FB & blogging, I know that you are a woman of formidable inner strength and integrity. Although our journeys have been a little different, the emotional turmoil remains the same. Why we keep being presented with heart wrenching hurdles and unanswered questions is a mystery that will never be answered.

    I’m sending you lots of inner strength and love, but most of all heaps of courage and hope as I know you will be needing those most right now to get you through this time and still be able to hold onto your dream and your vision for your family.

    Olga x♥x♥
    ~Absolute Barrenness ~

    August 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm
  • Reply Maggie

    I am so, so sorry, Sharon 🙁 I am thinking of you guys. What a horrible, sad thing to happen.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Julia

    No words. Because really, I just want to cry for you when I think about the events that transpired. I am so sorry. xoxo

    August 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply Natacha

    I followed your journey on twitter, and I was in tears when you tweeted that the adopted mother retracted conscent. I am so sorry that you had to face your biggest fear, and that it became reality. You, Walter and Ava are in my prayers.

    August 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply Terri Lailvaux

    This really is the worst nightmare for adoptive parents and something that no family should have to go through.

    August 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply marieks


    August 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply Tracy

    Oh, Sharon, I’m so sorry this has happened to you and your family. I thought the law had changed so a baby could only be placed after the 60 days to prevent exactly this kind of devastating loss – especially when there is another child involved. My heart breaks for all of you Sending you love and light to get through these dark days.

    August 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Cara

    Hi Sharon, what a devastation… I understand exactly what you are going through. My special little boy had to be given back on day 59. I too have an older child and can only suggest a “play therapist” for Ava to work through the confusion. My son is completing 5 months of therapy after his little brother was removed through consent retraction. I hope your SW is being supportive as my SW fell off the planet during and after the retraction. There are no words to describe the pain you and your family are feeling. Sending much love x o x o

    August 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm
  • Reply Mash

    Sharon, my heart is absolutely shattered for you, I’m so terribly sorry you had to go through this. You’ve been through so much, this is so unfair. I’m sorry, sorry, sorry. I want to say “hugs” but it feels insufficient. Thinking of you, praying for you.

    August 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm
  • Reply NickiD

    Unbelievable … and so utterly unfair 🙁 xxx

    August 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply Tertia

    I am so sorry, this is beyond cruel. My thoughts are with you and your family xx

    August 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    So sorry Sharon, my thoughts are with you and your family, can’t even imagine the heartache 🙁

    August 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply Katherine

    Such a awful thing to happen. Thinking of you all.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm
  • Reply Kathy

    So sorry Sharon…..i have no words. keeping you all in my thoughts.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm
  • Reply Liz

    I’m so sorry this had to happen. xx

    August 25, 2012 at 8:40 am
  • Reply Shayne

    I have no words for you. I am completely at loss how you must be feeling but know that you haven’t been far from my thoughts since Wednesday. much love x

    August 25, 2012 at 9:38 am
  • Reply Taryn

    Sharon and family, such awful news. We are truly sorry. Just take a look at all the messages of all the people that love and care for you and know that we are all thinking of you and wishing you well. There are still miracles awaiting your family. They will come when the time is right xxx Taryn & Venetia

    August 25, 2012 at 10:54 am
  • Reply melanie

    so sad for you 🙁 i know how you feel

    August 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Tiina

    I am so deeply sorry.

    I wish you all the best and healing from the great disappointment you must be going through.


    August 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm
  • Reply Natasha Clark

    Shit Sharon. Shit. I am SO sorry friend. I’m sure that there is another plan for you – for that child – sometimes these things are bigger than what we see them in the moment. But still. Shit 🙁

    August 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm
  • Reply Seriously?!

    Oh Sharon…I’m so sad for you and your family. That must have been extremely difficult for you all to bare. I will be thinking of you all in the weeks ahead as your hearts try to heal and you continue to put one foot in front of the other.

    September 3, 2012 at 2:42 am
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