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.


  • Chantal

    August 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

    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.

  • blackhuff

    August 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    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.

  • Charmaine

    August 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

    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

  • Warren

    August 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

    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.

  • Wynette

    August 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

    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.

  • Beth

    August 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

    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.

  • Toni

    August 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

    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.

  • CalT

    August 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

    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

  • Elize

    August 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

    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.

  • Robyn

    August 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

    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

  • Coco

    August 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

    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.

  • Olga

    August 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    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 ~

  • Natacha

    August 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    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.

  • Tracy

    August 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    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.

  • Cara

    August 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    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

  • Mash

    August 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    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.

  • Taryn

    August 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    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

  • Natasha Clark

    August 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    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 🙁

  • Seriously?!

    September 3, 2012 at 2:42 am

    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.


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