Sunday, November 6, 2011

...the edge of the cliff...

i just read through the emails birth dad and i had sent to one another and i am enraged.

he is a liar.  a fake.  a sham. 

i admit i have not forgiven him, and i don't think i will any time soon.

consequently, it is making my brain swim with rage and it is a lot harder to write in such a state.  then again, the emails shed light into that period of time i have shoved into the dark recesses of my mind.  it's a hard situation for me.  i want to write about it, but i sure don't want to remember it. 

i've been thinking a lot about agency as i dig into this story.  there are times when i think agency was the worst idea ever.  the fact that people have power in their choices of right and wrong to send others lives into complete upheaval...doesn't seem fair, does it?  then again, i have seen agency work for good.  i have seen a birth mother hand me her child by her own free will and choice because she knew it was for his good. 

sadie, your choice has given me the strength to write this story.  you renewed my hope in adoption, well, in humanity in general.  thank you for giving me a son.  for mending my heart.  for giving me a reason to believe that good choices can be made.

continuing on...

i woke up wednesday looking like will smith when he had the allergic reaction in the movie, 'hitch.'  no, really.  i was so swollen from crying non stop that i had to dunk my head in freezing cold water to relieve the puffiness.  as i looked into the hotel bathroom mirror, i didn't even recognize myself.  i did my best to clean up my act, and studly drove us to the hospital.

before we went up to see kate, everyone (R, studly, R's family, my family from 800 miles away) insisted i attempt to eat breakfast.  so studly took me to the hospital cafiteria where i was instructed to eat at least 700 calories.  i tried to get away with toast and juice, but no, studly made me sit down, chew and swallow. needless to say i did it quickly.  kate was more important than food, anyway.

birth dad was going to visit with kate that morning for a while with his family, then kate and R would be released and we would head to the agency for placement.  seemed easy enough, kinda, but we fully expected that birth dad would comply.  you know, since he had sent me a text that morning that read, 'i want my family to see her, and i will sign.'  

it wasn't a ridiculous request in the least.  we wanted birth dad's family to be involved.  so, of course that was something we felt was important to the whole processes.  

however, after that things seemed to fall apart.

it started with kate's name.  now, we had sent emails back and forth tossing names around, and birth dad had agreed on all of them.  even stating, 'you get to name baby, it will be yours anyway.'  so after we talked to birth dad about her name, kate, he tossed a fit saying he wouldn't have it.  'isabella' he said.  that's her name.  

we tried to explain that the name was finished. it was kate.  we had all talked about it, including him, and that was it.  he lost it.  we tried to hard to be sympathetic, because we knew it was hard to release control of such a big situation.  he eventually calmed down, accepted that, 'kate' was a suitable name, and we still planned on placement for that day.

 look at our little girl.  beautiful.

before we were to leave, birth dad decided he wanted a paternity test.  he wanted it on paper that he was the biological father.  

'okay,' we thought.  we can be okay with that.

yeah, they take a few weeks, and that was something we couldn't really handle, so studly and i paid the extra few hundred dollars to get it expedited in two days.  again, easy enough.  if he wanted on paper he was the biological father, that was fine.  we saw it as something tangible to connect him to kate.  

placement still on for that afternoon.

as we arrived at the agency, we felt nervous but excited.  studly had to leave in a few hours to catch his flight back home, you know, since he was graduating from uvu!  i was disappointed because i wouldn't be there to cheer my sweet husband on as he walked across the stage to receive his much earned diploma, but hey, we had a baby. 

after speaking with R's caseworker, we all waited for birth dad to show up.

and waited.  

and waited.

nothing.  no call, no text, no nothing.

finally, a few hours after the appointment had been made for, he called.

he wouldn't sign.  he wanted it on paper and signed that we were agreeing to an open adoption.  that we would send emails, pictures and keep a blog for him and his family to see.  

now, we are all about open adoption, so that didn't seem like a big deal.  so, while a little sad, we said we would draw that up and then have placement in a few days.  

kate and i kissed studly goodbye and wished him luck with his last final and graduation.  this was one of the hardest things i had to do.  watching my husband leave me with a newborn, on the first night i would have her alone, was terrifying.

there was light to my fear.  R's family had offered to take me in so i wouldn't have to stay in a hotel, alone, while studly was back home in utah.  you might thing this would be awkward, but it wasn't at. all.  they had become my second family in just three short days.

so 'home' we went.  R and her family let me be mom.  never interfered, never questioned me, always let me know i was loved and what they wanted for kate.  that first night was hard, although kate was the sweetest baby ever.  i held her close, and took some advice my mom gave me.  i told her stories.  i told her about her new daddy and how much he loved her already.  i told her of grandparents who were beside themselves to have her in our family.  i told her of how long we waited and prayed for her.  i told her we loved her so deeply...

luckily i was only without 'family' for that one night.  my rock star mom drove our jeep out to reno so i would (a) have a car and (b) to help me take care of kate.

now, this next memory is etched into my mind and heart and at times i wish i could wash it away.  then again, it was one of the most tender and special experiences of my life.  

my mom showed up right before we left to go to the agency to talk more about placement.  i immediately sat my mom down and placed kate in her arms.  i saw the love my mom had for kate.  it was tangible.  tears came as she snuggled kate close.  

our entire family had been healed by this little girl.

three days into her life she was changing our lives for the better.

snuggling kate on a lazy april afternoon.

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Steph said...

Oh, Kenna. This is/has been heartbreaking to read. With each installment I somehow hope the ending will be different than I already know it is. I have thought about baby K and you often since this experience. I distinctly remember thinking of you, specifically, when Harper was just a few hours old. Already I couldn't imagine life without her and I wept thinking of you losing your Kate. Thanks for sharing. Lots of love to your family.

Katelyn Krum Shaw said...

kenna... You've got me... hook, line, and sinker.... I don't know you or your story and am on the edge of my seat waiting to read the rest....

Holly & Kasey said...

Oh Kenna- my heart is completely breaking for you as I have read these posts. I can't even begin to imagine how heart wrenching this had to have been on you. I'm sure heart wrenching doesn't even begin to describe your feelings toward this. You are a total rock star!! You will continue to be in our prayers!!

-Special Mothertivity- said...

I keep reading your posts hoping for a different ending to the story... I can't believe all you went through. I am still so sorry for your loss. What a heart break.

Anonymous said...

Question: If Kate's birth father were to sign the papers in the future and want you to REALLY adopt her, would you do it?

kenna said...

without question.

kate's birth mother (well, mother) said she was still in this when we left without kate. if the birth father were to sign, we would go back and get her.

that still rings true today.

although i must say that kate's mother is amazing and has done such a wonderful job raising her. also, kate's mother is getting married to an amazing man who will be providing kate with a father figure she can rely on.

if we can't have kate in our home, this is what we want for her and for R.

Kerri Jex said...

I have been led to your blog so many times through facebook and have followed your story, but I've never commented. I just want you to know that I think you are so amazing! This story is so heartbreaking and the fact that you are still in one piece today (and haven't killed someone along the way) shows how strong you are! I honestly don't know if I would have made it. I can't even imagine the heartache you and your family have experienced. Not to mention how difficult it must be to relive it all by sharing this story, but I just wanted to thank you for being brave enough to share. I know that by reading your blog I've become more sensitive and aware of those in similar situations. For that, I thank you :)

Rachel said...

My heart is breaking for you as I read this. You have been through hell.

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