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Day 28

Updated: Apr 18

A month before my daughter passed away, I was contacted by my foster care case manager, Brina. Brina had a potential adoptive boy for me. For the purpose of this writing, let’s call him Adam. Adam had some health issues. At age 6, he’d spent his entire life in the hospital. Adam’s condition was described as reversible with surgery on several hospital systems’ websites from the Mayo Clinic to UC San Diego Health. I learned that after surgery, Adam could live a relatively normal life with the exception of a slightly modified diet. I was befuddled as to why Adam hadn’t had surgery.

Brina arranged for me to speak with Adam’s nurse so I find out more about his needs. I wanted to determine whether I could provide a good home for him. After weeks of calling, I finally reached Adam’s nurse, Carole, and asked about his condition. Carole described his condition. At this point, I had already spent weeks researching the illness but I took down every word to ensure I didn’t miss a detail. When she finished speaking, I asked why Adam hadn’t had the recommended surgical treatment. Carole said it was because the condition was too severe to “risk making it worse by trying to correct it.” Gobsmacked by her stupidity, she stunned me again by saying that she’d would prefer if Adam is adopted by someone who lived closer to her hospital so there would be continuity of care. Why narcissistic Carole thought it was about her preference is beyond me.

After the bewildering call with Carole, I debriefed with Brina. Brina said Carole had a history of scaring prospective parents away and the only reason Adam hadn’t had the surgery was that he didn’t have a home to recover in afterward. Brina generously offered to arrange for both the surgery and a recovery nurse to come to my home if I adopted him.

I practically had whiplash. I was getting such dramatically different information. Am I adopting? I don’t know.

Before I could commit, I wanted to be confident I could care for all of Adam’s, in addition to my daughter’s, needs. I also had a full-time job, which I would need to keep. Brina said she’d set up a call with Adam’s primary physician so I could get to know more about his needs and what the surgical recovery process would entail.

Unfortunately, Carole reported to Adam’s case manager that I was difficult and should be avoided. Apparently, my probing medical questions disqualified me as Adam’s potential adoptive mother. His case manager told Brina she was going to wait until she could find an adoptive family that got along better with Carole. Who this mystery, easygoing parent would be, I don’t know. The poor child had been waiting in a state hospital to be adopted for six years. During that time, the state couldn’t find a foster family to house him temporarily, let alone permanently.

The whole thing made me so upset, I yelled the entire story to parents, each time getting more and more out of breath because of my exasperation. They agreed that Adam was being screwed over and there was nothing I could do about it.

When Constance was a year old, I completed foster care certification with the plan to adopt a child from foster care. I thought I would have two children the old-fashioned way and adopt one through my state’s foster to adopt program. I have friends who adopted that way and it seemed like a wonderful thing to do. I also have several adult friends who were adopted through various means and they are some of the kindest, smartest, best people I know. I thought many times, if Melissa is any indication of what adoptive children are like, I want one.

I postponed adopting and having a second child the old-fashioned way when I discovered Constance would need special support. I wanted to ensure I could be an exceptional parent to her before I added any additional responsibilities. About a year ago, I started pushing to adopt through foster care again. The closest I got was the near miss with Adam. As a result, when Constance passed, I became childless.


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Unknown member
Jul 01, 2018

Sally, thank you for your kind words. Write the blog has helped me process my grief. It also helps to know that other people are remembering Constance.


Unknown member
Jun 26, 2018

Rachelle, I just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss. You are a wonderful mom and a brave one too, to be able to write this blog. I hope it brings you some level of comfort. Sending you peace and love.


Unknown member
Jun 24, 2018

Day 29 is at

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