I am still not much in the mood to talk about the events of the last few weeks, but I am ready to join the land of the living. The short version of the story is that we found out she promised the baby to several families and was taking money from all of them. When she went into labor, she called us and told us to come to Chicago. We thought at that point she must have just been scamming the other families and was still planning on placing the baby with us. Otherwise, why would she have us come out, right? Well, I now know that we can't presume to understand what is going on in the mind of a crazy person. We spent 3 days with the baby. When it came time to sign the papers, she told the social worker that she never planned on signing and that we were helping her to be nice. We left the building and I haven't heard from/spoken to her since. We still don't understand why it was easier to have us come all the way out there, rather then just calling us to tell us she changed her mind. I also never imagined that she would be willing to give up her relationship w/ Jacob. I would assume that she had to know that by handling it like this she was giving up that privilege. Again, I don't understand how her mind works. A friend of ours who lives there and has been very helpful w/ the family keeps telling us that she says "she hasn't decided yet and might still place" with us. I think she just knows what my friend wants to hear and is trying to keep her on the hook as long as possible. Evil takes many forms.
The worst part of all of this is that we know she committed several crimes, FEDERAL CRIMES. We have tried to tell our story to the Attorney General's office, the States Attorney, the sheriff's department, the FBI. No one cares. They don't want to do anything about this. How is that possible? No wonder women do this, they don't have much fear of retribution. We will still keep trying, but it makes me crazy that the "victim's" get victimized. Again. I am thinking about taking the story to media outlets. It just makes no sense. If you know anyone who might be interested in this kind of story, let me know. I have the names of all the families and agencies involved, I have the dates of contracts signed, money exchanged. These stories might be a dime a dozen, but we have the added twist of having a sibling. Sometimes publicity can shame a state into action.
The good news is that it is over. The waiting and feeling crazy is over. We also have seen her true nature before Jacob is old enough to know what is going on. We had hoped to have an open relationship with her and have her and her boys as a resource for him as he got older and wondered about his African American heritage. Now we know that would be very unhealthy. We will still have AA role models for him, just not his bio family. That is a good thing. I also means we don't have to worry about calls asking for money for the next 18 years. Sigh.
Thank you to all who e mailed me or left kind messages. It really helped. Your kind words and prayers WERE able to penetrate the fog of sadness that I found myself in. I came to terms with the fact that we weren't getting the baby pretty quickly. It was the betrayal by someone we knew and who was supposed to love us and our son that got me. I am still having a hard time with that.
I grieve for that little boy who will have such a different life. I worry about her other kids, especially the oldest, that will not have contact with this brother again. I am sad that this whole episode has become part of Jacob's story and that someday he will have to know this. Life is all about choices and these are the consequences of her choices. She joined the church last month so she has learned all about that. Because of the choices she makes, she has a life full of chaos, drama and uncertainty. Even though she has been given numerous opportunities to go to school, save some money and pull herself out of the mess she has created of her life, she chooses to do otherwise. As a result, she will not have a stable place to live, enough food for her children and eventually it will all catch up with her. Whether it is by her going to jail, getting a disease or the loss of one of her children to a gang or prison, she will have consequences and none of them are nice. I don't even wish that on her. As much as I hate her right now, I wish that she would change her life and make all of this hurt and sadness worth something or at the very least make a better life for her other children and give them a fighting chance at life. I won't hold my breath.
I also know that my family has something that she will never have...a wonderful support network of friends and family that support us and love us. We have rich relationships and satisfying jobs. We have a home that is calm and full of love and peace and not drama and chaos (with the exception of the last year). We have hope for the future and know that good things lay in store for us. This is because of the choices we have made and continue to make. The sacrifices we have made for education, to serve others and to build our family will not go without positive repercussions. I am not fishing for compliments her or trying to be a Pollyanna. I just am saying that this experience has helped us understand this a little bit better. We are able to identify the happy consequences for the choices we made both individually and as a family.
I am an optimist. I know that the right baby is out there somewhere and we will get the family we were supposed to have. I know that if we continue to be prayerful and do our very best to do the right thing, we will be blessed and good things will come. It doesn't mean that there won't be a lot of "suckiness" along the way, but it will all be ok. Derek and I both agree that we wouldn't have done things differently. We did everything we could to help her change her life and we were honest and truthful in our actions with her. When my tiny baby is a grown up man and may be struggling with his situation, I know that Derek and I can tell him truthfully that we did everything we could to help his biological family. That is why we did it anyway, for him. It might now help him much, but it will put my heart at ease.
Thanks again to all of you who were supportive during this whole process. The entire 7 months was a struggle and I know that more then one of you got an earful. They say it takes a village to raise a child, apparently it takes a village to NOT raise a child too. :-)
The next post will be happier. It will be full of puppies and rainbows and butterflies. I promise!