Friday, May 22, 2015

Virtual Twins...

I had never even heard the words “Virtual Twins” before – two siblings born less than 9 months apart, until after we realized we had them. Our journey started out similar to most – doing IUI and IVF for a few years with no luck. Anytime my doctor mentioned the word adoption I got upset – did we really want to start all over again? And would it even work? Since donor egg was successful for so many people, we decided to try that instead. When that didn’t work, we tried donor embryo and then a second try at donor egg. During the last year of this when nothing was working, we thought we’d try adoption in parallel. So we signed up with a lawyer, got certified, and started advertising. I was convinced adoption would never happen for us, but my husband wanted to give it a try so we did.

Within the first year we had two failed adoptions – one where the birth mother changed her mind a week before the birth and another where the birth mother changed her mind after we had the baby for 3 days. Just before this second failure I had a transfer of our last 2 embryos where I did get pregnant for the first time ever, but after a month the heartbeat stopped. So we lost a baby after 3 days and we had no embryos left – we had hit rock bottom.
Fast forward 8 months to September. Within a few weeks we got two calls, one from an expectant mom in Pennsylvania and another from Indiana and they were due about a month apart - both with girls. We spoke with each one about once a week. They were talking with other prospective parents too and after a few weeks they picked us! We couldn’t believe it! But we didn’t let ourselves get too excited – we had already been through this twice before. I remember the lawyer’s office asking us if we would take two babies if both situations worked out, and I remember saying, “Of course, but we’ll be lucky if just one situation works out!” (Little did we know…)
M was going to be delivered via C-section a few days before Christmas in PA, and C was due mid-January in IN. So a few days before Christmas we traveled to PA for M’s birth. Her birth mom asked me to be in the delivery room and wanted me to be the first one to hold M! It was amazing! The C-section only took a few minutes and she was born! During the next 3 days we got to know M’s birth mom better which was great. She signed the papers and had to say her goodbyes to M. It was heartbreaking to watch. We went back to the hotel and started to wait for the ICPC paperwork to go through. Christmas was spent in the hotel room. The only restaurant open was the Chinese food place, so we had Chinese food for Christmas dinner, like in “The Christmas Story”. The holidays slowed down the paperwork, so a few days later we were still in the hotel room, when we got a call at 10pm from the other birth father in IN saying that the birth mom just checked into the hospital and was in labor – 3 weeks early!
We started to panic. What could we do? We couldn’t leave PA yet – the paperwork wasn’t finalized! And we hadn’t told the birth mothers about each other. We quickly called our lawyer to find out what to do. The plan was for my in-laws to drive to the hotel the next day and stay with M while we drove to IN. They borrowed a car seat and got to our hotel the next afternoon. We felt terrible leaving M – we only just got her, but we had to go. We drove through snowstorms and highway closures, and the next day we arrived in IN to meet the birth parents and C for the first time. The birth mom was checking out of the hospital that afternoon, so we only spent a few hours with them before them left. The birth parents signed the paperwork, said goodbye to ‘C’ and there we were with another baby! I think we were in shock – within nine days we went from no family to having two baby girls! After all the years of IVF and adoption failures it finally happened. It didn’t seem real.
In the meantime, the paperwork in PA was done, so my in-laws headed home with M. We brought C back to the hotel room. The paperwork with IN got caught up with the New Year’s holiday, then the weekend, so finally a week later we were able to go home. By the time we got home it had been 2 ½ weeks since we left. It felt great to sleep in our own beds again, but life would never be the same after that.
After the 45 day wait period was over, we finally told the birth parents that we had adopted another baby. We felt guilty not telling them before, but we were afraid they would change their minds and we couldn’t go through the pain of giving back a baby again. But as it turned out they were happy that their babies would grow up with a sibling. That was a huge relief.
We suddenly had virtual twins. Everywhere we went people asked if they were twins. People seem to be fascinated with twins. Sometimes we would say no and tell their story, other times we just nodded and smiled. These two girls would probably never have met during their lives, but now are sisters because their birth mothers happen to read our ads in the newspaper. Funny how things work out…

Written by Allison
Group member 
Adoptive Mom

Join us at our next POST adoption adult meeting May 29, 2015
Join us at our next PRE/POST general adult meeting June 5, 2015

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