Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ailish, twelve years ago

Twelve years ago tomorrow this child entered my world and changed my life forever.  The call came at 9:30 am on what I believe was a Thursday.  Adoption worker on the phone starts off by saying " ya umm, of all the situations we discussed that you would be interested in we never discussed whether you would be interested in a child that was terminal".  As excited as I was that the worker had called my heart sunk.  The wait to adopt can be so long and even if it is not long in actual months when you have no clue when or if your wait will end it can feel interminable.  To think that I had waited all this time and then the baby would die at first did not feel all that appealing.  I asked for more information.  "Well there's a baby who has hydro an cephaly she's missing all of her brain and has her brainstem. They say she will likely only live for maybe six months to a year"  A light bulb went off in my head and I said "oh she has hydranencephaly!"  I knew a little about the disorder and knew that it was not a given that she would die but I also was under no illusions.  The worker wanted me to talk to the paediatrician at the hospital before making a decision.  I told her I would gladly talk to him but in my mind this was a go.  As luck would have it the doctor was readily available when I called the hospital.  As little as I knew about hydranencephaly this fellow knew less but what I got from him is that for right now she was doing great.
I called the worker back and said it would take me some time to get a sitter but what time could I go pick her up.  She was a little taken aback.  This was moving fast.  For her.  For me I couldn't make this move faster.  She said it would take her the day to get the paperwork together and she would meet me at the hospital that evening.  WOW!  I couldn't believe this was happening!  I couldn't have been more happy and more scared.

 Ailish was born at one hospital and then quickly abandoned.  Her birthmother knew about the hydranencephaly for months before the birth.  She wanted nothing to do with the baby and it was only because she was too far along that she did not have an abortion....something that would have been encouraged and supported by the medical professionals.  Her birth plan was such that she did not want to know what gender the baby was and that a csection should only be performed if her own life was in jeopardy.  I believe it was within the first twelve hours after the baby was born that the birthmother left the hospital leaving her baby with no name and no one but hospital staff to tend to her.  Once she left there was no way of contacting her for her to complete the paperwork necessary after giving birth such as the live birth record.  The social worker had to go to court to get permission to sign it.   During the months before delivery the birthmother had been receiving counselling on adoption.  She knew one hundred percent that was the route she was going to take.

When I arrived at the hospital with my then fourteen year old son we were sent to he paediatric unit and not the nursery as Ailish was nine days old.  She was alone in a big room where the message on the dry board said "Emily"  Give her extra cuddles.  Ailish of course was beautiful and so teeny.  She was all of six pounds.  Right from the start she had my heart.  We completed the necessary paperwork, bundled her into her carseat and whisked her home so that we could begin our lifetime of loving her.

How I would still love to have her in my arms...

to be cont...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Waiting for the next post- perhaps in a book! Hugs- such a beautiful photo!- Clara