An adoptive mother in Virginia says she was forced to return her baby girl after the biological parents changed their minds.
Sarah Howell, 31, of Richmond said she only had five days with the newborn before she received a devastating phone call that she had to give the child back, Australian outlet 7News reported.
“I was feeding her when the call came through,” Howell told the outlet. “I fell to the floor in despair. I kept saying over and over to my husband, ‘You’re joking, this is a joke, right?’”
The biological parents had decided they wanted to take the baby back, which they were legally able to do for up to 10 days after the birth in March 2018.
“Saying goodbye to her hurt more than words can adequately describe,” Howell said. “It felt like an actual death to us because we knew we would likely never see her again.”
But she said she and her husband, Chris, 32, don’t hold anything against the birth parents.
“If we could, we would tell them how much we love them, and how lucky baby girl is to have them as parents,” Howell said.
After long struggling with infertility, Howell gave birth that year to her own son.
“When I pulled him to my chest, I found myself talking to God, thanking him for giving us this miracle and making it to the other side of infertility,” she said.
When her son was 1 year old, the family received another call from a social worker about adopting a baby boy.
She said they decided to become his parents, though she still couldn’t shake fears that he also may be taken away from her.
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to prevent this, so it felt vulnerable and scary to love a child again knowing they might not stay,” she said.
The family has also become foster parents, and welcomed a third boy into their home this year.
“It is what we prayed for for so long after all,” she said. “Three under 3 is certainly an adventure and at times utter chaos. But the giggles, laughter, and joy far outweigh anything else.”
New York Post