A Virginia woman and her husband had to return their adopted daughter just five days after receiving her from the hospital.
Sarah Howell, 31, of Richmond, contacted an adoption agency with her husband Chris after being told she had less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant normally owing to endometriosis.
However, just an hour after learning Howell had miraculously become pregnant, the couple was informed they had been matched with a newborn.
Unfortunately, Howell only had five days with the adopted infant before receiving a heartbreaking phone call informing her that she would have to return the baby after the birth parents reversed their decision.
“I was feeding her when the call came through,” Howell said according to the New York Post. “I fell to the floor in despair. I kept saying over and over to my husband, ‘You’re joking, this is a joke, right?’”
As the birth parents were lawfully allowed to do for up to ten days following the birth in March 2018, they had decided to get back their child.
“Saying goodbye to her hurt more than words can adequately describe,” said the adoptive mother. “It felt like an actual death to us because we knew we would likely never see her again.”
“She made us parents. She helped heal a part of our hearts that infertility broke,” she went on to say according to the Metro.
However, Howell and her husband, Chris, 32, say they have no negative emotions against the biological family.
“If we could, we would tell them how much we love them, and how lucky baby girl is to have them as parents,” Howell explained.
Howell underwent many operations and hundreds of injections, pills, and negative pregnancy tests during the couple’s three-year attempt to conceive.
They went to a reproductive immunologist in Chicago for a full day of tests in April 2017 but were informed again that the chances of them getting pregnant naturally were fewer than 1%, and the door was ultimately shut.
Since then she and her husband have made the decision to adopt a child. They were added to a waiting list that may last up to three years.
However, Howell was surprised when a pregnancy test came out positive in January 2018.
‘I sobbed. I cried so hard I could barely breathe,’ she recalled. ‘It really was the shock of my life.”
Howell went into labor in October of that year and gave birth to Noah.
“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,” said the mother.
The family took a call from a social agency informing them that they had been paired with another baby boy when Noah was one year old.
They greeted the one-day-old at the hospital, then called him Levi.
However, like their daughter before him, this blissful union came with the fear that he would be taken away.
In June of this year, the family welcomed a baby boy into their home as they chose to become foster parents in order to aid more children.
“As a mum of three boys under three, I feel like I am forever cleaning up messes, playing referee, and changing diapers,” Howell shared. “I will miss this one day so I remind myself to enjoy the now.”
“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.”