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Thousands of children in Oklahoma, either yanked from their homes or given up willingly. All-- waiting for families and forever homes. Adoption has been a dream come true for many families in Oklahoma, but what happens when an adoption goes wrong? Fox 25's Kisha Henry shows us the heart wrenching phenomenon of failed adoptions.
"I'm so glad I'm adopted," says little Oaklee Wren. He's Chris and Lindsey Wren's pride and joy.... so special-- it took some extra effort to get him.
"We could not conceive naturally," says Lindsey. After several years of miscarriages and infertility, she and Chris decided to adopt through Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Center in the Metro.
"They didn't have to wait long because they had a birth mother that chose them pretty quickly," says Dierdre McCool, Executive Director of Deaconess.
"We both just started crying right away," says Chris, remembering the day. "He had both of us wrapped around his finger right then."
Oaklee completely changed Chris and Lindsey's life, and he quickly decided he wanted to change it again. "I want a little brother," Oaklee tells Fox 25's Kisha Henry.
"Repetitively, all the time-- he would tell us, 'I want to be a big brother. When am I going to be a big brother?'" says Lindsey. Chris and Lindsey decided on a second adoption, and again, things moved quickly. "They said-- hey, you've been chosen and the birth mother wants to meet you!" remembers Lindsey.
But, this time, the Wren's story ends differently.
Chris and Lindsey were introduced to their new birth mother one month before her due date. "Everything went really well. I mean, we kind of just bonded right off the bat," says Lindsey. She says they got to be present for the birth, and immediately took their new little bundle of joy-- Blakely-- home. "Oaklee was just so excited to finally have his little sister at home with him," she smiles.
But, baby Blakely was only there for six days. "The birth mother just changed her mind and said she couldn't follow through with that plan, and she chose to parent," says McCool.
Chris and Lindsey received a phone call saying they needed to take Blakely back to the adoption center the next day. "With a phone call, it just gets taken away from you. It's.... difficult," says Chris, tearing up.
"I just kept saying, 'This can't be happening,'" says Lindsey.
"It was really sad," says Oaklee.
"In the state of Oklahoma, the birth mother doesn't appear in court to relinquish her parental rights until after she's given birth," explains McCool. She says the time between the birth mother leaving the hospital and appearing in court is called a "legal risk period." It's typically between five and seven days-- and at any point, the birth mother can change her mind.
"They tell us it's always a possibility, but we never really thought about it," says Chris. The Wren's were left with overwhelming heartbreak and lots of questions.
"I don't know where she's really at," says Oaklee.
"That was ultimately our biggest concern-- how do we explain to to Oaklee?" says Lindsey. She says the incident sparked Oaklee to start asking about his own birth mother and if he could be taken away, too.
"He wanted his baby sister and it was really hard for him to understand why things didn't work out," says McCool.
"I loved her and I thought she was so sweet," says Oaklee. "I got a puppy from Build-a-Bear for her, but I never got to use it," he adds. When you press the paw of the puppy, you can hear Oaklee's voice say," Hi, this is your big brother, Oaklee. I hope you have a good day tomorrow and I love you."
"Emotionally, Chris and I still hurt from it... and she will always have a place in our heart," says Lindsey, who adds there's still plenty of room for another little Wren-- and they will never give up. "I'm not done. I'm not done. We're going to do this," she says.
"I could have a little brother or sister and then I wouldn't be the only kid in the house," says Oaklee.
"He wants to be a big brother. He deserves to be a big brother," says Chris.
"When that little girl or little boy is placed in our arms, everything will feel right with the world and it will all be okay," says Lindsey.
Posted: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 10:17 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
President to visit Okla. following deadly tornado
May 26, 2013 09:04 GMT
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is due in Oklahoma for a visit following the killer tornado that struck Moore.
The president is expected in Moore Sunday afternoon.
The tornado that struck Monday left 24 dead and more than 300 injured. Officials estimate about 12,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
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