A little over two months ago, our lives were rocked. We were told that a birth mother had chosen us to adopt her baby girl that was due August 13th. We had only looked into domestic adoption for about 7 days so we were shocked that everything could happen so quickly and smoothly. We thought that God had dropped this adoption into our laps.
Our lives changed almost immediately. We signed a contract. We paid for our birth mom’s living expenses. We started fundraising holding a two day garage sale and planning a silent-auction to prepare for the remaining fees that were due at our August baby’s birth (and to prepare for our two other pending international adoptions).
We tried to guard our hearts and not get excited. If you asked how I felt, I would say that I was “cautiously optimistic.” Then we felt guilty for not being excited about our future baby girl. (Having babies should be exciting right?) So slowly, we began preparing and opening our hearts to being parents in August. Jeff painted the nursery a shade of violet I picked out. With the guidance and help of an amazing friend, Jeff pulled up the flooring in the nursery as well as much of our home and put down new flooring so that our August baby would have a clean surface to learn to crawl and walk on. I stocked up on diapers. Countless diapers. We were given a rocker and glider. We struggled with assembling a jogging stroller. We were given a crib. I went out on an emotional limb and bought two outfits for our August baby. Jeff took a daddy boot camp class at a local hospital. I cancelled a blogging business trip to New York City scheduled for the first week in August. Jeff cancelled his mid-August mission trip to Ethiopia. We met our birth mom a couple of times. We sat through her ultrasound. We had phone conversations with her. Jeff and I started looking at girl names and chose a few that we liked. We were cautiously optimistic and our hearts were getting excited.
This past Monday night, our lives were rocked again. We were about to head home from my in-law’s house in St Louis when I received a phone call from our adoption coordinator. The conversation ended with me shaking and in tears. I can honestly say that I don’t remember much of the conversation. The next day, Jeff and I spoke with our coordinator again and she went through everything again with us. I won’t go through all the details, but the prospect of adopting this girl whose ultrasound pictures are hung on our fridge is officially over. Our birth mom has moved on to another agency and has promised her baby girl to a new couple.
The airplane ride from St Louis to Tampa stunk. I watched families with newborns and toddlers at the airport. We saw adorable little girls who I think may have resembled what our August baby would have looked like. I was heart broken and Jeff was doing his best to be strong for me. Tuesday, Jeff started to deal with his emotions. I watched our emotions go from shock to sadness to feelings of being taken advantage of and then back to sadness again.
Through it all, I’ve made myself remember the reason Jeff and I wanted to adopt in the first place. We wanted to help orphans and we wanted to grow our family. I don’t really understand why God would place this adoption in our laps to just rip it away so quickly. But I have to have faith that down the road, He has a plan that is so much greater than the pain we feel now.
So with that, we are moving forward. We are a bit heart broken right now but I know God is carrying us through this. We are of course still excited about our Ethiopia adoption and we are waiting to see where our Haiti adoption takes us.
We have wondered what lessons we are supposed to learn from this disappointment. Prior to jumping headfirst into a domestic adoption, we thought we were meant to be advocates for the millions of orphans in the world around us. Now we wonder if we are meant to be advocates for adoptive families and the lack of legal protection for them. Who knows where our road will lead. I do know that we will not lose faith – even through the disappointing ache that is in our hearts right now.
If you know someone who is in the midst of adopting, whether it is domestically or internationally, I encourage you to be a strong support system for them. This is a winding road full of bumps and oftentimes disappointments. Encourage them and be there for them through the highs and the lows.
With that, I’m going to end my thoughts with a Bible verse that is really speaking to me right now:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Our human body is wearing out. But our spirits are getting stronger every day. The little troubles we suffer now for a short time are making us ready for the great things God is going to give us forever. We do not look at the things that can be seen. We look at the things that cannot be seen. The things that can be seen will come to an end. But the things that cannot be seen will last forever. “