Dealing with Disappointment

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. “

42 Responses to “Dealing with Disappointment”

  1. Brittany

    I am very sorry for your hurt and sadness. Did you look into adopting a needy loving child out of the foster care system? CHS is a really great organization.

  2. Jen

    I’m so sorry guys. =( My heart aches for you. It just doesn’t seem right or possible that she can just switch agencies like that and leave you hanging.

  3. Christine A

    I am so sorry…. You are too kind to call her the mean names I am thinking!!! How awfull for her to rip this away from you. I will pray that you are blessed soon with a beautiful baby. I went thru years of fertility and it was so hard. I can’t imagine your pain. Keep busy and know God has a special plan for you.

  4. Angie

    I am so sorry for your heartbreak. I know that nothing i say can make it better. I will pray for jcomfort and healing for you. You WILL be great parents someday.

  5. Paula

    Though I have not been through an adoption process, I have miscarried once and lost a child that way, and I’m sure although you are not dealing with a death, you are dealing with some of the same emotions that I experienced. It is heartbreaking to have your expectations shattered, but our hearts and prayers are with you and Jeff and I truly believe you will one day be opening your home and hearts to a very special child, and they will be lucky to have you. Thanks for sharing such a personal story with us and hang in there!

  6. Lindsay P

    I am so sorry. I can’t imagine the heartbreak that you are feeling right now because just reading this brought me to tears. Sending you healing thoughts.

  7. Latoya

    My heart aches for you and your husband. My prayer is that God will continue to be your all in all and through this dark time, He will give you strength.

  8. Lady

    I am so sorry, but please don’t give up. There are a lot of children needing good families like you. Have you tried becoming foster parents? Thats how I adopted my son 22 years ago when I lived in NY. Try Heartland for Children. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS

  9. Sarah

    I’m so sorry! We have a 3 year old through domestic adoption, had a failed placement last year and are waiting again. Words can’t heal the hurt, but know that there is a baby for you. We don’t always know why God gave us this bump in the road, but I believe He is preparing you for something even better! Praying for you!

  10. Yasmina

    Im so so sorry. I cant even begin to imagine your pain. God definitely has a plan. You are in my prayers. *hugs*

  11. Krystal

    My Sister and Brother in Christ, please remember that life is amazing – Do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
    I feel that some of our greatest pains in life will become our greatest strengths for what is in God’s plan ahead. My prayers are with you and Liza and Jeff as you embark on God’s next adventure planned for you.
    Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  12. Mary

    Liza and Jeff, I am so sorry to hear about this sad turn of events. Like one of the other women mentioned, I, too, suffered a miscarriage. Mine was just 3 short months ago. While it is not exactly the same, it is a loss. Like you, I remember going out in public and seeing all of these children and wondering what my child would have been like. I was so angry that something so precious was given and then taken away after months of preparation. We never know what God has in store for us. Please stay strong and keep your faith. God will carry you through this difficult time, as he has been carrying me. And remember, when God closes a door, he opens a window. As devastating as it may seem right now, in time, you will see God’s hand in all of this, guiding you. May God Bless you both!

  13. Tiffany

    I am so sorry to hear this. It just breaks my heart. I do strongly believe there is a plan for you and Jeff. God is taking you on the path you are suppose to go even though we may not understand why. Don’t lose faith. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Kelley

    Keep the faith that God will bring children to your family. You seem like such a caring person who I think would make an awesome mom.

  15. Lynette

    Jeff and Liza my heart aches for you because I know what you are feeling. We too thought we were going to get to adopt domestically twice and both times it has fell through. We are now trying to adopt two girls internationally from Latvia that is being held up in the court system. Just today we were told it will be at least another 7 months. These two girls were with us in Dec and Jan and are currently with us again, but have to return to Latvia the end of the month. I already know how my heart will break when they leave. It hurts and it doesn’t make sense yet I know God has a plan and we trust Him. I am praying for you because in your own way you are going through a miscarriage.

  16. ann

    as i said before adoption is hard and expensive but here in the same state as we are in Florida there are over 3k kids ready for adoption FREE we adopted our little girl through state free of charge and it was the best thing for her and us, look into it, you dont need to pay 60k for a kid thats just outrageous.

    • Liza

      Thanks for the comment Ann! :) We have definitely thought about fostering and are not opposed to it. I do need to say that our domestic adoption was not $60,000. It was going to total $29,000. Still outrageous though – I know.

  17. allie

    God doesnt waste a hurt. I know I am counting on that promise for my own life. Count the blessings you have and hold on sweetie!

  18. Ashley

    Sometimes, I just don’t understand people – but, as others have said before me…hang on to God’s promises. xoxo

  19. Denise

    No words I say can take the hurt that you are having. Only the Lord has His plan for you and your family. My Prayers are with you Both.

  20. amanda

    Despite your struggles, you are a blessing and encouragement to others. i will be praying. God bless!

  21. Diana

    I’m sorry this person did this to you. I’m sorry you are having to go through this. But you will be parents. It will happen. My heart and thoughts are with you and your husband at this difficult time.

  22. JoAnn

    I am so sorry. We adopted our two children almost thirty years ago. May I suggest Catholic Social Services which we went through for one of our adoptions. The best to both of you. You will be in my prayers.

  23. Dinah! Caldwell

    You are amazingly sweet and loving people, and I am quite sure that you will be amazing parents. And your child(ren) will be so blessed to have parents like you. (:

  24. Maria Smith

    I am compelled to reach out and tell you how sorry I am for your loss. My parents had a failed placement before they received my sister and a year later me. My mom said she thought she couldn’t open her heart up again but was so glad she did. I believe God is strengthening you, like steel forged in the fire, for something great. My prayers go out to you.

  25. Melanie Durham

    I am so sorry to hear about this. This is heart breaking. I wish so bad that I could be a surrogate for those wishing to become parents,but I had a hysterectomy too soon. God has a plan for you to become parents in some form. I am praying for you. Hang in there. Much love, Melanie

  26. Anita Townsend

    My heart goes out to you and your husband. Keep your faith God’s got a plan and his timing is perfect.My prayers are with both of you.

  27. Carol Lacamera


    I am so sorry for your loss. We adopted 2 children from Gift Of Life Adoption Agency in St. Petersburg FL. It was a private adoption, and they have a flat fee or you can pay birth mothers expenses. Buy paying the flat fee, if the birth mom changes her mind, you don’t lose any money. It goes toward the next adoption. We paid a flat fee with both adoptions. You will also get a $12,000 write off for your taxes for each adoption. It doesn’t matter what tax bracket you are in. I would be happy to talk with you. Again, I am so sorry for you and your husband. Unfortunately there are some birth moms out there that will scam several agenceys and get their living expenses paid for them and move on to the next agencey.

    Good luck to you both,

  28. Shernette

    I’m so sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. God doesn’t make any mistake so there’s a reason why that birthmom change her mind,HE ‘s protecting you from heartache down the road HE’s got a bigger plan for both of you be encouraged….GOD got You…

  29. Gina

    I’m so sorry to hear about your heartache. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  30. Laura

    The Lord uses those who belong to Him for His glory, but always for their good. Your testimony of faith in this time that is beyond painful brings glory to our Lord. Thank you for being so open and honest and allowing us to follow you on your journey. You have a lot of people praying for you :)

  31. Mandi

    Liza and Jeff, I am so sorry this happened to you. I am sitting here in tears, sobbing like it happened to my best friend. It is a terrible thing that she did and I can understand that it is the exact reason why you were skeptical about a domestic adoption. It breaks my heart as we all see what a caring person you are everyday in your post. I hope that the international adoptions progress quickly and you have the baby that you both deserve. Remember the famous words of Mother Theresa, something I have said many times in my life- “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”
    ? Mother Teresa

    God bless you both!

  32. Jessica

    I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. I know how you feel first hand. We had started the process to adopt a child from Guatemala who was abandoned. We had his picture up in the house and put a crib in the nursery and we were so excited. Then the phone call came that the courts decided that he couldn’t be adopted outside of Guatemala. I was crushed. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat all I did was cry. Two months later the agency called and said they had a little boy who was available for adoption and asked if we would be interested. I cautiously said yes and we began the process. We tried not to attach to this little boy that we got pictures of every month or so, that was impossible. 10 months later though we flew to Guatemala and I held my son in my arms for the first time and it was the most amazing moment of my life. Don’t give up hope. God has a plan for you as he did for me. I realized when I looked in that little face for the first time.

  33. Jenny Dunlap

    I was so grateful to get to see you and hug your neck at church… but words…. what do I say? I am praying for you guys and would love to be a part of your support system (through all these ups and downs). Email me at so I can get your email address. Many many prayers for God to comfort you. The verses you shared at the end of your post were especially sweet ones to me. My dad has a terminal illness, and these are the same verses that have been really speaking to him lately. God’s Word is so amazing and truly ministers to our lives daily.

  34. Jessica

    Oh Liza. I have wanted to talk to you for some time after hearing about this and feared my words would sound empty and a bit cliche to say I understand so much what you are going through. Because your story, your journey is your alone and the emotion that goes with it. We too, experienced tremendous hurt over Anthony leaving as well as waiting and preparing for a newborn foster child who we were told we would most likely adopt. It was so painful and I still believe it is the worst pain I have ever experienced. But if we had not experienced those losses, Cati wouldn’t have come in our lives. The timing, the setbacks all perfectly aligned with her birth and release to us. It makes sense in hindsight as we see God literally all over it in His intimately mi Doyle way. But the valley we walked was so dark…oh there were days I wondered if I could breathe. So just know I am praying for you, I see you walking by faith and it’s an incredible testimony, and if you ever need to just vent to someone who shares your heart…I’m here. But know im so sorry for this heart breaking disappointment. Love to you!

  35. Tricia
    Great Website for your adoption journey. Steven Curtis Chapman is a wonderful Christian musician but also is vocal advocate for adoption. If you haven’t heard of his family’s story, I highly recommend reading his wife’s book “Choosing to See”.

  36. Melissa

    Liza, my heart breaks for you … There really are no words of comfort that I as a stranger can give you … This is a peace that can only and will only come from above … I’ll be praying for you for the days where this comes back up and smacks you in the face again … I’ll be praying for you as you continue on this simultaneously exciting and terrifying journey … I thought a moment before typing this last part … I though that if I shared stories of couples who have gone through the wringer multiple times and in heart shattering ways now hold the babes God promised them in their arms … I thought it might be insensitive to share that … But my hope is rather that those couples and their healthy happy AT HOME WITH THEM WHERE THEY BELONG little miracles would serve as an encouragement and as a testimony to God’s utter and complete faithfulness … God Bless You, Sweet Girl

  37. Jenny Dunlap

    Just thinking of you today and wanted to check in and see how you’re doing. Think about you guys a lot and hope to see you sometime soon. Still praying for you in this struggle and as you press on! Jenny D.

  38. Melissa

    Hi Liza,
    My mom read your story and shared it with me. We went through a similar, horrendously painful ordeal in the summer of 2012 with a birth mom who “picked us”, took me to ultrasound appointment, told us to choose a name for the baby, etc. She changed her mind in the hospital shortly after he was born. It was so unbelievable and I will always wonder why. Right now, we are in the foster to adopt system, and God sent us three beautiful babies in March of this year. I wish you all the best in your journey to adopt. Hope and prayers that God will continue to give you strength to face each step of the way.

  39. ashley

    i am sorry to you Liza I hope you complete your family when the time is right God will provide you with the children that he wants you to have. My daughter went to heaven January 19 2012 and it is very hard to loose a child through adoption or birth she had trisomy 18 I am afraid to have a child naturally and if I decide to have more then the one God gave me in 2007 and there was complications in that pregnancy as well I will probably go the adoption route. My heart feels for you but I also know that we have to get up brush the dirt off and move forward.


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