Looking Outside of Ourselves in Disrupted Adoptions
If you’ve been in the adoption world for any time at all, you’ve heard the saying “adoption is hard”. If you’re just looking into the adoption world, you may hear that and wonder why everyone says it. If you’ve gone through the journey or you’re in it now, you know why.
When we started our adoption journey, we had two biological children already, and thought that it would be easyto wait. Man, how wrong we were! The wait is never easy, regardless of your situation. God planted a desire in our hearts for adoption and with that, he placed a longing for a new child for our family.
We went through two potential adoption situations that ultimately did not work outfor us. Both were very different and had two completely different outcomes. There is no “normal” in adoption and every story is different.
Shortly after we became a waiting familywith our agency, we connected with a woman who had just found out she was pregnant. We had an instant connection and were “matched” early on. (We now use the word "chosen.") We stayed connected for months and traveled half way across the country to meet her and the baby’s father. Although our lives were very different, we didn’t feel that different, and we were instant friends! When we moved into this adoption journey, we felt like God wanted us to embark in an open adoption and truly minister to an expectant mama too. We weren’t in it for just a baby. This situation felt like everything was lining up to be just that.
Just a few weeks after our visit, contact stopped altogether. We reached out several times with no response. We held on to hope, but a few weeks later, we knew something had changed in her mind. And we knew it was time to move on. Because it wasn’t a cut and dry “NO" we had time to think about it, worry about it, and dwell on it. We were crushed. Why would God allow us to waste so many months and so much money? We had hired an attorney to start the process and had flew out to have a visit. He gently pressed our hearts and reminded us—we were not on this journey for US. It wasn’t about us.
We truly cared for this man and woman. We were friends. We cared about them on a deep level. The hardest part was the not knowing a definite answer. But again, this journey wasn’t about us. It wasn’t until a few months later that we reconnected with them and we found out that they had chosen to parent. And immediately, we felt peace.
Placing a child for adoption is the most intense decision a parent could ever make. It's heart wrenching and a decision that isn’t made easily. It is something that you live with forever. And when we found out that they felt empowered to parent, we were so THANKFUL and proud of them! We never wanted our eventual child’s birth parents to feel regret over their decision. Ultimately, we wouldn’t want to be in an open adoption where the parents didn’t feel peace about it, and this was God answering our prayer and theirs!
Just a few days after we decided to continue moving on with our own adoption journey, our agency had a new situation for us. We said YES immediately and had new hope! Unfortunately, This situation also ended just a few weeks later. The mother chose another family with little to no warning to us.
There are lots of details here that are private and not mine to share. What I can share is that when another family is chosen over you, after you’ve been connected with an expectant mother, is much much different than the mother choosing to parent. When our first sitation ended because she chose to parent, we felt peace and felt happiness for our friends! When this situation ended, we felt rejected and like we were not good enough. It happened the day before my 30th birthday and honestly, I was wrecked.
Again, God started pressing on our hearts and reminding us that this wasn’t about us. We learned that while God is working and carrying out His will for US, He’s also working and carrying out His will for others. That may hurt and be painful to us in moments. I hold on to the hope that the family that did get to adopt the baby was perfect for the baby and the birth mama! That family had something they could offer them that we couldn’t. God was working for us, of course, but he was also working for them.
All of this happened within a couple months span. We were discouraged and disheartened. We didn’t know why all this had happened and, honestly, we wanted to quit. Down in our hearts we knew God had called us to this journey, but we didn’t understand why there was so much hurt involved.
Then we got a call. From that phone call to 30 days later, we had our precious daughter in our arms on our 9th wedding anniversary. We had an incredible relationship with her birth mama and continue to. God had us walk through all those hard days so we could love and serve our daughter’s first mother in the very best way. If we hadn’t of had the hard times, we may not have been equipped to handle our situation with grace and care.
Going through “failed adoptions” aren’t failures at all. If an expectant mama chooses to parent, that’s a HUGE success for her! A woman who felt like she couldn’t parent now feels empowered to do so. We should celebrate with her. It's ok if it hurts, it will hurt. But it can be happy TOO. If an expectant mother chooses another family, know that it isn’t a rejection of you. There may be something another family can offer her and her baby that is just what God sees she needs. That is a huge success for the birth mother and the other adoptive family. We have to rejoice with others and trust that God knows what we need, and also what these birth mamas and children need too. When you adopt, you want your situation to feel like a blessing, not a burden.
Ultimately, the sadness and deep pain a mother feels when she places her baby for adoption is beyond my comprehension. The pain we felt in our two situations that didn’t work out was nothing compared to the pain our daughter’s mother went through the day she placed her in our arms forever. Our pain was just a blip on the radar. And I truly believe that God allowed us to walk through that dark season so that we could better empathize with our daughter’s first mother. When we think of it that way, we’re able to keep it in perspective.
There is purpose in your journey. Every single step has purpose. Every hard day we went through had a reason, taught us something new, and was worth it. If you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t work out for your family, know that it was not a failure. It did work out for someone and while it may be hard, rejoice with them! Your time is coming. God is working out a situation where you can give your baby and his or her birth mama what they need with the perfect grace and love that only you can offer.
Adoption is hard. It’s messy. Adoption is rooted in pain, but also beauty. No matter how a situation plays out, someone gets hurt. If it happens to be your family feeling the pain right now, keep your head up. God is working… you never know the details he is weaving together and what he is working out for you and others.