I know it was our decision, but it’s still hard sometimes.
It was Tuesday afternoon and I got a text from our adoption agency caseworker. She wanted to talk with us about a potential adoption match! I called her as soon as I could. The first question that comes in my mind is, “Could this be it?!?” I was eager to find out more about this baby.
I called our caseworker and after a short time I knew all the stats about the baby and birth parents, the reason why they were making an adoption plan and the timeline for having our first meeting. I was completely overwhelmed. I wasn’t feeling my best physically, I was already stressed about other life decisions, AND there were a few things that were uncertain about this particular match.
At the time, my husband was out of town and so, I had to wait to discuss this all with him. But after patiently waiting, we were able to connect by phone. We had a few more questions about this particular match and texted some initial questions to our caseworker. The next morning, Putty took over the discussions with her while I was working. Teamwork for the win! After going over a few more things and getting better clarity, we decided to go ahead and meet with them!
To my delight, the birth parents needed to postpone the meeting until the following week. This gave me plenty of time to wrap my mind around what was coming next and took off some of the pressure I felt at first. We still weren’t 100% sure if we felt like this would be our match or not, but we did know that we were supposed to move forward with meeting them.
As we went through the week and shared with a few people about what was to come, we got some feedback that was less than positive. I felt disappointed by that. It seems that some people were having a feeling of caution and warning inside for us. I didn’t really like hearing this. After all, I am ready for our next baby! But, when I asked what were some reasons for caution, I had to admit that those same thoughts went through my mind. I mean, I quickly dismissed them and tried to focus only on the positive, but I knew that I needed to weigh all this very carefully.
After a week of waiting to meet the birth family, I expected that I’d be MORE than ready to meet them. I expected to be anxious and excited, but the morning of our meeting, I was mostly not even thinking about it. I had to work that morning and so that kept my mind focused, but even as the hours approached to have our meeting, I was feeling very neutral about the whole thing. This is actually representative of what I had been feeling the entire week about this particular potential match situation. That felt odd.
So, as we prepared to meet with the birth parents over video, Putty and I prayed that God would give us very good discernment during the meeting and make it much more clear to us about whether or not we should move forward with this birth family. Of course, the first step is completely up to the birth parents. They are the ones who choose between us and in this case, the other potential family. But, we wanted to be ready to accept this match if they chose us.
The meeting began. We interfaced mostly with the birth father who was pretty outgoing. The birth mother was a bit more shy and so we heard from her now and then, but not as much. The adoption caseworker was there too and she helped move things along when the conversation died down. Then it was time to be done and we ended the video call.
Putty and I looked at each other. We seemed to silently ask each other, ‘What did you think?’ So, we talked about how we felt and ultimately… we didn’t feel that we had any more clarity about this situation than we had before! Another round of disappointment and confusion. I really wanted and hoped that seeing these parents and talking with them would give us the answer we were looking for – an easy decision. Nope, it wasn’t going to be that way.
As you can imagine, we had more conversations with more people about how the call went, how we were feeling about the situation, and when we’d know more. Not only was it hard for me not to know the answer, but I couldn’t even articulate to our friends and family if we wanted them to be excited and hopeful with us, or remain cautious and ready to disconnect. It was so weird!
That evening, as we continued to contemplate, we realized something. Maybe God wasn’t going to tell us, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for this particular child. Maybe it could work either way and God was okay with that. Maybe God was as neutral about this situation as my feelings were. But in our hearts we wanted God to be totally making it clear who would be our next child(ren). We don’t want to just say, ‘Yes’ because we can. As Putty said, ‘We didn’t want to pick our own spouses, we wanted God to do that. Why would we want anything less for the children in our family? We want God to pick our kids.‘ We really want to know that God has brought us our next child(ren) and not leave it up to natural reasoning. We want to be excited and know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this is our child.
So, we made a choice. Even with a possible resolution to our adoption dream just in front of us, we made the hard choice to withdraw our names from consideration for this child. I think our caseworker was a bit shocked. How many prospective adoptive parents say ‘No’ to an adoption placement at this stage? I don’t really know. But just as quickly as she was sad for us, she was suddenly overcome with tearful joy for the other family! She knew that their dreams were about to be fulfilled and this was good. It was so precious to hear her emotions of joy for this other family. I knew that our ‘No’ meant ‘Yes’ for someone else! That’s really cool to think about.
The following morning, the morning that the birth parents were supposed to make their decision, I found myself thinking about how the other family would be feeling. They have been waiting for an adoption match too and they were going to find out that they got it! I smiled, inwardly happy for this other couple and the future in front of them.
Even now, I am still happy for this other couple, but I find myself feeling sad. It’s a lot to process and luckily, writing helps with that. I’m sad that we felt we had to pass on this baby. I’m sad that I don’t know when the next opportunity for adoption will present itself. I’m frustrated that I have to wait again – even though it was our decision. I fear that I missed out on something. I worry that I won’t have another chance. As I catch myself descending into these negative thoughts, I must stop and remember the truth.
God is on our side. We have asked him to write our story and we trust him fully with the details. We aren’t sitting lazily by just waiting around for our life to get moving. No, we are still praying, learning, and preparing for when we get to meet our next child! We are not missing out. There will be another chance. I am waiting again, but I wait with hope and expectation. In the waiting He will lift us up and be our strength and peace. This is good news! This is good truth to hold onto.
A friend sent me this song recently and as I write the ending of this post, I can tell this is very fitting for the place we find ourselves in at this moment.
We rise by bowing
We live by dying
When we give what we could never keep
We gain what we will never lose
Like beauty from ashes
And joy from mourning
Only You can take brokenness
And make it something beautiful
From glory to glory
You tell our story
We will overcome
We’ll walk on the water
With our eyes on the Father
Nothing is impossible
Rest is our weapon
Joy is our strength
We wait upon the Lord and find
Strength to spread our wings and fly
(If you know someone who would find this story helpful or encouraging, please feel free to share it! Thanks for reading my post!)
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3 thoughts on “Adoption Update: Early August 2020 – Meeting #2”
Such a hard, big decision you had to make! Love your desire to rely completely on God for your next child. Thank you for doing the hard work prayer, discernment and waiting!
Yes, you’ve seen us first hand as we’ve made decisions and then walked out the days following them. Some have been harder than others, for sure. But, I do feel peaceful with where we are. I think that’s a good indication that we’re on the right track! I am eagerly waiting our sweet new baby, though! 🙂