This week I’ll be linking up over a Lil’ Kid Things for a series called “A Week of Thanksgiving!” She has shared awesome writing prompts as well as a daily link-up where you can share what you are thankful for as well as read other bloggers share their gratitude! If you are looking for some good reading for your time off this week, definitely head over & check it out!
November is National Adoption Awareness Month and I could spend days sharing how our lives have been changed and incredibly blessed by the miracle of adoption of our daughter Abby! I cannot imagine our lives without her. She has truly taught us more about the love of God in the last 2 1/2 years than I could have learned in a lifetime without her. We are extremely thankful for our agency for guiding us through the process as well as her birthmother giving us the honor of parenting such an amazing little girl and showing what unconditional and selfless love really means. Our adoption story has a happy ending but there was a time when we wondered if our dream was ever going to come true.
Just shy of two months before we were matched with Abby, we got a call from our agency to meet a potential birthmom (who I will refer to as T). We were so excited. It was John’s birthday so we were hoping for a special gift! We had gotten a call shortly after our profile went active but it did not work out so this was the first time we were actually going to meet with someone with our social worker. We had an hour drive to get to the town where we would be meeting our social workers and T but it seemed like 10. We were both nervous. I was hoping I looked ok (I’m sure I tried on at least three outfits before we left).
When we arrived in town, our social workers let us know that we would be meeting T in the hospital not a restaurant like we expected. It seemed that the baby was ready to make an early appearance! Our social workers gave us some background information and gave us an idea of what the meeting would look like and then we were off to the hospital! The initial meeting was very positive and she told us that she would like us to parent her baby girl! When we left the hospital on cloud nine!
Two days later we got a call during one of our adoption classes to come to the hospital. When we arrived we were told that baby girl (who I will call M) had arrived! She was roughly five weeks premature so she was in the NICU but was doing well! The only issue she seemed to be having what feeding as she hadn’t developed the sucking reflex yet so she was being fed via feeding tube. We were smitten the moment we laid eyes on her. She was so tiny and had a head full of hair! Then it happened. The nurse called me Mommy as she handed me our baby girl. I thought, “So this is what this feels like. I’ve been waiting 3 1/2 years to hear those words.”
Everything was going smoothly. The adoption papers were signed. John and I split time at the hospital so that one of us was there with M as much as possible. We got to do all the firsts. First diaper change. First bottle. The doctors called us Mom & Dad. The nurses were getting things ready for our baby to come home. Then it happened.
The phone call that made our dreams come crashing down. In the state of NC, a birthmother has seven days to change her mind once adoption papers are signed. On day four, T changed her mind and just like that, we were no longer parents. On Wednesday, we had a baby girl we held in our arms who we smothered with snuggles and kisses. On Thursday, our arms were empty.
I’m not sure how many nights I cried myself to sleep after that night. My heart was broken into a thousand pieces. My faith was shaken as I did not understand how God would allow this to happen. I was hurt. I was angry. I was mourning not a physical death but an emotional, mental, and spiritual one. When M was placed in our arms, we immediately had so many hopes, dreams, and wishes for her and our family. After that phone call, all of those hopes, dreams, and wishes were gone.
I never thought that anything good could ever come from this situation. It was a dark moment where I felt very little light shine in. Where we go from here? How can we heal and move on when we were so hurt?
M was born on March 7th and one month and 20 days later, Abby was born. Eight weeks later, on June 22nd, we officially became a family of three and we couldn’t have been more blessed.
Looking back at our adoption journey, while this failed match was painful, we can now acknowledge that it was a blessing in disguise. We can see how Abby was a perfect fit for our family. We can see how aspects of an open adoption would have been stressful and difficult with T versus Abby’s birthmother which is relaxed and comfortable. We can see how God can take something ugly (like a failed match) and turn it into something beautiful (Abby). We can see how this experience strengthened our marriage and our faith.
The words of Steven Curtis Chapman say it best:
This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
but this is where we are
And our God is in control
Though the first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control
I am so thankful today and every day for the miracle that God has given our family and I pray every day to be the best mother I can be to the precious gift He has given!