Our First Situation

I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Earlier that day, we received an email that a birth mother was making an adoption plan and that she could be a potential match for us.

I was at Bible study and immediately forwarded the email to Tad so that he could review it while I was tied up. My heart was racing. Could this really be happening already?

I briefly scanned the email and saw that a baby boy was due in June and needed a family quickly. They would be presenting profiles to the birth mother tomorrow. In that moment, the details of the situation didn’t even matter to me. I immediately began thinking of baby names, making plans to have our home “baby ready” by early June, and envisioning becoming this baby boy’s mama.

I called Tad about an hour later, and he proceeded to share some of the details of the situation. I will spare any information about the birth mother or child for privacy’s sake. However, I will say that had this situation played out the way that we hoped, I would have had a baby boy in my arms in less than 2 months.

Unfortunately, as I was crafting the email with our required documents to present our profile, we received an email from our consultant that the agency had already received enough families to present. This was in less than 2 hours from receiving the initial email.

I was consumed with disappointment. I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of two hours. Because this was our first situation, we did not know what to expect or how much time we would have to make a decision. In my sadness, I appreciated Tad’s perspective. He said, “God won’t allow a situation to work out that isn’t meant for us.”

It reminded me of a saying I heard years ago: “If it’s not God’s plan, you can’t force it. If it is God’s plan, you can’t stop it.”

Since that day, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about and praying for this birth mother and her baby. In her handwriting, I read of a scared young woman who was in a situation that made it extremely difficult for her to raise a child. In one email, we knew everything about her. Adoption became real for us in that moment. It reminded me of two important points about this journey:

1) There is no moment in life that I can think of where joy and grief are more present than in adoption.

Adoption is born out of loss.

Joy out of pain.

Continued joy out of continued pain.

There is so much pain in placing a child for adoption. And there is so much joy in adopting a child. May we be sensitive to this and never forget this.

2) Adoption can change your life in an instant.

Had we moved forward with presenting our profile and been matched with this birth mother, our entire lives would have changed in an instant.

We don’t have a nursery yet.

We don’t have the funds yet.

We don’t have any baby stuff, period.

BUT, we fully trust God to provide when the time comes and our hearts are completely invested in this process. So, we are ready. And we cannot wait to receive the call telling us “you’ve been matched”.

We’re making progress…

Our adoption journey is really moving along. We just had our third interview with the social worker this week and it went great. We have one visit left on March 23rd which will be at our home. She will be doing a walk through and checking out the space in which our child will live. After that, she will be finalizing the report and submitting it. We are hopeful to have our Home Study completed by the end of this month! At that point, we will be able to submit our applications and start the matching process with different agencies.

We’ve also completed our profile book. This is the book that an expectant birth mother looks at when she is making an adoption plan. When a birth mother contacts an agency, they meet with a social worker to discuss their hopes and expectations in an adoptive family situation. The caseworker will then share with her the profile books of several families that meet her list of preferences. The birth mother may look through a stack of any number of books before selecting one. Needless to say, it’s a very big deal!

How do you summarize your entire life and depict it in a 20+ page book? How do you “sell” yourself to someone you don’t know, while still keeping it real and genuine? What things do you include and what do you keep out? How much do you share, and how much is too much? Thankfully, that’s what our adoption consultant, Susan, is an expert at, and she did a beautiful job sharing our story.

When they arrived in the mail, I began to touch each profile slowly, suddenly frozen with the gravity of what the pages represent. Overcome with emotion, I thought to myself, “She’ll touch these. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to meet her or talk to her, but I’m touching this page that she will touch.”

I longed to somehow infuse our love into each page. I lingered, desperately wanting this woman who is pregnant and scared to feel how much we love her right now, to believe that we care about her as a person and not just about the life growing inside of her. I imagined what she might feel as she flips through these pages while trying to make one of most difficult decisions of her life.

Adoption is a mixture of grief and joy. With every flicker of happy anticipation for this new baby comes a wave of sorrow for what’s being lost. As we gain a child, another mother will be saying goodbye to her baby. I never want to be excited about our gain without being heartbroken for her loss.

I breathed prayers for whatever women will touch these books. We don’t know how many birth moms will see our profile before we’re connected with the one that wants us to parent her child. I prayed that God would speak to each of these women, to tell them how courageous and selfless they are for choosing to give their child life; to tell them how much they are loved.

Lord willing, we will soon be chosen to parent a child out of a pile of others who are hoping for the same opportunity that we are. What an amazing blessing and responsibility that is.