Failed adoption is what they call it when you’ve been matched but don’t get to bring the baby home for one reason or another. I’ve heard many couples describe it as a death of sorts. I can say from experience that’s true in many ways.
We’ve been somewhat mum about having been matched again. When our full-term baby went home to heaven in June we didn’t want to be matched again, love another birth mom, be vulnerable. But then we felt God was working on our hearts. There was a woman due on our anniversary who chose us. We found out in early August, which happened to be our youngest child’s birthday. The agency shared our story with her and she chose us. We, very timidly, moved forward. I flew to her state and met her. Something I thought I’d never do again. I fought fear daily. I wrote her letters and cards, sent packages. We even admitted to God that we wanted this child in the night hours when we thought no one else was listening. We knew that just because a hard thing had happened once didn’t guarantee protection from a second hard thing. Our small group was praying, we were praying, people I hardly knew were praying. For two months we tried to guard our hearts but still dared to love this baby. We tried to stay in a place where we didn’t picture him coming home with us.
It doesn’t matter how hard you try. When, at the last minute, it’s all ripped away from you again, you hurt. Deeply.
We got an induction date on a Monday, flew to the state on Tuesday. In order to do that several things had to be in place for us to leave home. We left our four sweet babies here. That is never something we’d do lightly. There were countless hours I’d spent dreading that part of our journey. We told them that Momma and Daddy were going to check on a baby to make sure he was ours. If he was, we’d have to stay long but we’d bring home a baby brother. If he wasn’t, we’d be home soon. The grocery trips, the stocking up, the pages of information, insurance cards, gifts to give – we tried to prepare well.
Anyway – we flew Tuesday and we were supposed to meet up with the birth mom Tuesday afternoon. She didn’t show. Said she was in a meeting. So the agency encouraged us to go shopping. We went to the beach. We were supposed to meet again at 6pm. She didn’t show. This is where it started getting real ugly. They couldn’t get her on the phone, she wouldn’t answer texts. Then they started calling the hospital to see if she’d already had the baby. I had a picture of hope held on by a string flinging in the wind. I was already a basket case. This felt really gross.
It wasn’t until Wednesday morning, when she didn’t show up for the supposed induction that the agency really started investigating. We found out about 10am that she’d had the baby several days ago. For reasons unknown to us or the agency, she would not be placing her baby with us. It was over.
We flew home someone’s buddy passes – I felt so guilty for having used them. I felt all of it had been wasted. Time, money, distance from our kids. I’ll be honest. I felt that even our love and the prayers of so many had been wasted. I went straight to the source. I questioned God about all of this, a deep sense of dread making me feel like He was an unkind Father. Why God?! Why now? Why did you make us wait and form a relationship and spend money and fly here only to leave the next day with no baby? Why, in this helpless situation, did this seem like the right thing? How are we supposed to go home and be brave for our kids? The pain was real – a searing, tearing ache in my chest. Zach and I were beside ourselves. He was angry. I was sad. It made the loss of our first son back in June so keen, so clear.
I realize how small it sounds to say I was at odds with God. My faith, shaken to the core. My trust, shattered. I’m ashamed to admit it – I know so many others who’ve suffered more. We have a ridiculous amount of things to be thankful for, not the least of which is salvation. Our arms aren’t empty, thank God, we have four amazing little people in our home. But the suffering is real and I was able to share my gut-level emotions with God, I grasped at scripture and was comforted. (Job 38-41, Genesis 40, Psalms 91, 40, 27, 139, 136 just to begin) I feel certain this was due to the number of folks crying out on our behalf.
He is so much bigger than this.
That’s enough for now. He is not an unkind Father. He knows things I don’t. Despite these circumstances and even in these circumstances, HE LOVES US. I know that in a deeper way. I know it in the dark.
We did everything right by human standards. We used a consultant, we picked reputable agencies, we asked all the right questions and followed the advice of folks who’ve worked in adoption for a lifetime. So what happens when you do everything right and then everything goes wrong? Twice? The quick answer? I. Don’t. Know. BUT GOD DOES. I really believe that.
We’re not done praying for the other situation. We still don’t know where it all went wrong but we’re daily (hourly, by the minute) putting our trust in the ONE who does and asking Him to care for the mom, the baby as He sees fit. It’s not easy, but there is grace.
So now we wait again.
Not for the agency.
Not for a prospective Birth Mom.
Not for the right situation.
But for God to move.