Monday, April 17, 2017

Adoption Off

Just before Amy and I were to board our plane for Memphis last Friday, we found out the birthmother was leaning towards keeping the baby.  Amy and I cancelled our flight and made the painful journey back to our house from the airport.  This morning it was confirmed that the adoption is not happening.  Needless to say, we are devastated.  We are feeling utterly empty and lost.

Out of respect for the privacy of everyone involved, I haven't let on about the details that have created such an emotional roller coaster for us over the past few weeks, but as you can imagine it has been stressful to toggle between the anticipation of abundant joy and the dread of having our hopes cruelly dashed.  Now that that roller coaster has come to a sudden and undesirable end, I am swimming in emotions, which I will try to capture here as a way of getting them off my chest.

Anytime you choose to bring a child into your family, you make room in your hearts and lives for that child. This is true of us, and in our case we literally made a new room in our house for the baby.  We also made room for her in terms of rearranging our lives around her arrival, and not just the temporary tasks of flying out to get her but the ongoing structure and flow of our family life.  Now that she is gone, we feel utterly empty and lost.

There are reminders everywhere.  We made the decision not to fly out to Memphis before our flight left but after our luggage had been loaded on the plane, so we had to file a claim to make sure everything got returned back to us.  We had to describe not only our luggage but a few items inside so they could confirm it was ours.  Just thinking about that suitcase full of newborn clothes, bottles, and diapers made me break down.  It is now back in our possession, and I'm not sure we are ready to open and unpack it.

Through all the sobbing, we have never doubted in God's compassion or His sovereignty.  He is good and He is in control, and we take great comfort in that.  But it still hurts.  I have shared before that unlike with Asher, we didn't sense as clearly that it was God's will for us to do another adoption, and throughout the process we continued to doubt and wonder.  I can now say with certainty that losing the baby clarified for us that we did in fact want her, deeply and desperately.  But it is not to be.

The death of a child is the worst thing a parent can bear, and this is not that.  In fact, it is a good thing when a baby can stay with her mother and when a mother decides she can give parenting her a go.  But it is still a big loss for us, and one we will need to grieve over.  Amy and I love Jada, Aaron, and Asher so so much, and because of them our lives are full of love and joy.  But this missing baby is going to be a hole we feel for the rest of our lives.

When life is at its most bitter, the kindness of others is all the more sweet.  Amy and I are so thankful for everyone who has rallied around us, first to make possible the logistics of picking up a newborn baby, and then to be with us as we were losing her.  You know who you are, and your care for us is deeply appreciated and will never be forgotten.

Most of all, I am profoundly grateful for Amy.  She really is the best and I love her so much.  She has held me up when I have fallen apart.  My greatest disappointment in all of this is not my own feeling of loss but rather the pain of Amy not getting what she wants.  She has the biggest heart, and she had given it to this baby girl.  I am so thankful for Amy and am humbled to be able to go through life's ups and downs with her. We both feel so weak right now, but our love for each other is strong, and that feels good even as everything else hurts.
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