Writing is therapeutic... it's a way for us to vent without yelling and screaming, it's a healthy outlet for our feelings, it's a fun way to document our lives, and it's a forum (we hope) for others who are experiencing some of the same emotions along their infertility or adoption journey.
One challenge that blogging has recently presented for us is knowing what to share and when to share it. We strive to be transparent and honest ... and sometimes it's just hard.
We've had a busy, exciting, painful, and long journey to bring home our next precious baby(ies), like so many of you have, and it's not done yet.... but Joey and I would like to tell you our story, so far. Unfortunately, this story doesn't have an ending yet... but when it comes, it will be a very happy and long-awaited one!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Our second adoption journey started back in August when we completed our home study. We signed on with a local agency in early October but weren't convinced that we would bring home our baby through them. They gave us the jump-start we needed to get things going, and that's what we needed at the time.The agency is small and we were told to expect about a year and a half wait to receive placement. We brought Hannah home after a 6 week 'wait', so 1.5 years sounded awful to us, though we know many couples who've waiting so much longer. Nonetheless, the agency has a strong reputation and a Biblical approach to adoption, so we proceeded with them.
In late October, we heard of a young girl through a friend who was due to have twins in mid-December. We started getting to know "A" through email, texts, and phone calls. She was considering another couple, as well so we remained realistic and tried to stay focused and grounded in our expectations, though having twins has always been a dream that Joey and I share and we were beyond excited about the possibility of bringing these babies into our home.
We talked to "A" through her delivery and hospital stay in early December and offered her all the support and encouragement we could, while still unsure of what her final decision would be. "A" ended up placing her baby boy and baby girl with another family. Though we were sad that these weren't our babies, we were the encouragement "A" needed to have the strength to be able to spend time with her babies before they went home with their new family. She's an unbelievably strong woman and we are so thankful for the opportunity, not only to know "A", but to be able to envision our family with twins... we loved what we saw! 'A' also provided us with a rare look inside the heart of a birth mom... one we will cherish forever.
2 Corinthians: 9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
A few days before Christmas, we received an email through our Facebook page
about a baby boy who was due to be born on December 27. This baby desperately needed a strong and supportive family because he had Spina Bifida. We sent our info to the attorney that was representing his birth-parents and received a call on the 26th with news that he had been born on Christmas Day. His first surgery went well and he was expected to be in the hospital for a few weeks. We started conversations with his birth-parents through email, text, and phone calls. They named this sweet boy Ace and wanted to remain his guardians until he was released from the hospital. A week later, Ace was released and went home with his birth-parents. We were so sad to not bring him home, but were so thankful for his healthy prognosis and his parents who love him so much.
We believe everything happens for a reason. We've always been 'open' to special needs, but imagining Ace as part of our family made 'special needs' very real to us. Through this experience we learned that we are not only 'open' to a child with special needs, but would be beyond excited to welcome him or her as our child!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
Our conversations with Ace's birth-parents lasted about 10 days (from December 26-January 5). On December 28 we received an email, again through Facebook
, from a young woman who was due to have twin boys sometime around mid-April and was looking to make an adoption plan for her babies. We fell in love with "M" immediately. We began communicating with her daily toward the end of January and she 'chose us' at the beginning of February. We were SO thankful and so excited for this second opportunity for twins! We were really starting to see all of the events that led to this point and started preparing our home, hearts, and Hannah for the arrival of these sweet boys.
"M" helped us name the boys. She sent us belly pictures, dreamed with us about the boys' future, discussed nursery themes with us, joked with us about all the laundry that would come with 2 new babies, and we became such close friends. We had created such a strong and crucial foundation in our relationship with her and knew that these boys would grow up having the best First Mom and many, many people who loved them so much!
"M" went through the very normal and necessary process of wondering if the decision she was making for the boys was indeed, the best. She shared her range of emotions with us through the next few weeks and wrote the boys one of the most heart-felt letters we've ever read (we hope, with her permission, to share it one day). She was torn; wanting what was best for them and not knowing if she was included in their 'best' or not. Experiencing her pain and the ups and downs of her difficult decision was a wonderful, painful, exciting, and excruciating thing for us.... we loved her, hurt for her, and loved the boys and wanted them, too. Through it all, we supported "M", reassured her of our love for all of them, and prayed that God would continue to guide all of us in what would be the best outcome for the boys.
We all knew that, inevitably, one of us would end up grieving their loss.
While we were continuing to grow our relationship with "M" and prepare for the boys' arrival, our agency called us toward the middle of February... a young girl had chosen us to parent her baby girl, due to be born on February 28. We were shocked. We had been told to expect such a long wait... 4 months isn't what we had prepared for.and we were faced with one of the most difficult decisions we've been faced with yet; turn down this opportunity to bring home a baby-girl in 2 short weeks and continue planning and preparing for the boys, or turn down our dream to have twins and hurt our relationship with "M" to bring home a precious baby-girl in 2 weeks.
I screamed. We cried. We prayed. Everyone prayed.
We called our agency that night and said 'no'.
We said 'no'.
That's still hard for me to remember.
Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
We love "M". We love those boys. We knew that if we brought baby-girl home, while we would never ever regret, we would always wonder. We had to complete the work that had been started with "M".
Twin boys, "B" and "W" entered the world 5 weeks early in the second week of March. They were perfect and healthy and TWINS! We communicated with "M" throughout her drive to the ER, while she was with the Doctor, and knew as soon as the boys were born. We also knew that the boys would be going home with their parents.
WE just weren't going to be their parents.
We were the one's who grieved. We cried. We screamed. We entered a dark place. Have you been there before?
I'm sorry. So, so sorry.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The room we had prepared. The clothes we had bought. The grand-parents who were beyond excited. The blankets that had been knit. The car seats. The cribs. Everything with 'them' in mind.
And we brought home nothing.
We pursued a private adoption knowing full well that we would miss out on all of the support, advice, and help along the way that an agency has to offer. We also knew without a doubt that this was the path God wanted us to go down. We don't have any regrets... or grudges... or anger.
Today, we have hope. Funny, huh? THIS kind of hope only comes from the Lord.
But the sadness? Yeah... it's still here. Oh, it's not as raw as it was a few weeks ago but those boys... all of the babies we've mentioned here, have become part of our story. We pray for them every day. We still communicate with their amazing moms. We love them all so so much. And every one of them represents good things in our story; each one brought us one step closer to our baby... the one(s) that will come home with us. They represent how crucial it is to follow God's plan, even when you just don't see (yet) how it makes any sense.
Thanks for reading :-) We have been so blessed by the relationships we've been able to develop with these moms. We've been blessed immensely by all of you; the friends, family, and even friends of friends or family who have loved and supported us. You have all become part of our childrens' testimonies that are already so strong and have already impacted so many lives.
And you know what?
The story is not over.... it's really just beginning.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.