I've mentioned we've had our trials lately, and as of about 1/2 hour ago, I feel comfortable writing about it. I have been wanting to write, but I just couldn't...until now.
We started the adoption process a couple years ago. This time around has been far different than it was with Callie. Everything was so fast, and smooth, with Callie. This time, however, every step has been long and drawn out. Getting our background checks took months and months before they came through. We were finally approved for adoption this past February. And I honestly thought that our baby was right around the corner. I was so naive.
Time went on, and discouragement would peak its nose in every now and then. But I have always felt that the Lord is intimately involved in our lives...and adoption placements are not exceptions. I remember one afternoon talking with Peggy, my mother-in-law, in the kitchen. She asked how I was feeling, and I replied, "I actually think it's going to be a long time and then...boom boom...like twins." Life continued, and though it was very eventful, it carried on without a new baby.
While we were in Utah for Samantha's therapy, we were contacted by 2 sets of birthparents. Two sets. What? I remembered that small discussion I had that day in the kitchen. Was this supposed to happen like this? Practically twins?! It seemed absolutely crazy, but I was excited about the thought. Sure, the next 5 years, at least, would be a challenge, but if this is how it was supposed to happen, it'd work out. Both birthparent's situations were complicated. Birthparent A had some medical things we were a tad concerned about. We also were only working with a volunteer caseworker because she didn't want any contact at all. Birthparents B wanted a very open adoption, the baby is already born, and they are living overseas. We were feeling really good about adopting both babies, but we were growing a good relationship with couple B.
We prayed. We fasted. And we decided, and felt good about talking to both sets about adopting both...but that if there were any problems with that, we felt good going with couple B. When couple B said they felt uncomfortable with us adopting both babies, decided that we would "choose" them. How strange is that? We discussed our adoption plans. They told us they were committed to us and they realized that we were turning down another baby for their daughter. It's strange, but as happy as I was to be moving forward with them, I felt a huge loss. I felt like I had lost a baby, but I felt peace about the decision. It was a weird experience to feel such great sadness and peace at the same time.
Things progressed. There was a lot we discussed, and we were preparing for a 2 month old baby to enter our family. A little girl. A little girl with a white father, black mother -- curly hair and green eyes. When we'd talk, sometimes we'd hear her squeaks in the background. It was so cute. And with each day, and especially each Skype session, I was growing more love for this birthmom and dad. The truth is, we click. Really well. She expressed how peaceful she felt about us, and we were excited. Happy.
The day before we were leaving for Disneyland, we got an email from her. She stated that she had talked to her mom and that she was going to have her mom adopt the baby.
I was crushed. At first, I was shocked. I didn't cry until my dad called to see how I was. Then the tears came. And I couldn't hold it together. The crying-so-hard-you-can't-make-any-sound cry. The "Jen, are you ok? Are you still there?" from Dad cry. That doesn't happen often. I was devastated. I cried. On and off all day, I would just break down. Then came the massive migraine. My arms actually went numb. And I became physically sick. I vomited throughout the night, but felt better in the morning...and off to Disneyland we went where I felt so so blessed. I felt such gratitude for my little family. Yes, I want a baby so badly, to hold a new little one in my arms, to wake up in the evenings to feed him, to do it all again...but for that day, all of that didn't cross my mind. I was so in love with Callie's bright smile and Sammy's soft giggles. I felt ok.
When we returned home, there was an email in our inbox from our birthmom. She apologized and felt like she had acted too quickly. If we were willing, she and the birthfather still wanted us to adopt their little girl. We began skyping and trying to get things straightened out. We wanted to make sure she really felt good about everything.
I can't imagine what it's like to be a mother who then decides that adoption is the best for her baby. Can you imagine? But she truly felt she wasn't in a position to raise her baby and felt that this would be best. But, who should take care of her baby? This is now what she had to decide because things became complicated when she told her parents that she had a baby.
We've talked a lot, each time fantastic, but we've just never known exactly what she was going to decide.
Tonight, we got our answer. It was a relatively short chat. She told us that she had decided that she was going to have her parents take care of the baby. They won't be adopting the baby, but rather taking care of her. When she is ready, she can go back and start taking care of her baby herself -- in a five years or so.
I guess deep down we knew this was going to happen, or that it was very likely. And most of my emotional reaction I think I got out when we received that first email. But when she told us, I got a pit in my stomach and I'm just sad. I'm really sad.
I still feel like there's a baby out there for us. Somewhere. Sometime.
Tonight when I logged on, I was surprised to see so many emails from friends and I haven't talked to in awhile. Not a ton, but enough to make me think that the Lord was behind it. Enough of you asking me how things were going and how we've been on your mind. He is intimately involved in our lives. And as soon as I get over the initial sadness, I think what I wrote the other day -- those feelings of peace will replace this. Probably sooner than later. At least that's what I hope for.
I told our birthmom tonight that I believe things happen for a reason, even if we don't understand why...there's a reason. I'm not sure why this happened. But I do know that my perspective of adoption has changed. Our experience with Callie was very...near perfect. I always looked at adoption through rose-colored lenses. Perhaps now, after going through this, I can better empathize with others who go through this as well? Or maybe we'll be that much happier and filled with joy when our baby does finally come. OR, maybe this is all for Samantha, or Callie, or or or...
All I know right now is...I love my family. I love the way Samantha curls up to me. I love how Callie will only read books with me if my arm is wrapped around her. I love how both of their eyes light up when Marcus or I enter the room. I am so so grateful for what I have.
But I'm also really grateful tonight for my friends who emailed me, maybe prompted to do so. And I'm grateful for Modern Family. I needed that laugh.