I will never forget the phone call we received in early June of 2006. We had a referral for a baby boy. He was 6 months old and he would be ours - our first child! We were thrilled - we couldn't wait for our meeting to receive his information but even more, we couldn't wait to see a picture of the little boy we longed to bring home. It had been a hard journey to parenthood - so much emotion and loss but this, this would be a great joy at the end of grief.
We arrived at our appointment and waited eagerly. The director of our agency brought us to her office and began telling us about this little boy. We fell a little in love right away. But then she showed us his picture - 2 of them and we fell in love more than a little. He was perfect and beautiful. We picked a name and told all of our friends and family. We made so many copies of the pictures and just gazed at them. We couldn't wait for the day we would bring him home as our son.
In late July, we received a very different phone call. It was a phone call saying that the boy we were going to make our son, the boy we had fallen in love with, the child that would fulfill our dreams of parenthood would not be ours. It was a devastating blow. We had pictures, we had a name, we planned for this child. They were sorry, they said but there was nothing that could be done. We wept more than I knew possible. Letting people know was the worst. The feeling of loss was intense. We had already experienced so much grief - how could we possibly handle more?
We may never understand why God had us go through that but we certainly know that the children He has brought into our lives are the ones that He intended for us. We cannot imagine it any other way. And we love them more than we knew possible. They are our own.
Loss is common in the infertility and adoption world (well, really everywhere) - dashed dreams, hopes that come crashing down, disappointment, and extreme grief. In acknowledging our tremendous loss, I pray that you will know me better. Is there risk in adoption? Absolutely. But we truly believe in the sovereignty of God - we know He has a reason for our suffering and we know that His perfect plan is the best for us. The process, no matter how painful, was a necessary part of our journey. Almost every adoptive parent I know has experienced loss - a birthmom changing her mind (sometimes several), a lost referral, a country closed down, an agency failing them...it's common. But nearly all of them choose to focus on the joy of the journey.
But we all remember those lost ones. We remember the pain. We remember the child that found another home. We remember. We carry those children in our hearts forever.