There is no easy way to write about this, but know most people would love a bit more info than “our placement failed.” It’s been a little over a month since it happened and the sadness still pops up as we live our day to day lives. I expect that every Dec 26th I will remember that as the day I met a beautiful baby girl and was told by the birthmother that I was her momma. We watched with tears of joy as she, so pink and tiny, got her first bath. Together Paddy and I fed this precious baby her fist bottle. That first day the birthmother seemed so sure in her decision, so happy with her choice. She told us about the dreams she had for the baby to grow up with us, how she knew we were the right parents to raise her child. We gave the birthmother the gift we had spent hours picking out. Over and over she called us the baby’s momma and daddy. Although consent was not to be signed until 48 hours after birth, things went so well the first day that we dared to hope this was going to go through. We were given a room in the hospital to be able to spend as much time with the baby as we could. She was healthy, beautiful….perfect.
The staff began to ask what we would name her, and we started to tell them on day 2. They were so excited for us, everyone on our floor was amazing and doing everything they could to make us comfortable.
The thought that this might be the only time we would be with this child, that she might not be coming home with us, was wrapped up within a thousand other thoughts and emotions. It came to mind as I prayed over her. I prayed for her life, with us or without us. I prayed for her to know Christ as her Savior one day. I prayed for her birthmother too, for the whole situation.
I can’t go into details about how everything changed so quickly, but I will say it was a shock but not totally a surprise. We knew this could happen, this happens in adoption all the time. For better or for worse, the birthmothers decide to parent, even though all the factors that lead up to her adoption plan are still in play. And all you can do is pray that God knows what He’s doing and that He will protect the helpless.
I can’t be mad at the birthmother, or anyone involved in our failed adoption. The truth is with newborn adoptions, someone leaves the hospital empty handed. The birthmothers who are choosing to go though the pain of delivery and placement instead of choosing abortion are usually doing so because they care about the child they can’t raise. Someone’s heart will break and someone will be grieving.
A failed placement like this…the hard and heart wrenching kind…was my greatest fear from day one. And I knew how I wanted to respond if it happened. I wanted to be like Job when he heard almost all that he had was gone “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21. But I will say that it was a moment by moment struggle and I failed miserably at times. I am no Job, obviously. I wasn’t mad at God, but I did feel let down that after all Paddy and I been through in our 14 years together, that He would have this in His plan for us too. What kind of people are we that God feels the need to break us then mend us back so many times?
It rained and we drove home. We had Mumford and Sons on our Pandora station and this lyric came on, from their song Keep the Earth Below My Feet:
When I was told by Jesus all was well
So all must be well
And that is really the bottom line as we heal and move forward, and dare to get excited about what God has for us. Jesus ordains our lives for our good and simultaneously His glory. The mystery of this is not lost on me. So if He has told me He is working all things for my good, then He is.
It has not escaped me that we are mourning something that was never ours, in more ways than one. God is the giver of children, funds, and dreams and ultimately all these belong to Him to do as He desires. We’ve experienced miscarriage and that’s really the closest thing I can compare a failed placement to. But I know it’s not the end of the story. Because we know God we can have unfazed hope amidst any trail and heartache that comes, and look forward with great expectation to the life He is building for us.