I ache for her, and I pray that she finds a family who will love and provide for her.
So many children and their birth parents have crossed our path since we started our adoption journey in April of 2007. Most of them we never met, but we prayed for all of them. I have never stopped thinking about our first possible adoption situation (August 2007) and the young woman who claimed that her unborn baby was "annoying" (keeping her awake at night) and that she first wanted an abortion but found out she couldn't have one because she was due in seven weeks. Yeah. And now, we believe based on what we were told, she had a little girl and is parenting her. Wow.
Or T, a young lady in Michigan who wanted to meet us. The weekend we were to go meet her (and her unborn baby boy), she went into preterm labor and stopped talking to the adoption agency. She was due in June of 2008. Not our baby.
Or the young woman we met at a Chicago airport who was holding a beautiful biracial little boy. She put him in foster care for a week while she contemplated her adoption plan. Then she took him home. Her father, the baby's grandfather, sat across the table from his daughter, smiling at his beautiful grandson.
Or the women in Tennessee who had a black baby girl the very week we, on a whim, sent our profile to the agency. She had seven families to choose from. We weren't chosen. And that was the first time I bought baby girl clothes at our local Kohl's...without a baby....and I felt like a liar or a cheat. And I ended up returning the clothes. That baby wasn't ours.
Or all the possible expecting parents we were unofficially matched with who decided to take their babies home instead of placing them with adoptive families. The expectant parents, one of whom was battling alcoholism, took their baby home.
There are many many many other stories like these----every day, every where. Parents who didn't think they could parent and did. Or parents who didn't think they could parent and placed. And parents who had abortions, or almost did, and walked away from the clinics.
I hope wherever these parents and their children are, they are happy, healthy, and at peace. I hope they are on paths that are positive and right, not full of turmoil and pain.
For us, we have our family of three. Miss R, no matter how badly I wanted her to be with us, is just not meant to be our daughter. I was forcing the process too much. It wasn't organic or right. I could tell from the beginning.
I tried to tell myself that adoption is never easy, and sometimes force is necessary. My type A personalty begs me to push, push, push. It's exhausting for me, and sorry folks, the recipients of that pushing.
I asked several knowledgeable friends what they thought about us adopting Miss R. Most said we should just send in our homestudy just to see what information we would get. But my husband wisely said that once we had information, he knew I'd be sold on the idea...even if the information was clearly revealing to us that this child wasn't a good fit for our family.
Then he asked, "Are we trying to build our family or save a child?" GULP.
I tried. Lord, I tried. I wrote this fabulous cover letter to Miss R's social worker outlining why we are amazing parents. TA DA!!!!!! We are well-educated on transracial adoption, we live in a pet-free home (good for Miss R's medical needs), we have a nanny who is medically educated, I only work eight hours a week, I know about medical needs (have a major one myself---lucky ducky me), we believe in good health and practice what we preach, my husband has WEEKS of PAID paternity leave (great for bonding time!!!), and so and so and so forth. (Yeah, a little disgustingly reminiscent of the domestic adoption process where families compete for babies---ugg!)
Now I'll be writing a new cover letter to Miss R's social worker, telling her that as much as we want to proceed with finding out more about Miss R, God is telling us no.
Wise advice that I want to pass on that I did get from friends and family regarding the situation with Miss R:
- Think of the child we have now. What is right for her? What are her needs?
- Pray with each step we take. Don't bypass God, not even for a second.
- This child came into our hearts simply with the need for us to pray for her, her foster family, and her future, adoptive family. And perhaps this happens with many possible adoption situations---that we are to pray for these individuals and their decisions and lives.
- That perhaps Miss R simply opened our hearts to foster care...and that we will adopt from foster care in the future. Or perhaps there is another child coming to our family soon---and we need to start figuring out what that means for our family.
Why I spent a total of about two weeks stressing, debating, and not-sleeping over this situation is beyond me. I'm frankly annoyed with myself for not relaxing more or doing something more productive (like the nine items left on my to-do list) over my one month holiday break. But whatever. Today is a new day, a fresh start, and a chance to say a prayer for Miss R and focus my energies on the family I have right in front of me.
Wherever you are in your life's journey, I hope you are experiencing peace, understanding, and most of all, contentment. Count your blessings, pray for those who need to be blessed, and worry only about today, for as the Bible says, tomorrow carries its own troubles. Relish in today.