Failed. We’ve all been there. We’ve felt that sting of disappointment & burden of doubt. But in adoption, the label of 'failed' holds an entirely different meaning. It is built by delicate intricacies of a weighty decision, usually born from brokenness in some form.
We’ve felt that, lived it, bought the t-shirt to prove it. And statistically speaking, a significant number of hopeful adoptive parents will feel it too.
I still remember looking over the ocean watching the waves crashing onto the tiny grains of sand, as our hopes and dreams of what could have been shattered into a million pieces with one phone call. Failed. Sitting there with our faces in our hands, asking all of the million questions about what we did wrong for her to change her mind. And as hard as it was, my response is, can you blame her? She took one look at her sweet, beautiful boy who grew inside of her and that she knows in ways no one else will and said that she needed to try. Powerful, really. Today, that’s not necessarily the space I want to speak to. Maybe someday we can do that. I would love it. And if you are reading this and are walking through a failed match, sit with me here. I promise it will be worth it.
I look back at that time of absolute grief and instead of seeing tear stained cheeks & callused knees, I see sovereignty. God’s absolute sovereignty. Beauty from ashes. Gardens from graves.
In Isaiah 46, Isaiah is writing to the people of Israel as their faith wavered between pagan gods and the Lord God. The people of Babylon, maybe you know that story. Isaiah shares God’s affirmations of His own uniqueness, lordship, knowledge, and control of the future. God’s rightful authority, power, freedom to bring about everything He intends to happen, and that nothing happens except what He purposes. God’s sovereignty. Isaiah desires them to hope in their future while feeling confident that God is for them in their present.
And that’s what I see now. I look back at that space in our story, thanking God that we had a consultant that helped us see through the dust of the shattered pieces to the hope found in Jesus. Someone to walk us through the unknowns of trusting God to make something beautiful from that grief. Giving us the confidence to say ‘yes’ to what was next for us. That sweet, baby boy of her’s was never mine to hold and that’s okay with me. Because you see, I get to see the beauty of God’s sovereignty in the eyes of a boy I get the treasure of looking into every day. I see it when I look outside my window and see him planting a tree with his dad. I see it when the deepest dimples appear on his sweet face as he laughs. I see it when he plays with such wild imagination of castles, Spiderman, Buzz & Woody. I feel it when he hugs my neck and says, “I love you best”.
Failed is a word we never like to hear, do we? We avoid, fear, and hide from it at almost every cost. But let me be someone to tell you that even in the deepest pits of grief and fear, in adoption and otherwise, that there is a place of safety and assurance. A place where failing is not the end of your story. Trusting in the absolute sovereignty of God looking back at your past, being held in your present, and giving you a hope for your future.
ISAIAH 46: 9-11
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about.
I am not the type of person to be super passionate about a LOT of things. When I am passionate about something, it means everything. Adoption is one of those said things. By adoption I don't mean just the bringing home a baby part. By adoption I mean, appreciating and respecting the beginning, middle, and forever parts. There is so much about adoption that I had never really considered prior to being an adoptive parent myself. But it didn't take me long to start learning. I am still learning and as an adoptive parent, a transracial one at that, it is my responsibility to learn for forever as I get to parent the one I was chosen to parent.
So why would I leave my lucrative and fulfilling career as a nurse to become an adoption consultant? Thats a great question, and I am so thankful you asked. So here it goes...
In our relatively short time in the adoption world, we have experienced a mix of all the things. From the pivotal and sacred moments of meeting our son to walking away from really painful losses, we have felt all of the feels and have smile lines and the scars to prove both. And if we ever get the chance to sit across from each other with a cup of something someday and you want to hear how my experiences have shaped me, I would welcome it wholeheartedly. But, I will settle with this for now. Something that started as a passion to love babies who I didn't grow myself, turned into something so much bigger. It turned into loving every piece of adoption. Starting with mama's looking for different opportunities and continuing with a lifetime of learning to love better and more selflessly.
So, this is why I chose to pursue walking other families through adoption. Because I have found a passion and heart there that demands attention. For appreciating and demanding the ethical practices of how and why a mama chooses another to raise her baby. For the support she deserves in whatever she feels is best. For giving her space to feel all of the feels and to encourage her to make the best decision for her child. Unashamed and supported, regardless of what she chooses. The place and family she feels the most peace with.
But also for the families who wait, and dream, and long for their families to grow. For those who have never seen a pink plus sign. For those who listen to the Lord's call to love littles who grew inside of their hearts and not in their tummies. For the families who hear no after no, until their 'yes'. For the families who walk through failed pieces of adoption- for them to experience and extend a grace and peace that transcends all understanding.
And then to the families who get to love their new addition. A sacred and sweet bundle of love, but also encouraging them to love far beyond that. To create and give space to the birth mom and family that gave life to their hopes and dreams. This lifelong experience of blending the giver and the chosen. A life of learning and growing from all aspects of adoption, in ways no one ever thought possible or knew existed.
Friends, adoption begs and demands for so much. But, through the hard and almost impossible sometimes, is the sweet space where adoption is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. So, I chose to step outside of my comfort and career to help others find that space. The space that only the Lord provides, and I am here for every part of it.