Friday, August 22, 2014
"It turns out we're not getting the baby."
I wasn't sure if I wanted to post anything about this or not. It was a hard situation and we really wanted to put it behind us. I didn't want to talk about it. After wrestling with it for a few months, I've realized I need to post it. As I read back through this blog, I am often brought to tears remembering how God carried us through such gut wrenching situations. I know that we will look back on this in that way too. Plus, it's part of our story...part of Julianne's story. It's part of an amazing story that God has given us.
So, let's go back to October...well actually let's go back even further. Kent and I had hoped that we would be able to have a sibling for Julianne. After 2 years and doctors saying nothing is wrong, we decided to look into adoption. We didn't look very deeply into it. We went to one meeting then kind of pushed it to the back burner to let it simmer.
Fast forward to October when a friend texted me and asked if we were still interested in adoption. I told her yes, but it's kind of on the back burner. However, if something fell into our laps we would definitely go for it! She told me about her cousin looking to place a newborn that was due in March. We were excited, but cautious. We began to pray that if this was our baby that God would open doors for us and would clearly show us she was ours.
We started doing some research, met with an attorney, met with the mom and things seemed to be moving forward. We became more excited, but remained cautious. We continued to pray for direction. After an encouraging meeting with the attorney regarding cost and several other things, we really felt God leading us in this direction.
In December we were asked if the girl could give us her final decision at the beginning of February. We said yes, of course. We knew, however, that it would take longer than a month to do a home study so we decided to get that process started. Fortunately, we only had to pay a small amount to begin the process and wouldn't have to give the social worker the large check until her first visit...which was conveniently after we would be given the decision. We continued to pray. We told Julianne NOTHING about any of this.
At the beginning of February we got the call!!! She picked us! She picked us!! We were so excited! So happy! So amazed! We were no longer cautious...we were too excited for that. The mom's family member who was with her said she always knew it would be us but they just wanted to be sure she knew all her options. Things were going great! We prayed that God would continue to lead us in the direction he'd have us go.
We decided to tell Julianne. We made a video. She. Was. So. Excited. I get emotional thinking about it. She has prayed for a brother or sister for at least a year...probably longer.
Things continued to move forward we completed the home study, bought a stroller, pacifiers, formula. We were ready. It was just a matter of weeks before we would have her! The mom asked if I would be in the delivery room for the c-section which was just 2 weeks away at this point. I said yes!! We got down all the baby clothes. I washed and folded all the clothes and blankets, sheets and burp cloths. Friends gave us baby stuff. Julianne's excitement grew as she saw the guest room filling with baby stuff!
We made plans to travel to her state and be there for the birth. We secured fill-ins for our various responsibilities and reserved a place to stay.
We named her.
Julianne told everyone she met that she was getting a baby sister! It was a happy time.
About a week before the scheduled birthdate we got a phone call. It was not what we expected. There was a problem with the father. He suddenly decided to keep the baby. There were several steps he had to take to be able to keep the baby and we would have to just wait and see what happened. If the dad tried to keep the baby, then the mom would just keep the baby herself. It was not looking good for us to adopt the baby. We were sad. However, there was still a chance the dad might not take action! We prayed that if this was our baby that God would get her to us!
Just a few days before the scheduled birthdate the mom went into labor. We decided to go ahead to her city even though it was unlikely that we would be adopting this baby. At this point the dad hadn't taken any action, but he still had 10 days to do so.
Julianne and I rode with my parents 10 hours to her birthplace and Kent followed the next day. I met her. I held her. The family was very happy and offered to us to feed her and change her. It was confusing...I didn't bring Julianne.
We were told the mom didn't know what she wanted to do.
Kent and I visited together the next day and they asked why we didn't bring Julianne. Kent held her. She was precious. They were getting discharged the next day. Still, we were told she didn't know what she wanted to do.
The mom took the baby home. At this point we had to just assume we would not be adopting her. We stayed in contact with the adoption agency and they continued to tell us she wasn't sure. We made the best of our trip and then went home. It was hard to not be angry that we never got a direct answer.
We packed all the baby clothes away and returned anything we bought.
Julianne asked over and over why this happened. She cried over not having a sister after all. She told everyone she met, "it turns out we're not getting the baby." It was like a punch in the stomach every time I heard her say those words.
I was so mad at myself for being excited and especially for telling Julianne! I hated that we broke her heart. Even as I type this I have tears in my eyes thinking of how she felt. I would gladly go back in time and experience five times the heartache myself I could just erase that moment that we told Julianne she would be a big sister.
Unfortunately, I can't do that.
I know this wasn't the baby God had for us. What I struggled with is why everything seemed to fall into place and be leading us toward this baby. It wasn't until maybe a few weeks ago that I thought way back to the beginning and remembered that I prayed over and over that if this was not what God had for us that He would make that clear and would stop it. He did.
Now, as I review the scenes from our life, I think about the other times God has stopped our plans at the last minute. Jobs. Housing. A surgery. They were all things that were relatively easy to see how it could be a "good" thing. This was not easy to see! This was a child! This made our little girl weep for what she may never have! This was hard. But, easy or hard, tears or smiles, we are choosing to trust that God's plan for our lives is exactly what is perfect for us. We can't go back in time and undo the sadness, but we can move forward and thank God for his guidance and protection.
We may never know why this baby girl wasn't ours. What we do know is that as Julianne, with sadness in her eyes, declared to passing strangers, "it turns out we're not getting the baby" and they'd look at me, speechless, I was able to share a bit of our story and that we are trusting God's plan for our life. I don't know how many strangers heard this story...twenty? Thirty? It was definitely more than I would have liked! It went on for weeks...in restaurants, doctors offices, playgrounds...everywhere. The funny thing is, that I must've been so blinded by my own sadness that I didn't even realize what was happening until just a few weeks ago. It has been a beautiful realization that through a grieving 6-year-old's innocent honesty, God can be glorified even when we are trying so hard to hold the story inside. I surely would have never entered into conversation with all these people had God not put those words in Julianne's heart.
Where does our story go from here? We don't know. We are so thankful for the amazing daughter we have and are focusing on not missing out on the life with which God has blessed us! We are trusting that God's plan is perfect and we are doing our best to follow His leading. :) Thank you for loving and checking in on our family!
On a different note...I have some great Julianne updates coming soon! It's been way too long. :)