Falling in Love with an Idea.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve fallen in love with the idea of a child entering our family, well, I would be a little wealthier. In the world of adoption, no one gives you an ultrasound photo. Instead, you get a referral photo. Or if you’re really lucky, a video. You look at the little photo 9000 times wondering what you can tell if you look really hard. What is this child like? Their smile tells me they’re shy, or funny, or a little naughty. How will they fit into our family? Will they fit into our family? You worry a little, but before you know it, you smile as you picture them in your home. All this can happen in a matter of a day. Just like you fall in love with the idea of a baby when you see that first ultrasound pic, you fall in love with the idea of THIS child joining your family.

Four times now, we’ve been lucky enough to have those dreams become a reality. Hopefully, soon, it will be five. We’ve grieved the loss of the idea of a child joining our family three times. The first time we were extremely open. We mailed out adoption announcements, a room was decorated, clothes were purchased. She wasn’t allowed to come home. We all grieved that loss. It affected our entire family. We had no other children, she would have been the first grandchild. It hurt.

The second time we didn’t tell anyone but the kids. We discussed the possibility of this little boy entering our house. They took it and ran with it, they prayed for him. They wanted another brother. They prayed for him every night. He wasn’t allowed to come home either. They grieved the loss right along with us. He was another partner in crime, before they even knew him. It hurt.

This last time we didn’t tell anyone. We wanted to add a child right after GhanaGirl. But, we’d told people before. So, we prayed about it, kept it to ourselves and just discussed the possibility. This child isn’t coming home either. At least, not to our home. It doesn’t get easier the fewer people you tell. It still hurts.

Adoption is all about the world seeing joy, the joy of a new child being added to your family, the joy of that child gaining a new home. But, there is private pain that goes hand in hand with all that joy. There’s the pain of the adoptive parents who fall in love with that idea and then spend months attempting to pray that idea into reality. There’s also the pain of the biological parent who has to watch all their hopes and ideas for their child disappear as they lose the opportunity to raise that child. There’s the pain of the child as they grieve the change of what is now behind them and what they are moving toward. It’s all hard. As an adoptive mom, all the losses were just as profound as the joy of the successes. I don’t wear the losses like a badge. What everyone sees is a happy, lucky mom of four. I am happy, and I am lucky. But, sometimes, it’s nice of people to acknowledge that adoption isn’t all about joy.


4 thoughts on “Falling in Love with an Idea.

  1. Wow! That breaks my heart. I do think it is important to know both sides of the experience. I have had three very close friends recently lose a child they were carrying and the pain, beauty and acknowledgement of those lives is now very important to me; where previously I dismissed it as “you don’t talk about that”. I also recently was reunited with a couple and a I saw them with a baby and was like “I didn’t know you had a bun in the oven!” They went on to explain that they were in a foster to adopt program and that the baby had been born addicted–UGH! The pain in this couple could be seen. I wanted to kick myself for my foolish words but any focus on my own stupidity would have missed the hurt in this couple. I could see that they were scared to love recklessley-honestly I don’t know what all they were feeling but I know I could see “hurt and fear”. I told then of the many adoptive blogs I had been reading and how they were helping me see things from a different perspective; things, issues, like race, loss, death of a child you are waiting to adopt, that I had never thought of before. The walking out of this adoptive way of life sounds difficult, but beautiful. I am sorry for your losses-I know they are real. I know they in no way take away from the children you love now and in the future. Love recklessly! Sorry for the novel, apparently I needed to vent 🙂 Thanks!

  2. I don’t know if this breaks blog etiquette or something. But I am risking it anyway. I have posted a blog called “Extreme Makeover: Jesus Edition” about a family that needs our help. Go, read, if you feel led. Side note: for you adoption/foster advocates, there is another post that is “messing” with me if you care to check it out and comment. It is the previous post and it is called “Living Freely: Foster Care and THE CHURCH”Hear my heart fellow bloggers, I am seeking nothing selfishly. Just trying to do the will of the ONE who sent me. Praise the Lord!

  3. Our kids have shirts that say, “Adoption…It’s about love.” Along with love comes joy and heart-break. We have been there too with failed adoptions, and most recently wanting to adopt a cute 15 to 18 month old boy at Luckyhill, but we knew it wasn’t the Lord’s plan. We feel so happy that this little guy is still being adopted by a great family and will soon come to America…but it still hurts a little.

  4. Something I learned recently was that you should never regret loving a child. No matter how long you loved him or her, no matter whether they knew it or not, you loved those children. You prayed for them. Be it 41 hours or 41 days, they were LOVED, and like the Emetts said, that also brings the heartbreak when you have to let go. It hurts so much sometimes and you scream and stomp your feet and shake your fist at the Lord (at least I did), but you love the children who stay so much more because you understand what it feels like to *not* have them. We did not get to meet our first child in this life, but we will know her in heaven. A Mother’s capacity to love goes far beyond her own children, and we, as women, love so many beyond the walls of our home. There are a couple at Luckyhill who have stolen my heart and I know they will never come home with us. But I pray for them, I worry about them. If our Father in Heaven will let me love them just that much, maybe their lives will be a tiny bit better.

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