Monday, November 25, 2013

Baby Update

In my last post, I alluded to the fact that we had a lot going on. The time has come to put it all out there.

Two Fridays ago, I was in route to visit Ashley in Missouri when David called me. I thought nothing of it. Imagine my shock when he told me that our adoption case worker had called him about a baby. I was driving and trying to get details and remain semi-calm so that I could, you know, stay on the road. But I was literally shaking and my heart was pounding. As many times as I've dreamed of what it would be like to get this call, nothing could prepare me for what it's like when it actually happens. David gave me all the details that he knew about the baby, and then we hung up. Sarah Denley then got to listen to me freak out on and off the rest of the drive :)

The baby has significant special needs, which we were ok with. As a matter of fact, we're specifically pursuing a baby with special needs, and that's why we were contacted about this particular baby. David and I weren't familiar with this baby's specific needs, though, so we knew we were going to need to do some research and get medical records, etc. David and I talked several times over the course of the weekend that I was away, and Ashley and Sarah Denley were so sweet and supportive. They let me talk about the baby and helped me process some of my feelings, and I so appreciated them. On one hand, I felt like the timing of the whole thing was awful. Part of me just felt like I needed to be at home with David so that we could have a major heart-to-heart and pray about this baby together. On the other hand, though, it was nice to be with two of my closest friends, and it was especially great to be with Ashley. She is one of my only friends who truly understands all of the emotions that go into an adoption.

On the way home from Ashley's house that Monday, I actually got to stop and meet the baby. It was such a surreal experience and one that I will never forget. All I can say is that the baby was absolutely precious, and I'm glad I had the chance to meet this little person.

When I arrived home on Monday, reality just sort of set in. We had a lot of stuff going on with our house at the same time (that's a whole other story), and I just felt overwhelmed. I had been able to do some research on this baby's special needs, and I had a better understanding of what would go into caring for this child. I begin to wonder if this would be the best fit for our family (and our family for this child) with our children as young as they are. David and I committed to pray about it and not make any decisions until we got the medical records.

We did finally get the records mid-week last week. As soon as I started reading them, I just didn't feel a peace. I struggled against those feelings so much because I desperately wanted to say yes to this precious baby. I wanted us to be this child's family so badly. Towards the end of the week, David and I had a good talk and I was just finally able to say out loud that I didn't know if this was going to work. David was very sweet, and even though he was still more open to saying yes, he definitely had reservations too. We committed to really pray about it over the weekend and make our final decision on Monday (today).

We called the agency today and told them that as sad as it makes us, we don't think it would be a good idea to go forward with adopting this baby. I just don't think that I would be able to give all that this baby needs and deserves with three other little people who also need and deserve so much from me. This was such a hard decision and one that I shed tears over. I don't think I've ever agonized over a decision as much as I agonized over this one. I've struggled with feeling guilty and selfish for saying no. I've worried that maybe I'm not cut out to be a mother to a child with special needs after all. I'm terrified that we're going to have passed up our one chance to adopt a baby. But, in spite of all of those feelings, David and I both have an incredible peace that we made the right decision for our family and for this baby. All along, we prayed that we would be totally on the same page when it came time to make a decision, and the Lord graciously led us in the same direction.

Even though, in some ways, the past week and a half has been hard, it has also been a huge learning experience for me. It's given me empathy and understanding towards other adoptive families who have to turn down placements. I wouldn't say that I ever felt judgmental towards those families, but I couldn't relate at all. I just honestly NEVER believed that we would find ourselves in that situation. This just reminded me that you never know everything that goes into another family's decision process, and I need to show compassion and grace because this was not an easy decision for us, and I'm sure it isn't easy for anyone. This experience also kind of confirmed what David and I have felt all along, and that is that we are called to adopt a child with Down syndrome. We are still open to other special needs, but that is just totally where our heart is. I believe that the Lord has put that desire in our hearts, and I can't wait to see what He does.

Another thing that we've been reminded of through this whole experience is that we have wonderful, sweet, supportive friends and family. We have encountered nothing but love and support throughout this whole experience, and I know we had SO many people praying for our decision and praying for this precious baby. I literally broke down in tears in Bible study last Tuesday because I was just so overcome by how beautiful it is to see the Body of Christ - the church - in action. I just knew that if we did adopt this baby, our church family would be there every step of the way loving us, loving our baby, and helping us in tangible ways. It's amazing to feel such support and it's a true testament to the power of the gospel.

Even though this didn't end up being the baby for us, I know with certainty that God is sovereign and that He brought this child into our lives for a short time for a reason. None of this was accidental or insignificant. I'm so thankful that we serve such a GOOD God and that we can rest assured that He is working all things for our good and His glory. We will not forget this baby. We are praying that this sweet baby and the forever family will be united soon. And we are also praying for the child who WILL be a part of our family one day. We cannot wait until we get to meet him or her, and we trust the Lord to bring us just the right baby at just the right time!


Jennifer said...

You really made me think about adoption in a new way! You made a hard decision and I pray that you feel peace.

Whitney said...

Praying for you during this time! What a brave and smart decision to make as you consider the needs of your family.

Ashley said...

I'm so proud of you and it was a privilege to be with you during this very significant experience! Continuing to pray for y'all always - I love you!

Nathalie said...

What an experience! So great that you are seeing the beauty and significance of these events, as stressful as they can be.