So... things escalated quickly around here!
On March 7th (the day of completion—our case worker so amazingly pointed out) we were officially home study approved, and became a "waiting family." And before we could even take it all in, we had a case land in our inbox, and we were presenting to an expectant mother only a week later.
And then another week passed, and we received our first no.
First, there's nothing like receiving an expectant mother's profile in your inbox. Gmail pops up with a notification that you received an email from your consultant, and the subject line instantly gives it away. So far ours has even said "BOY" or "GIRL" (that gives me chills, you guys!). The first time it happened, my heart RACED. I could barely type a text to John, or respond to our consultant. "This is it! It actually FEELS like we're a family trying to find a baby!"
All work paused, paperwork was signed, a home study copy requested, all of it overnighted, etc. etc. And then... we prayed and we waited.
I'm not sure if it's the amazing adoptive couples we know, the education and emotional support our consultant provides us, or all of the above—but we waited with such a tremendous amount of PEACE. When you know God's perfect plan is unfolding, and that HE'S already chosen the perfect family for this expectant mother, all fear and anxiety fades. We didn't pray "Lord, PLEASE let her choose us!" Instead we prayed for her, the expectant mother, who had a really difficult decision to make. We prayed for her comfort, for our peace, and for both of our hopes.
And then we received the email that delivered a no.
John really struggled with it. He actually took it a lot harder than I did—and I was thankful he had his men's group at church to turn to for support so that he could really talk through all of it (sometimes you just need someone other than your spouse). I felt almost a little cold-hearted that I didn't take it hard as him—but soon realized why.
No is all I've ever known in the journey to having a child. Through years of infertility, I've programmed myself to expect a no. I know God's blessings for our lives are immeasurable, and for some reason I can expect great things from Him in my business. But when it comes to a child, I tell myself it'll "probably be a no, but a yes would be a pleasant surprise."
The woman faces so many different emotions compared to the man when you're trying for a baby. She has be the one to ensure the timing is just right, to monitor her hormones, and be the first one to receive the disappointing news each and every month. That is all very real to me. For John—this is the first time there was actually a baby in the picture. It wasn't a matter of trying and hoping—it was right in front of us.
We've acknowledged that we'll each process this experience differently, and that, truly, God can say no in adoption, just like He can say no in pregnancy. But that's not an excuse to not keep on moving forward with hope. We were blessed to be able to present to an expectant mother within ONE WEEK of being home study approved. That in of itself gave us a little burst of energy when things were going so slowly before. An example of just how quickly our lives can change.
A rush of disappointment, a temptation of hopelessness, but then relief knowing God's in control, peace, joy for the family chosen... one minute I'm praising God and verbally reciting His promises, the next I'm wondering what was "wrong with us" that she didn't like us and pick us. A mosaic of mixed emotions and navigating new waters as a waiting family.
This child wasn't meant to be ours. And as one of my friends so wonderfully said – "Your baby won't pass you by."
An update on fundraising:
We ARE having a second online auction thanks to all of your wonderful, gracious friends offering your items and services!
This time the auction will be held on Facebook, and will include everything from handmade items to services, and direct sales products! If you have something you'd like to donate, please email me at email@example.com.
Oh, and check out my fun little mural in the nursery:
Until the next no, yes, or maybe...