Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our Story: The Loss of a Referral

On September 2, 2013 - a Friday night - my phone rang around 6 pm… our adoption agency was calling.  Our social worker was calling me after hours...on a Friday night.  It's either really good or really bad.  And it's too soon for this to be really good because we haven’t even submitted our dossier.  So it must be really bad, right? I finally stopped the inner dialogue and picked up the stupid phone.

I can truly barely hear our social worker, Beth, over the pounding in my heart - and the squeals coming from the smalls - when she tells me she has a file of a 2 year old little boy who seems just perfect for us...do I want her to send it to me? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!  She sends it to me while we’re talking and I immediately opened it and scrolled down to the first picture.
And there he is...this beautiful, precious, so adorable that he has to be mine little boy. 

I immediately called my husband, Jacob, as soon as I got off the phone with our social worker.  We were both floored.  I gave him a quick summary of Sweet Boy's file and tried to send a picture of him to his phone, which didn’t work out because his phone is, um, old school to say the least.

All night, I translated parts of his file in Google translate.  Y'all....this sweet, little boy.  So innocent.  So precious.  The brownest eyes.  The cutest smile. The darkest hair.  And so much to process about the things he had been through in his life and the events that led to him needing a new mommy and daddy.  My heart could not help but to start  protecting this child I had never held.

My husband is a police officer and he was on the night shift that night, so as soon as he got home the next morning, I showed him Sweet Boy’s picture.  The look in his eyes...I've only seen it 3 other times - the first time those eyes landed on our children: Anna Beth, Lynnsie, and Creek.  I knew in that moment that we were going to pursue this little boy.

After several unsuccessful attempts at being productive that day and Jacob trying to get any rest, we sat down to talk about Sweet Boy.  It was a quick talk because we both knew we wanted to adopt him.  Our social worker had told me to call her over the weekend if we wanted to submit a Letter of Intent and she would send it for us immediately.  After a quick call to her, we put together our LOI and it was on its way to Colombia.

My mommy heart immediately grew as I began to take on all of his life experiences and grieve for him and with him all that he had been through.  I vowed in my heart that he would NEVER experience those things again.

A few days later, our social worker calls me back.  I knew that she had to double check his file to make sure our LOI was the first one submitted, but we really weren't worried about that being a problem.  But I could tell in her voice as soon as I answered.  I could hear the sadness and the dread in what she was about to have to tell me.  And somehow in my heart, I just knew what was coming.
We could not adopt Sweet Boy.  Somewhere along the way there was a mix-up.  It was really, really great for Sweet Boy  because he was actually already being adopted by another family.  Pure joy and excitement for him.  Total heartbreak for us.

Over the next few weeks his sweet face popped up twice on two different waiting kids websites that I apparently have an account with.  Both times we contacted the listing agency, the website, our agency, and Colombia and both times we were told, “I’m sorry.  He shouldn’t be listed.”  It was salt on a gaping wound.

That first week was hard and I was mad. I needed to figure out who I was mad at.  God? Whoever caused the mix-up? The waiting kids website for getting my hopes up again?  Then it hit me - I was mad at the whole  situation.  I was mad because a precious 2 year old little boy should NOT have to look further than his front door for a family.  I was made because that precious little boy should never have been an orphan.  I was mad that there was even a need for adoption because it's NOT FAIR that every child cannot grow up and live with their birth family because in a perfect world, that's how it would be. 

Even though I hadn't held this little boy in my arms and I had only seen his picture, I could so strongly imagine what it would be like to hold him. He was about the size of my son, Creek, and as I would pick Creek up I would think, “This is what it would’ve been like.”  The heartbreak was real and painful and deep.  I cried a lot that week.  Friends gathered around us and carried us through with words, kind deeds, hugs,  Starbucks, and lots and lots of love.

So how did we cope with this?  We held tight to each other and trusted in God and His plan.  I kept on singing "It Is Well With My Soul" - and sometimes I believed it.  I had friends checking on me, letting me talk through it.  I remembered my friends Daniel and Emily and how their hearts had broken, and yet God carried them through and pieced together a beautifully amazing family.  I read in Isaiah over and over that God's thoughts are not my thoughts and that His ways are higher than mine.  I asked Him to use me and my heartbreak in order to comfort others who share this experience.  I asked Him to help me see what we could learn from this.  And He answered that prayer.  We grew and learned and trusted more.  For that, I am very thankful.

God took such good care of us....even people we hadn't shared this with, would call or text and say, "Hey...I was thinking about you.  Are you okay?"  He provided a dear friend, a foster mom, who took me into her arms within an hour of receiving our heartbreaking news and she just held me tight.  She knew and understood my pain and she acknowledged my grief.  One morning, He sent the perfect words to me through my SIL, Bekah..."Only He can make it right.  But it won't be right until Christ comes again.  Until then...we just have to hold on for dear life." And so that's what we will do...we will hold on for dear life and we will rest in the fact that God is taking care of every member of our family.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth." 3 John 4

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