By Adoptive Mama, Chelsey Sisco
"She’s given birth to the baby. There are no other details right now. We’ve tried to reach out but have been unsuccessful. All we can do is wait and hope she reaches out to us.” Those were the words that drowned me on a Friday morning in late September standing on the sidewalk outside of my office. Exactly one week prior to that Michael and I sat in a Texas Roadhouse 12 hours from home meeting M for the very first time. We talked, laughed, and cried for 3 hours over a nice dinner. That was the day that M gave us ultrasound pictures of her baby girl. I could feel the fear that overwhelmed her when we locked eyes, walked towards each other, and hugged as she handed me the pictures. All I could do was squeeze her and say, “I know. It’s ok.” It was our first time to meet and, unfortunately, would be our last time to meet.
We found out on a few weeks prior that M had chosen us. She was due with her baby girl in a few short weeks. I vividly remember the moment I received that phone call. “She has chosen you guys.” I hit my knees in my office and sobbed uncontrollably. It was just one of those moments that I felt the heaviness I had been carrying for quite some time. We could not have been more excited!
But, I walked back into my office after getting the news about M’s baby being born and called my husband. The baby was born and the agency informed us that it was looking like a faiIed adoption. I can’t even remember what was said. Maybe we said nothing at all and just felt the heaviness of what was happening. All we could do was wait. Wait and hope. Wait and pray. Hadn’t we done enough waiting already? Waiting for what? The next disappointment? The next door slammed in our faces?
I was so angry. So angry with God. So angry with the situation So angry with a broken system. So angry about the money that would be lost. That weekend seemed to last forever as we waited to hopefully hear from M. For her to call us and say “The baby is here. Come get her.” The call never came. The call that did come was from the agency telling us that they were considering this was looking like a failed adoption. I ripped off my jacket, threw it, and screamed. Just this raw scream that I thought, if loud enough, could blow away all of the pain. We had a choice to make. We could “call it” or we could continue to wait to see if M would call. On Sunday, September 30, we decided that we could no longer wait and were ready to accept this as a failed adoption.
Almost as quickly as the years of waiting turned into joy, that joy turned into sorrow. I didn’t want to hear scripture. I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want anyone to tell me that everything happens for a reason, that she wasn’t meant to be ours. I was hurt and I wanted to stay in my hurt. I truly believed that beauty would come of that loss. I knew it would and I knew that because of my belief in the promises of my God. But my heart ached and my grief over that loss was stronger than anything I had ever felt before. Friend, it’s not only okay, but it’s perfectly natural and normal to feel both or all or none or other. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to process grief. It will come in ebbs and flows but the grace of God is constant. What is true and right and comforting is the unfailing love of a God who, I promise you, does have an incredibly beautiful, perfect plan for your life. Rest in that. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
We spent time in our sadness and even still I revisit that loss sometimes, but we chose not to live there. Not by any strength of our own, but by the power of Christ we were able to choose faith. Families and friends encouraged us to take time to heal, take a break, but something about that loss renewed us. Embers still burned under those ashes and God used them to spark a new fire within us. We chose to begin receiving situations again. We chose to be “all in”, to completely trust in God 100% in every aspect of our adoption journey and our lives. We were chosen by an expectant mother on the very next situation we presented to. Less than two months later she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl and signed consents to place her with us. Today we have a 6 month old baby girl who is absolutely the light of our lives. We celebrated the finalization of her adoption two months ago. She is incredible. She is the beauty that came from every loss we faced. She is the living, breathing proof of God’s grace and goodness. I can’t imagine our lives without her. And not just any “her”, but actually HER. Every little thing that make her exactly who she is. Her eyes. Her grin. Her sweet personality. The way she responds to our voices. Everything about her. I would do it all over again as many times as it took to get to her. Every part of us is stronger and better suited to raise her in God’s love and grace because of all we have experienced, because of everything we went through.
I can’t tell you that I now understand all of the “whys.” My God is too powerful for my feeble mind to comprehend all of his marvelous works. I don’t know why we had to suffer, but I know beauty came from it. I don’t know why we had to wait, but beauty came from it. Our daughter came from it and I wouldn't change any of it. I don’t know God’s purpose for that first baby girl or M who were momentarily in our lives, or us in theirs, but I know that it was never to be her parents or for her to be our daughter. I know that we still pray for her, that I call out her name to the Lord and I lift her up, and maybe we are the only ones who will ever pray for her. Maybe that was our purpose. I can only guess at the reasons and the whys but I find new beauty every time I look back, in the little things, in the big things. God’s handprints are all over our journey and they are all over yours too. Friend, if you are walking through a failed adoption right now, do not lose hope. Do not think your story is over. It isn't. God is at work, even when we can't see what He's up to. Don't give up.
***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me, Kelly Todd, at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out Christian Adoption Consultants for more information!***