Adoption is TOUGH. Let me tell you…

This post is much different than what I anticipated posting today.  In fact, I had a beautiful post written on Tuesday morning and waited to hit “publish”.  I guess this is the post I was meant to share with you instead.

We’ve been very open with our adoption journey but have held back some things these past few months because of privacy or out of respect for certain people involved.  Today, I want to share a little bit more about our adoption journey. It’s painful but I find a lot of comfort in writing our story out, as well as sharing with you.  I know, without a doubt, that this story will help someone reading it.  So if that is you, I’m sending you hugs and an open invitation to get in touch if you want to chat.  Grief is tough to deal with but I find it so much easier to know I’m not alone.

As many of you following our adoption Facebook page already know, we have been speaking with an expectant mother since October.  Here is a short synopsis of our timeline.  This is done from memory so I might be slightly “off” on my calendar, but you get the idea:

  • October: First contact by the expectant mother.  We get to know her and she has been talking to two families, trying to figure out which one she wants to place her child with.  She chose us. 🙂  She chose us, over anyone else, and we fell in love with HER as much as her child.  The father was uncertain of his plans to agree to adoption at that point.
  • In November, the expectant father agreed to adoption.  We continue to get to know the mother, and in her we find a wonderful friendship, fantastic communication, and hope for an amazing future with the child we’d been waiting for since we started trying for a family in 2009.
  • In January we announced to the world that we were expecting to adopt that baby in mid March.
  • Two weeks later, the expectant father changed his mind and said he absolutely wouldn’t choose adoption or sign the papers.
  • February we reached out to him.  We said we understood and respected his decision, but we were still interested if he changed his mind.
  • Mid-February he said that he was considering it again.  He continued to talk to us over the next few weeks.
  • March 17 – we got the call from him saying he would choose adoption.
  • March 18 – we got the call saying the mother was heading to the hospital and I joined her there.  I was in the room for the birth.  It was emotional and I fell in love with that baby within seconds of meeting him.  In the room when he entered this world was the mother’s mom, her best friend, and myself.  There was so much love and support. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.  So beautiful.  The first thing the mother said to me after Baby arrived was, “You have a son!” then she grabbed my hand and we wept together.  I’ve had some powerful moments in my life, but this was probably the MOST amazing moment that I will always remember as being one of the best.  I thank her for sharing this experience with me.  The rest of this day and all night was spent at the hospital.  We all cuddled the baby, learned some baby care things from the nurses, and I even spent the night with the mother, in her big hospital bed with the baby in the bassinet at our feet.  We were up talking late, and at one point a nurse told us that she was told about our adoption situation when coming on shift.  She thought it was going to be a bit weird but all the other nurses told her, “Oh no, it’s like the adoptive and birth moms are best friends!  It’s an amazing thing to go into that recovery room.”  And she agreed that this was a special relationship.  Watching my husband hold that tiny baby, and hearing how strongly it impacted him was so incredibly sweet for me.  I also watched the baby’s father hold that baby.  I kept telling myself that worry wouldn’t change anything; if the baby was meant to be ours, it would work out.
  • March 19 – the father changed his mind again.  He said he couldn’t sign the adoption papers. My mom and sister also came to visit, and they were there when the whole thing fell apart.  My husband’s family was going to come today (the 19th) to visit, but given the situation, they did not come.
  • Today is March 20th. I’m sitting at home, with no baby in my arms.I am ready for a baby. Clothes are washed, the nursery is done, and my arms are open. Last night I cried myself to sleep.  Miscarriage is hard. Failed adoptions are hard.  But failed adoptions when you have held that baby, made decisions for him, stayed up with him for hours at night when no one else is awake, and stared at him enough to memorize his face is enough to break your heart into millions of tiny pieces.I hurt today, friends.  I hurt so much.  I hurt like there is this big piece of me missing, a piece that I was aware of but didn’t know how big it was until two days ago.  I hurt for this new mother that will now be raising a baby that she loves so very dearly.  She loves this baby so much that she wanted more for him… she wanted him to be raised by two loving parents in a stable home where his life would be blissfully simple and happy.  Where his mommy would be able to stay home with him every day and his daddy would take him fishing.  Where he wouldn’t have to think about custody and splitting Christmases with different families and where our values are so in line with what she believes is important.  With that said, she is and will continue to be an amazing mother. I have no doubt she will do whatever she needs to in order to raise this baby to be an amazing child.There is still a chance things will change with the father.  It’s not likely, but he’s done it before.  We know God is good and no one can imagine the plans He has for us.  If this baby is meant to be ours, it will happen.  We aren’t giving up completely on this adoption but we are recognizing that this family has some serious things going on and they need to figure out what to do next.With the friendship we have built over the last few months with this new mother (and on a much smaller level, we’ve built a relationship with the father as well), and we don’t anticipate that changing.  She will always be important to us, and she made me a mother in a way that my miscarriages never allowed, even if I had a son only in my mind for a few short hours.  Those moments were some of the sweetest I have ever known.

    Today, I’m doing okay.  I’m still pretty weepy and sad, and if I’m honest, I’m grieving a little.  I still want to be a mom and more than anything, I want to see my husband be a dad.  He will be amazing at it. I don’t think he realizes exactly how much he will love it but he got a taste of it yesterday.  This has impacted him more than he expected.

    But this morning I realized that God answers prayer when things go the way I want, and he answers prayer even when things are going horribly wrong.  I still have HOPE, even though things looked so very bleak last night.  Now we just want to support this new mother who is so dear to us.  We want the best for this baby, as does his mother, and all of us will work to make sure that happens.  This amazing, beautiful little man has the most incredible list of people who love him.  For that, he is so very blessed.   And our family has grown to include the family of this new mother… so while we didn’t gain a son like we hoped, we did gain some amazing friends who are very much like family. Watching the new mother’s mom hand my own mom the baby… these “grandmas” hugged and stared at this child, and wow.  I cry just thinking about that moment.

    Adoption is tough. It’s heart-wrenching on many levels for so many involved.  But it is so, so beautiful. Thinking about the moments I’ve witnessed in the last few days is humbling.  The adoption hasn’t worked out (though we still hope for a miracle over this next month) but the love will continue.  I know this without a doubt. As I said before, this journey toward adoption has strengthened my faith in so many ways.  Without my faith, I think I’d be an angry, heartbroken mess today when I think about the roller coaster of emotions we’ve had.  But instead, I’m a little heartbroken and a lot hopeful.  I’m sad but at peace. Does that make sense? If we are ever blessed to become parents, it will all come together and everything will be right.  If we are not meant to be parents, I will still have my amazing marriage and life, full of happiness and blessed by a God that knows what I need more than I do.

    Three final parting thoughts:
    1. Please pray for us and for this new baby and his family. If he is meant to be ours, it will work out.  If not, they still need prayer.
    2. God is good and has a plan.  This is clearer to me now than ever.  We could have brought the baby home from the hospital today but strongly feel He wants us to step back while everything is figured out.  We hope this baby will be ours but accept the situation either way.
    3. In case this is the first time you’ve read any of our adoption/infertility posts, you can read about it on our Facebook page,, or on our adoption site,  I also have some blog posts on this blog HERE, HERE, and HERE.As always, thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support.We are so thankful for the 900+ people on following our journey on Facebook, as well as those who we know in real life that are on our team. 🙂  You all have made our time of waiting so much sweeter.

    You can read the follow-up to this post HERE… thank you all for the amazing support and encouragement!

March 20, 2014 - 5:03 pm

Becky Clark - With tears rolling and heart pounding with pride and love for you and Ben I am so very certain that God will provide exactly in his time…..You have always and continue to amaze me in your strength. I wish more than anything for your pain to ease and for your arms to hold your intended baby. Know that your Michigan family is deep in prayer and sending blessing to you and all concerned. Much love, Aunt Becky <3

March 20, 2014 - 5:16 pm

Kendra - My heart goes out to all of you. Sending prayers your way Rebecca!!!

March 20, 2014 - 5:50 pm

Krystal - I am so so sorry to hear of this Rebecca. I am in tears for you, I can’t even imagine. 🙁 I will be praying for you guys. Here is song for you that helps me when I am feeling my lowest. Maybe you’ve heard it before:

March 20, 2014 - 6:06 pm

Amanda Balts - becky my heart breaks for you and your husband. I am so proud to see you stay strong in your faith in the midst of heart break. You are an inspiration.

March 20, 2014 - 6:30 pm

Jessica Sands - My heart aches for you. Holding all involved up in prayer.

March 20, 2014 - 6:56 pm

Nina - I am so sad to read this post but it is so inspirational to see how well you grieving.

March 20, 2014 - 7:14 pm

Jen - Continued prayers. This is so beautifully written. Raw, honest, open. My heart aches for you all. God does have a plan. He’s also using your amazing abilities to write and share your journey to help others. You amaze me. Praying for miracles.

March 20, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Amanda - Oh my gosh this is my past week exactly only our birth mother was persuaded at the last moment to parent by her mother. I mean the birth, the nights in the hospital … all the same. We are living your heartbreak and will be praying for your family.

March 20, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Krissy - My heart breaks for you. So bittersweet. What fantastic human beings you are.

March 20, 2014 - 7:24 pm

Katie - “Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart; don’t lean on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Prov. 3:5-6
God knows the desires of your heart. As a new adoptive mom who went thru and on-and-off again failed adoption prior, I’m thinking of you and your husband and praying that God will grant you the desires of your heart and bless your socks off!

March 20, 2014 - 7:33 pm

Jane Schaaf - Oh Rebecca. My heart aches for you and Ben and everyone else involved. Know that I lift you up in prayerr. May gentle peace envelop you.

March 20, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Cindy - Oh, My heart breaks. I have walked a road similar. Take time to grieve. I learned to love the birth moms and continue to pray for them. Praying for all involved…so that ultimately GOD will be GLORIFIED.

There are absolutely NO WORDS. Miscarriage… society expects you to grieve… adoptions disrupted….very few people gave me the time to grieve a child that was alive with a different mom…. Praying for you and your family.

March 20, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Michelle - I am so, sorry to read your story. With tears flowing and my son asking if I am alright, I tell you this has brought back many memories and emotions. I, too had 3 miscarriages, 2 gifts from God, a failed adoption of 2 special children and a special blessing, our adopted son. You sound like you are holding it together rather well. I know, I didn’t at times. God does have a plan and keep praying and your answers will come, even though you wonder why He puts you through all of these trials. Sending you and your husband extra prayers and strength at this time.

March 20, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Sadie - A friend of mine connected me to this post. I am a current foster parent for a little one and an adoptive Mom to the most amazing little girl. Your story was so beautifully and thoughtfully written in this post. Your love of his family and of God, I think is why my friend called us, “kindred spirits”. You are an amazing testimony of loving without limits. God has blessed you with such a generous and giving heart, but also a strong heart. I will pray that you are supported now in the ways that you need for as long as you need. Please feel free to call on me if there is anything I can do. Sometimes just sitting with someone that has shared the loved of a child with another Mother is a comfort in hard times. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

March 21, 2014 - 8:11 am

Mary - I am so sorry for you loss. My heart hurts for you. We also went through a failed adoption almost 11 years ago and it so painful. But God does have a plan for you. 5 months after our failed adoption, our DD was born. I know that she was the child that God meant for us to have. She just celebrated her 10th birthday in January and I could not imagine my life without her.
Adoption is one of the hardest things to go through and it is not for the faint of heart. But stay strong and Faithful and you will be rewarded.
Many prayers are coming to you today (((hugs)))

March 22, 2014 - 4:02 am

Beth - Wow. Just read this incredible story of yours. It breaks my heart and yet fills it at the same time. God bless you all!

March 22, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Jayne Swiggum - Your struggle is monumental. I’m so sorry. I hope the child you were meant to mother arrives very soon. You will be a great mom.

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