Several months ago, we shared a guest post with you all from Rebecca Eby. She shared her story of trying to start a family and also how she and her husband, Ben, decided to pursue adoption. Today, Becky has very graciously agreed to share two new posts with the Coalition and our readers. Below is the first.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, www.facebook.com/beckyandbenadopt, or on our adoption site, www.beckyandbenadopt.blogspot.com. 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.