I just came back from the mall. I was there to return newborn baby clothes. The lady at the Janie & Jack outlet commented, “Oh did they not fit?“. Well, not exactly. Then she continued, even though my face and my eyes and everything about my countenance was pleading to just shut it and do the flippin’ return, “But you were just here 2 days ago, isn’t there something else you want to choose?”
“Nope.” was my reply. There was nothing in that adorable store that was going to fit the baby for whom I had bought the blue and white striped newborn layette.
72 hours before this moment, we thought we were bringing home a baby boy.
And now we’re not.
Let that linger on the page for a minute.
We were matched. For 72 hours. And now we’re not.
Adoption is hard y’all. The fun celebrity adoption stories on the cover of People and grab-a-Kleenex movies (I’m talking to you The Blindside) make you believe that adoption is all butterfly kisses and easy peasy. The truth is that before it’s wonderful, and perfectly ordained (and it is) the process of adoption can be a big bag of suck. My mom just passed out, not only did I use suck in a sentence, I actually typed it out publicly for all of posterity.
But for real. The prep work and paperwork alone is daunting and exhausting. (we should know, we’ve done it three times now). But then there’s weeks like the one we had a few weeks ago and it reminds us that adopting a baby is full of joy, yes- but it’ll also take you out at the knees.
We got a call on Easter weekend about a baby boy, one that was being born in two weeks. We got the call around lunch and we were leaving for vacation within the hour. We frantically printed out a cover letter, got the agency address, grabbed our newly revised for the 3rd time profile book and overnight-ed it all to the agency.
Then like so many adoptive couples, we waited to see if we were chosen, if our smiles and stories and home were enough. The call came the following day. We were matched. MATCHED. How long have we been waiting for that word? We had but a millisecond to let it sink in and then my Monica Gellar kicked in and we started to plan. Where would we stay? Fly or drive? What would we do with Tucker? Where’s the bottle warmer?
We drove home from the mountains and brought down the stroller, the carseat, the infant seat, I ordered formula and diapers from Amazon. I ordered a gift for the birthmom-which is surreal and maybe one of the most awkward and seemingly underwhelming gifts to ever consider-seriously, what kind of gift could I ever give HER that would be sufficient?
And I went to the mall. I wanted just a few special outfits for this sweet baby boy that weren’t Tucker hand me downs. 10 outfits later (look-Darrin never accused me of being practical) (never mind that we have a zillion clothes from Tucker) (seriously 10 isn’t THAT MANY). I took the tags off some and washed them and the rest I folded into the baby travel suitcase. We made list after list and had the “money talk”-it seems crass I know, but in every adoption and for every situation, there is a money talk-it’s crude and hard but it’s a real thing. Adoptions cost money. The gift is worth every penny.
The next day though, we got a call from the agency, some things had changed with the situation. Now we had to sort through some stuff that was hard and sticky and brought many “what if” questions without concrete answers. Adoptions are never concrete. You never have all the answers. If adoptions had a middle name it would be “What If”. A lesson about life is somewhere in there I suppose. For many reasons and some of those unanswerable questions, by the next day-we were no longer matched.
And so. Today, here I am with no answer to give this lady at Janie and Jack about why I’m returning newborn outfits.
What I know is this. God is good always. Even when you’re returning newborn clothes. He’s good when you’re mourning something you’ve hoped for. He’s good when you don’t get the answer you were praying for. He was good when we got the first call that this baby would be our’s. And He was good when we hung up the phone knowing he wouldn’t come home with us. We feel at peace about the situation and we’re hopeful that the next situation that comes our way will be for our family. I wanted to write about it because this happens more often than you think. Failed matches at various points along the adoption journey. Things just don’t go as planned. It’s one of the tougher parts of the walk and I want you to know about it. Because adoption doesn’t always start and end with a linear easy-to-follow and sweet storyline. The adoption process is most often marked with a rough, rocky, zig zaggy course. A course that leads straight to the child and situation ordained for a chosen family.
It’s worth every step.
We’d love your prayers for this baby and the family who will take him home to love forever. For 72 hours we believed he would be a Hucks. We are so sad that it didn’t happen.
For our family too, we’d of course love your prayers. That a baby is coming soon.
And that I won’t be so old when it happens that Sandra Bullock can’t play me in The Blindside II.
Probably wouldn’t hurt for you to pray for my mom too. You know, because I used the word “suck” in my post. There I go again.
Love ya’ll. Thanks for reading. Thanks for loving us and praying. Thanks for following our story.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28