I realize that it’s been radio silence over here on the adoption process ever since the last blog I posted, and now that I am removed from what happened I can say why – less than 4 months after Joel passed away we had another unsuccessful adoption attempt. And as much as January hurt me, this loss completely silenced me in a way I never anticipated.
We were notified that we had been chosen by a birth mother in mid-March, just 2 ½ months after our traumatic loss. Though she was not due until late in the summer it seemed like a sure thing and I was strangely not filled with the anxiety that I anticipated with our next successful match. We already had what we needed to bring a little one home so preparation was not really necessary, and we knew it would just be a long road ahead filled with waiting until our babe came.
At the end of April, the day we were moving out of our house, everything fell through. As little as I was able to share about Joel I can share even less about this adoption, but we experienced another different kind of loss this time around. It knocked me off my feet and took my breath away – to my surprise, it even shook my faith in God, a faith that had been my foundation through the grief of just a few months earlier.
Two babies come and gone in under four months. It was just too much to handle.
For weeks afterward I wavered between bouts of feeling nothing and feeling deep-seated anger. I was never angry when Joel died – I often wondered when I would get to that stage of grief but it never came. This time it was all-consuming and the biggest sign of grief I could see in my life. I was so angry. Where I could find a purpose for our pain in Joel’s death (for various reasons I knew he needed us, knew he had to have us love him like we did) this loss felt pointless and cruel. We were just starting to regain our footing and in one fell swoop we were knocked off our feet again.
Since we had told nobody outside our immediate families for privacy reasons I could not grieve out loud like I had and instead I felt very alone. I asked all the typical “why?” questions and could not find an answer. I just found anger, loss, and grief that threatened to overwhelm me yet again. I remember feeling desperate because I knew what grief looked like, having just walked through it, and I did not feel like I could handle it again.
After a little while, thanks to my family, husband, and most of all the Lord, I was able to find my footing again. (Side note: if you ever question the meaning of suffering, listen to this message by Tim Keller. It will change your life.) But even after I found my footing questions remained. When we first heard about this child I told Nathan that if it fell through I did not know if I could take it again. I was not sure that I wanted to go through the process yet again when I felt like it was just setting me up for another disappointment.
In all honesty these questions still remain. I still struggle with it and I am more fearful than ever before of getting another call about another placement. While I am in a better place than I thought I could be just a short time after a second loss I have struggled to regain the excitement I first felt about being on the list and going through the whole process.
And yet God has been gracious to us. By His grace we are back on the list. By His grace we have continued to put one foot in front of the other, even when we can’t see the path before us. We do not have all the answers and we may yet experience another disappointment. But the faith we have in His unchanging nature is the rope we cling to each and every day, finding He is enough even when the questions linger and the doubts overwhelm. And that has been my saving grace in the darkest hour.