Our Adoption Story
There is deep pain in knowing your joy is in the wake of someone else’s grief. We could have never learned that truth if not for adoption. And we will never forget it.
We got the call on February 28, telling us that we had been chosen by an expectant mother to adopt her child, just over a month after our approval. We felt a flurry of emotions—excitement and anticipation, anxiety and fear—but we did not set up a nursery or clean out the nearest Baby Gap. Having felt the loss of a child through miscarriage, neither my husband, Matt, nor I wanted to attach to this baby as our own. Not only would it hurt too much if something went wrong, but the baby wasn’t ours. That was easier said than done.
We met K, the mom who had chosen us, in her hometown. There were awkward silences, but it was more comfortable than I had expected. I can still see her face streaked with tears as Janelle, the birthparent counselor, asked what she would want us to tell the baby about why she chose adoption. After a few heartbreaking seconds, she replied, “It’s just the best thing.”
On March 26, we got the call that K was in labor. We finished packing our bags, took our son, Will, to my parents, and drove to K’s local hospital. After delivery, we saw K first, and she was doing well. We went to the nursery next where we caught our first glimpse of the baby who would be our son. We stood at the window with smiles as big as our faces could hold and tears flowing freely down our cheeks. He was red and screaming at the top of his lungs, but we thought he was perfect.
There was no hiding how hard it was for K the next day. No mother should ever have to say goodbye to her child, and no one else should ever have to watch it happen. We all cried and hugged, and then we left… with her baby boy. We loved him like just like we loved our biological son. We felt like his parents from the moment we looked at him through the glass. Yet we were driving away with a piece of his mother’s heart, and that is a feeling I cannot explain.
We were home with Cy for two precious days before our world turned upside down. We learned that K had decided to parent on Thursday morning. We had to give our son back. I put Cy in his best outfit and sent him back to K with a trunk full of baby supplies. We walked inside, collapsed on our bed, and cried until we were too exhausted to do it anymore.
For weeks, I was in a fog of grief. I didn’t see family or friends and couldn’t pretend to be normal. I couldn’t imagine ever feeling okay or even better. I held on to Psalm 121 and Isaiah 55:8-9, and little by little, God restored my soul. He gave me moments of peace, but the grief was still overwhelming. We sent K a letter and Bible after Cy left. We shared the Gospel with her and hoped she would read the Bible. We prayed she would come to know and love Christ, teaching Cy to as well. After several weeks, I started to phase back into my life, but Will still asked me where Cy was almost everyday.
Six weeks after Cy had left our home, our lives changed forever. Matt told me Cy was back in Bethany’s custody, and K wanted us to be his family again. I fell to my knees and wept. The child I had loved and lost was coming home.
We picked him up two days later. He looked so different, and we were numb. We had five more days before the revocation period was over, and we felt the weight of that every moment. We still felt the burden of K’s loss but were comforted to know she had made the decision based solely on her love for him.
The following Sunday was Mother's Day, but the waiting period was not to be over until the next day. I couldn't bear to hear others’ reactions at church, so we snuck into the sound booth as soon as we arrived. I stood with Cy in my arms and sang to the God who had brought him back to me. God led me to a place I had never been before: a place where I was at His feet, in awe and wonder of His work in my life; a place where I could look down at Cy's tiny body in my arms and realize that he would be my son; a place where I could see the pain and questions I had endured for weeks and know they had a purpose.
We could never have known K’s grief in losing Cy or her joy in having him back without having felt similar emotions ourselves. Through our love and pain, we are connected in a way I could have never imagined… and that is a gift to us and our son.
"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever." Psalm 30:11-12
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