“Never in my life have I experienced the power of prayer like I did through this trial.”
Since we started the adoption process, I have heard stories of other people’s heart ache and trials. Although I knew it was possible, I really didn’t believe it would happen to us. I presumed our story would be different, comfortable, and perhaps even easy. Then came last week. I could point to many ways I’ve been stretched in the past year. But nothing quite compares to the experience of being matched with a mom to adopt her child, coming to adore her, being present to meet the newborn baby, falling in love with him, and then losing it all.
We received the phone call on a Wednesday. A mom had picked us! Even though she initially wanted a family without kids already, something in our letter “spoke to her”. Learning about her, and her situation, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for such a “perfect” scenario. We have gone into the adoption process willing to face a lot of challenges, such as a baby born addicted to drugs, a baby conceived in rape, a baby with no records for the father, just to name a few. This match had no such challenges.
Thrilled, we set up a meeting on that Friday. Nervous and excited, we met birth mom, and we immediately hit it off. There was so much ease and comfort in talking with her. So many tiny details we agreed on as well, even down to the name! We didn’t feel as though we needed any time to “think on it”, we were ready to commit to her and move forward.
She was scheduled to have a C-section two weeks from that Friday. We scrambled with such excitement to get a car seat, bottles etc. In addition, we started telling our family and friends. Showing them his ultrasound picture and sharing his name. Our daughter was soon telling everyone about her baby brother Forrest. We were all eager to meet Forrest and make him a part of our family.
I received a call on a Wednesday, two days before his due date, saying the birth mom was at the hospital and Forrest would be here within an hour! We scrambled again to find care for our kids, gather what we needed, and rush to the hospital. Driving there I felt so nervous. This moment I had been waiting for was finaly here. I was about to meet the son I had been writing letters to and dreaming of for years.
Meeting him was surreal. That whole first day was a blur and I pretty much cried the entire day from just the overwhelming reality of the situation. From there, we spent two more full, draining, and yet beautiful days at the hospital. Feeding, cuddling and bonding with Forrest, as well as connecting and building a relationship with the birth mom. I was just as excited to have a blended family with her, as I was to have Forrest be my own.
Staying near the hospital for the first two nights, Donlan and I were exhausted and missed our kids terribly. We decided to all go home and have a good nights sleep, before heading to the hospital again the following day, the last of the mandatory 3-day wait period before an adoption can become official. Then, we woke up that next morning to a phone call that the birth mom was choosing to parent. Forrest would not be joining our family.
I can only describe the feeling we had as a punch to the gut. It knocked the wind out of us. It felt like our whole lives had just been derailed. Our sadness and pain were so deep in that moment and the day to follow. We cried constantly, as we tried to make sense of our loss. Where we could see the beauty in Forrest staying with his birth family, we struggled to see our part in that story. Questioning, why were we involved and how was God using us? This is still not totally clear, although we know that love is never wasted, and God will be glorified in it all.
Saturday night I went to sleep with anxiety and a heavy heart.
Sunday morning I woke up with a sense of calm and peace. And that peace has not left me. Throughout the day my hopefulness grew. I found myself feeling convicted in my desire for control and comfort. I felt motivated to move into God’s plan and will for my life, rather than feel angry or sorry for myself. I know that the drastic change from Saturday to Sunday was not of my own power. I did not just will myself into a better state of mind, it was the Spirit of God at work in my life.
I was a woman being flooded with prayer. There were people in our life calling on the God of the universe and lifting us up to Him in prayer. Never in my life have I experienced the power of prayer like I did through this trial. Actually feeling and seeing the fruit of others praying for me has left me in awe.
If I were still in a place of deep grief, I know that would be okay too. God would still be mighty and present in that. But in His infinite wisdom, He used the people around us to bring forth something only He could do. I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards to those who have exemplified Jesus in how they served and loved us. I am thankful for the place I’m in today, hopeful, looking forward to the future, and trusting His plan for our family. I rejoice for this testimony of God’s goodness.
By Meredith Page, Director of Children’s Ministry