Is an Adoption Disruption Like a Miscarriage Loss? {our adoption journey}

by GfG on November 5, 2014 · 6 comments

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I am sitting here this morning struggling to be joyful.  God answered my prayers that I have been lifting for over a month, which is a very good thing.

For four weeks, we have been in contact with a midwife about a private adoption.  A birth mother told her at two appointments in a row that she wanted to place her baby in adoption and asked for a referral from the midwife.  That midwife referred us.

So, we made calls, sent texts, and made a plan.

From that very first phone call, I said, “I’m not banking on this.  She is still early in her pregnancy.  She could change her mind.  There is a lot of time still.”

We haven’t told many people because it was so early and so unsure.

But.. well…. it turns out my heart didn’t listen no matter how fervently I prayed for the birth mom.  No matter how hard I prayed that God would bring her peace and confidence in her decision, whichever way she decided.  No matter how desperately I prayed that God stop this process sooner rather than later if this wasn’t our baby.

boots in heart

Yesterday, the day before the birth mom was to get our letter, photos, and contact information, she contacted the midwife to say she no longer wants to pursue adoption.

My immediate reaction was relief that God had made the decision clear and given her confidence.

My immediate second reaction was many many tears of loss.

A friend who has walked this path of adoption after birthing, asked me if this felt like a miscarriage to me because it did to her. I was honest and said

I haven’t had a miscarriage and I’m grateful for that.  If I had to guess, though, I would say this feels a whole lot the same.

Hear me clearly: an adoption disruption is not exactly the same as a miscarriage.  A life has not been lost.  That is a good thing.  A very good thing. For the adoptive mom, though, there are some similarities and lots of pain.

This is a risk adoptive moms take.  It’s always a possibility.  That’s a good thing, actually, because we want birth moms to always have the right to change their minds.  Always.  It’s their child first and no one else’s until she decides so.

From my point of view, it stinkin hurts.  I’m not sure any woman can not be “all in” once she gets a call that another woman wants to place her baby with her.  I just don’t know if it is possible.  It’s a part of who I am to love fully and to love willingly.

These are my thoughts and my struggles after getting the call for a disruption:

I felt a loss immediately.  I had started to make a place in my heart and in our family for this unknown little one.  Though I knew it was early, I have never experienced the loss of a pregnancy, so after a couple of weeks, I think a part of me just naturally believed this would move forward to a baby in my arms.

The names I had started to think of, the furniture I had started arranging in my mind, the dreams of meeting… all of it gone.

I had started to fully believe that we were going to have a new family member in April and I would know where he/she was going to be born (which is another part of the loss… it was our old home town in Texas… so so symbolic and lots of ways that would be helpful for bonding with our extended family and meaningful to all of us).  A month of imagining our new child.  Four weeks of restrained excitement.  Tentative joy.

I feared God was going to say no to more children.  While I rest in God’s sovereignty as perfect and holy, I also am very human.  The thought that He was saying no forever crossed my mind and still flickers across the landscape of my mind this morning.  I don’t 100% believe this because I have much evidence in His leading and blessing this adoption journey, but the the idea still hits me in the heart.  Finding a tender mark.

I fear we are going to have to wait a long time.  Of course, adoption doesn’t bring a child in the old fashioned way.  This means we can’t “try” and we can’t have a definite “due date”.  Every adoption is tentative until the birth mother signs the relinquishment papers. Our waiting is still in the unmatched season and this means an even greater unknown date looms in my mind.  Will it be years?  How long, O Lord?

I physically hurt.  I know this sounds strange and made up, but it’s not.  I literally had an instant ache in my chest that is still hurting this morning.  Add to that the fact that I am on the heaviest day of my cycle and you have a rather odd combination for me in the physical symbolism.

I want to shut my heart to future connections and hope.  While I know I will love instantly and still look forward to our newest addition to our family, I don’t want to get my hopes up again.  I want to close the door to hope and joy until it’s “definite”.  Until I’m holding our baby.

This applies to connecting and believing a birth mom too, sadly.  I believe I won’t stay in this place long. I have actually already continued to pray for this first birth mom to continue to have peace and confidence in her decision and joy in her parenting  I am happy for her.

I just don’t want my heart to be in it until it’s “safe” again.   Yet… I know me.  I know women.  I know God’s design.

So, I know that I will get my hopes up again. I know that I will love another birth mom, even if I don’t meet her.  I know I will love another baby again, even if I never meet him or her and even though he/she isn’t “ours”.  Because… that is a part of this journey.

I rest in God’s sovereignty while struggling at the same time.  I fully believe God is fully sovereign.  I do not want anything outside of his perfect plan.  Except I wanted that baby.  And I don’t.  And I do.  Sigh.

My prayer was and continues to be that the birth mom know and have peace and confidence when she hands us her child.  I know that God’s plan for how and when that will happen is perfect.

Yet, my humanness struggles against the no in this part of the journey and the looming unknowns.  I believe His plans are perfect.  But Lord, “help me in my unbelief”.


Our disruption leaves me joyful in God answering my prayer that this stop if it wasn’t right. And heartbroken that it isn’t right.

Our disruption leaves me glad that I hadn’t met and connected to the birth mom and she hadn’t seen us and rejected us.  And sad that I didn’t get to see the face of a woman I will always pray for.

Our disruption leaves me looking forward with hope in a God Who Loves Me.  And readying myself for another disruption if that is His Will.

Another friend who has walked several disruptions said, “You are meant to be a part of their life, even if just through prayer.  You will always remember her and that baby.  And you can pray for them forever.  It’s possible you could be the only one doing so.”

So… I pray for our “first” birth mother and her child and her family.  And I leave her in God’s hands, where she has been the entire time.

And I rest in His hands where I have been the entire time.

And I remember that Maybe Baby is in His hands too.  I just can’t see him or her yet.

That is how a disruption feels to this first timer.  

(Reminder: Giveaway still open for a copy of Rescue: Parenting Teens in Today’s Drowning Culture)

Adoption Disruption Miscarriage

{And if any of you adoption haters that attacked me and adoption on another of my posts are reading this and are eager to post comments, know that I will not be reading your comments.  My husband will scan them and will immediately delete them.  Your ugliness will not be spread here.  Move along.}

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