I know I've been away quite a while. I've been busy preparing for a new addition to our family. With our agency, once we receive a call and are matched, we're advised to stay off of social media sites and blogs for a number of reasons. I may go into that another time. For now, our story.
On January 2nd, 2013, Chris and I received a call that changed our lives. We were selected by a birthmom to be adoptive parents to her baby girl. Within moments of the call, there were hugs, tears of happiness, phone calls letting family and friends know, and a feeling that our family would finally be complete. I remember at church the following Sunday, Matt Chandler said one of his favorite phrases, talking about how your life can change with a phone call. Thing is, he usually means that for something bad, like a cancer diagnosis or the death of a loved one. As Chris and I held hands, we smiled at each other, knowing that good life changes can come from those phone calls, too.
The weeks that followed were full of emotion, both good and bad. At baby showers from friends that were as excited as we were, we received gifts of baby girl clothes that I meticulously washed and folded into her dresser. We decided on a name—Rosemarie Lillian Slay, but she’d go by Remy. Everyone loved her, but no one more than Chris and me. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends. She was going to come home to a welcoming family.
Her nursery was perfect. Friends came over to help with the finishing touches, hanging decorations, and deciding on the perfect location for the bookcase. Her bedding was set, gender-neutral, of course, since it was picked out before we knew that we’d be having a girl. But since then, we’d added pink. Her changing pad cover. The giraffe piggy bank. The “A daughter is a gift…” sign that was given to us at our baby shower.
Anyone who knew our story would ask if we had an update every time they saw us, and most of the time we did. First it was that we were going to meet the birth mom. Then it was how that meeting went. Then it was that she’s expected to go into labor “any day”. Then she started dilating and was in a lot of pain. Our caseworker went over the emergency plan, in case she didn’t make it through that weekend and ended up in the ER in labor. There was even a day when she was meeting with our caseworker and wanted to talk with us. To us, that was an answered prayer. We’d prayed for more of a relationship with her, and this looked like the beginning of it. But a couple of days passed. Then a week. Then a week and a half.
No one could reach her.
And fear surrounded our household.
Had she changed her mind? Gone into labor and freaked out? Or was she simply sleeping and not doing well at getting back with people at the adoption agency?
It was an afternoon when another caseworker was visiting her city, and stopped by her house to check in on her in person. She wasn’t home, so they left a message with the birth father. We don't know if that message didn't reach her, or if she chose to not call the agency back. It's a tough part of the story that may always remain unknown, unless God chooses to reveal that to us.
She had a closet full of clothes.
She had a decorated nursery.
She had a name.
She had a loving family to come home to.
This time, that family wasn't us
So what do we do now? We continue on. We know we're supposed to adopt a baby. We trust this agency. We will move forward. Truth be told, we've been mourning the loss of Remy a little more every day we didn't hear from the birthmom. We'll continue to raise money (still have about $5000 left to raise if you're feeling generous-- please see the donation button on my sidebar). We'll pray together. We'll struggle well in community. We'll never pretend this didn't happen, though. I read a statistic that approximately 20% of domestic infant adoptions end in failed plans. If we had to be one of the failed adoptions in order to better share our story with people who come to us for guidance, then I'm happy to have gone through this heartbreak. I love being a resource and a face of adoption in my group of friends, in my community. This adds a layer of depth to the story and a piece of truth that adoption is not easy. We never had ideal dreams that it would be easy or that it would lack heartache. We hoped and prayed that it wouldn't happen to us, but God chose us to endure this pain.
And we will.
And we will still pursue adoption.
Our baby is out there, somewhere, waiting to be born and come home to our arms.