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Never the same…

We walked into her room. I could feel the intensity of that moment upon entering and looking into her eyes. She had given birth the day before. Exhausted & obviously heartbroken, her eyes bloodshot from sobbing. A baby boy lie peacefully in his bassinet across the sterile hospital room.  My eyes darted to him and then back to her. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and tell her everything was going to be alright. I wanted to reassure her of the decision she was about to make. I wanted to soothe her & take away her sadness. Instead I nervously fumbled with words to break the ice. I sat on the edge of her bed and put my hand on her ankle. As awkward as it was I needed to touch her. I needed to show her we were united. We were united forever now that she has asked us to parent her baby boy.  She allowed me to care for him the entire time we were there. These were such precious first moments. Little did we know at the time that we would lose that baby boy after taking him home from the hospital. Those first 24 hours of caring for him will never leave my mind. The following day we received the news that she was going to try to parent him instead of sticking with our “adoption plan”. I will never forget that feeling of reading that text message. Numb & sick to my stomach I ran into our room and sobbed into my pillow. I pleaded with God to change her mind. I screamed at Him for bringing this child into our lives only to take him away. My heart had never felt such pain, such deep intense pain. This was the type of pain that makes you feel physically ill. I sat in bed and rocked, sobbed, screamed, and eventually was brought to my knees. I pleaded with God one last time before we had to put this beautiful baby boy in his carseat and take him back to the caseworker. Don’t let this happen God! How is this better for him? The drive to drop him off felt like an eternity, but yet not long enough. In a parking lot we handed the baby we thought was our son to a young, very pregnant caseworker who carefully put him in her car and drove off. He was gone. I was not a mom, and my heart was in a million pieces.

We decided to leave for a last minute trip to California to escape our reality. Our home was filled with baby gear; his baby gear. The things we were gifted & bought specifically for him. The baby we saw in the ultrasound pictures and felt kick inside his birth mother’s stomach for 2 long months. We had to leave.  The weekend was healing and we came home just a few days later still feeling sadness and loss, but also hope. Hope for our future and trusting in God’s plan. We started to move on with our life, but not a day would go by that we wouldn’t think about that baby boy. I sent a letter with him in his car seat. It was for his birth mother to read.  It told her how I trusted she was doing what she felt was best & that I will never forget them, nor forget to pray for them. I wished her the best and at the end of the letter told her that I loved her & her son dearly. I thanked her for allowing us to parent him, if only for one day. Those words were hard to write but even in all my hurt & resentment I knew that was the truth in my heart. She needed to know we weren’t mad at her and that we supported her decision.  She needed to know most importantly that we loved her.

Four weeks later we received a call from her, asking us if we would still consider adopting her son. She attempted to parent him but still felt he would be better off with us. We were shocked. Beyond shocked actually! The next day we were at the adoption agency signing papers. What I saw was a strong woman who was heart-broken by the decision she was making.  Even though she felt it was best for her son she was devastated it had come to this. The day we became parents was also the day a mother said goodbye to her son. Our hearts felt joy but deep pain as well. Words cannot express what we felt that day.  It such a mixture of emotions. After she signed the papers I embraced her for several minutes. Both of us weeping.  She left and we were there with our son. OUR son. Before leaving the agency I got to change my first poopy diaper which was totally fine with me!

The reason I wanted to share Cruz’s adoption story with you is in celebration of National Adoption Month & Orphan Sunday. Cruz made us parents for the first time and his adoption (even with all it’s ups & downs) is what confirmed our calling to adopt.  This would influence our future adoptions, and family dynamic forever. This month I will be sharing each of our children’s adoption stories. Some details will be left out to protect their privacy and personal story but it will give you an idea of what God has done in our lives through blessing us with our children.

You can read our original blog post regarding losing Cruz & the story to follow here. This will now be where we share adoption news etc.:)

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Dawn Wright - November 2, 2014 - 6:37 pm

I love your heart and your honesty. The heartache is real and the feelings for the birth family equally real! Thank you for sharing!!

Lisa Workman - November 3, 2014 - 12:06 pm

This is a beautiful story…I’m weeping with you both. Both your’s and John’s strength and love is inspiring! May God’s love and Grace shine on your family.


Beverly & Ivan Gish - November 3, 2014 - 5:57 pm

We have watched your family grow (via: Jack & Marion) and enjoyed hearing of the joy each son has brought into your life and the extended family. We can visualize John with his little team and, via photographs, visualize you and those sweet boys & the wonderful family you all make. Thank you for sharing the joys and sorrows. It’s so good to know that God didn’t promise that everything would be easy, but promised that He had a plan. What a joy to know that what He plans and delivers is beyond our wildest dreams. Those little boys are truly gifts from God.

Shannon - November 9, 2014 - 10:07 pm

I followed your adoption of Cruz through your blog years ago. John’s words and your words flowed into my heart and I found myself praying for you all through out my day. I remember how I actually shed tears when I saw that you were blessed to get Cruz back. I follow your beautiful family through your photos ever since. I am so amazed at the woman God made in you, and at your awesome willingness to follow Him in all you do. In sharing your stories and simply being who you are every day, peoples lives are changed. Thank you for representing Jesus so well, so often, while we all know that it’s no always easy. I’m so glad our paths crossed years ago. Many prayers continue for your family from Minnesota!

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