About two weeks ago, we were contacted by our MD agency about a situation they were made aware of by an agency in FL. An expectant couple wanted to find a family to adopt their child, and specifically they wanted a Catholic family. We decided to show our profile to them, but found out Friday that we were not selected. The following might be a little rambling as we process this experience and work through our emotions. This, too, is part of our pilgrimage - stepping forward in faith, saying "yes," and then hearing "no, not yet."
When we first learned about this situation, we were so excited. What initially jumped out at us is that the couple considering adoption wanted a Catholic family. While any child in our family would be raised Catholic, since that is our faith, how amazing it would be to know that our child's birthparents desired them to know the faith. Their desire would be our greatest joy!
The situation had other things to commend itself: both of the prospective birthparents had received counseling and so we trusted they had been helped to consider all their options and chose adoption as their best option, instead of feeling like it was their only option. The day after we learned about the situation, we spoke with the director of the FL agency. He seemed competent, kind, and was transparent about their fee schedule and how the process would go if we were chosen.
So we said "yes" to this possibility, and mailed a copy of our profile book to FL, overnight. We thought initially that our book would be looked at the next day or maybe over the weekend, but we didn't hear anything. What it's like being in that position of waiting is hard to describe. Every phone call, every email could bring the most wonderful news in the world - or news that no, we weren't chosen. At times it was quite difficult to concentrate on work, or anything, really, thinking that this could be "it."
It was also hard not to let our minds daydream and wander to the possibility of becoming parents, and soon. Of buying our plane tickets and letting our friends and family know - of names we might choose and what it would be like meeting our child for the first time.
It felt surreal going about our daily lives while this tremendous possibility hovered in the back of our minds.
This past Tuesday (a week after we had found about the situation), we checked in with our MD agency and were told that the couple planned to look at profile books the next day, and that likely we would hear something by Friday. That did a lot to put our minds at ease, at least knowing that we shouldn't expect anything for another few days.
As Friday approached, the anticipation started to grew again. Yes or no? Yes or no? We tried to stay prayerful and distract ourselves through going to the gym, focusing on our work, etc. But wow, was it hard not to think about it!
We got the news via email Friday afternoon that the couple had made their selection, and it was not us. It felt pretty devastating, to be honest. Of course we've realized this whole time that "no" was a possible answer, but to see it there in black and white was pretty tough. This would not be our child. Another family was chosen.
It's very hard not to think "what was wrong with us?" But we know that it could have been any number of things that made the couple choose a different family - maybe they wanted people of a certain race, or a certain location, or who had kids already, or on and on. It's nothing about us, really - it's what the birthparents wanted, and of course they are the ones making an incredibly difficult, generous decision to entrust their child to another family, forever.
Not being chosen also brought up a lot of the grief of infertility. Maybe if we had a child already this might be easier (maybe) but as it is, it felt like another reminder of our continued childlessness. It's not easy to hear "no" for such a long time when our hearts long to be parents, and when we are so much in the minority among those who have been blessed in this way.
Of course this is not the end. We don't know the exact statistics, but anecdotally it seems like many (most?) couples trying to adopt hear a few "no's" before meeting the child meant for their family. Maybe this stings so much because it was our first profile view, making ourselves vulnerable and presenting ourselves to an expectant couple.
Please pray for us as it hurts a lot to not be chosen. This is a low moment of our pilgrimage. Seen in the light of faith, it's an opportunity to unite ourselves more closely with Jesus on the Cross and to offer up our difficulties for others who are hurting. Someone suggested offering up the pains of our adoption pilgrimage for our future child, so we will do that too. We will continue to walk this journey, trusting that the Lord will introduce us to our child if that is his plan. And we will keep these birthparents, their child, and the adoptive family in our prayers.