Recovering from a failed adoption

What in the world does God want me to do now?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

As I discussed in a post a couple of years ago — my wife and I have been unable to have children through what is now nearly 17 years of marriage. We have been praying, thinking, and talking about adoption for many of those years. But God never really seemed to place in us a strong desire to adopt. We have always been open to it, but never fully felt called to it.

In addition to never having a strong passion for adoption, several friends of ours have had adoptions fail in very painful and discouraging ways. Birth-parents changing their minds at the last minute. Birth-parents changing their minds after a baby had already been in our friends' home for several weeks. International adoptions have gone incredibly awry for several friends. Adoption agencies have gone bankrupt, taking tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars with them. All of these stories essentially gave us the attitude of, "the only way we are going to adopt is if someone drops a baby off on our doorstep."

Several months ago, the opportunity to adopt was presented to us. It was as close to a baby being dropped off on our doorstep as we could get. We weren't seeking the adoption. The birth parents sought us. We immediately accepted their offer to adopt their baby and began the legal adoption process. God seemed to confirm that this was His will multiple times by things we were concerned about being completely taken care of. My wife and I prayed about it and received nothing but confirmation. We had told our family, extended family, church family, and friends — and everyone was excited for us and praying for us. The baby is due in early May. We had a name picked out. We were only 7 weeks away from finally becoming parents…

…And then the birth parents changed their minds. Now, we are absolutely not angry at the birth parents. We never completely understood why they were giving the baby up for adoption in the first place. Their reasoning for changing their minds was that they are now committed to each other as a couple and committed to raising the baby together as a couple. Those things were not true when they first decided to give the baby up for adoption. So, their change of mind is completely understandable to us, and, we probably even agree with their decision.

But, why?!? Why, God?!? Why present this opportunity to us? Why did You bring this into our lives and then allow it to end in the very way that was causing us to not seriously consider adoption in the first place? I felt like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football only to have it yanked away at the last second. And that fear was precisely why I had never tried to kick the football before.

To be completely honest, my first reaction was anger towards God. It felt like an especially cruel joke had just been played on me. It didn't make any sense to me. I was angry at how hurt I was, but even more angry at seeing how hurt my wife was. The words I spoke to so many people about how wonderful God was for giving us the perfect "baby on the doorstep" story kept echoing in my mind like an evil laugh.

Now, here I am a little over a week later. The anger has passed. The sadness has mostly passed. I trust that God had a good reason for bringing us through the experience. I still have no idea what that reason is, but I know God had a reason. I trust Him, unequivocally. I still would rather the events of the past six months had never happened, but they happened, so I need to learn and grow from them.

Did God take us through that so we would eventually continue with the adoption agency in hopes that another birth mom will select us to adopt her baby? Right now, that is my best guess. But, it is hard to want to start it all over again. With God, and the support of our family and church family, we can deal with the failed adoption. What we are having trouble with is not knowing what we are supposed to do now.

So, what's the point of this blog post? What's my advice for Christians struggling after a failed adoption? I don't know. Ask me again in six months.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Image credit: Whatknot; Creative Commons

TagsChristian-Life  | Hardships  |  Personal-Life

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Published 3-17-2014