Adoption – When There Are Two Possible Outcomes

Adopting Intentionally – Day 23

For 31 Days I will blog about Adopting Intentionally, you can find an overview and links to daily posts here.


We got the phone call about a baby on the way home from our venture to Prince Edward Island, Canada.

We were told that the baby coming to us would most likely be put up for adoption, that currently his goal was a dual goal of reunification and adoption.  They were looking for parents who would foster to adopt, we would be considered a pre-adoptive family.

There were medical complications.

We decided to step forward with open hands.

Those first few days and weeks with our little guy were really difficult.

He was sweetness.  He was tiny and darling.

But his little body was struggling, his future was not clear, and our hearts and minds were racing.

During that time his caseworker and another DCF worker came to pick him up for a visit.  He would leave in his car seat and be returned to us three or four hours later.  It felt so hard just as we were bonding with this little baby.

The DCF worker commented on how much Cole, our son, looked like us, and I, smiling, told her that we had adopted him through DCF.  She asked if that was ever something we would consider doing again.  She was holding Cam in his carseat.

I couldn’t help it, I stopped smiling.  “Yes.”  I wanted to yell, but calmly I said, “we are hoping to adopt him,”  gesturing to the carseat.

“Oh?” She was surprised.  “His goal is reunification.  That is why he has visits with his mother.” 

We exchanged little more and they were out the door.

What did that mean?

Did she just not know?  Did she know more than I knew?  What were the chances that he would come to us?

And then at the same time we were struggling as his medical issues were increasing.   

Could we really care for him?  This could be life-long, life-altering.  Was this a good fit for our family?

And perhaps the questions that were echoing louder than the others:

Could we let him go?  We were so in love with him what would happen if his goal became reunification and we were asked to foster him so that he could go back to his mother?    

We walked through our days.  We went to doctor’s appointments.  We changed our lives around to take care of him.

All the while my mind and heart were spinning with questions.

I remember when the spinning stopped.

We were standing in our kitchen, Andrew was leaning up against the counter.

“What are we going to do?”  I asked him.  Feeling desperate to know, to have answers.

We batted around the questions again, and then he said.

“You know I have been thinking.  Perhaps once again all we need to do is have open hands . . . it just feels harder this time because we have to hold two opposed possibilities.  Maybe he will be with us forever.  Maybe he will be with us just for a time.  We just need to hold both things in our hands right now and trust.”

And I could see the truth of that.

Adoption calls us to have open hands and to trust.

Sometimes we need to hold two different possible outcomes in our hands at the same time.  One of them will come to be, and we will be ok, because we had open hands.


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