Adoption Disrupted

Adopting Intentionally – Day 24

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


We knew when we stepped into adoption that birthparents change their minds.  It is part of the process of adopting domestically.  We had prepared our hearts as best we could for this.  We trusted with open hands that a child would come to us, and that the timing was not ours to determine.

We had a disrupted adoption, with the same child, twice.

The beginning days were not easy.  The path toward adoption was filled with disappointments and detours.

The baby was due July 1, 2009.  On June 1 our agency called, the birthmother ran into the birthfather and they decided that they would raise the baby together.  They were no longer working with the birthmother.

Our caseworker asked if we wanted to continue to wait and see if this child became available or if we wanted to be put back on the list of waiting parents.  We chose to go on the list as waiting parents, and were simultaneously open to this birthmother changing her mind.

Our addition was disrupted. We were in many ways starting at the beginning again.  We asked our hearts to shift.

Almost a month later we received an email while out of the state.  The birthmother had had the baby, and wanted us to adopt him.

We rushed back home to be ready, but the process became delayed.  There were complications and the baby was to be placed in foster care with the state.

On June 30, 2009 we were told that the baby would not be with us.  We pursued that child, through our agency and through the Department of Children and families for a month.  And then we were told that all doors were closed.

What can you do when an adoption is disrupted?

1.  Allow yourself to grieve

Having a disrupted adoption is a real loss.  It is not a death, but it is a letting go.  You ought to feel sad.  You can cry, process, reflect.  Walk all the way through the stages of aching.  And with that energy, pray for that baby, for that birthmother and for their days ahead.

2. Ask your agency to continue doing all that they can do

There is no harm in having an agency continue on your behalf.  You can make decisions in the future, allow the various players to continue forward.  We did not get a second call after the disruption with our first son.  However, while our second son was placed with us we received two calls about other children.  We walked through those steps when they were presented to us.

3. Mark memories for you future self

When we got the phone call that the baby had been born on June 22, there were orange day lilies just beginning to bloom everywhere.  We allowed the orange flash of them to cause us to think about the little boy, and we knew this would be true for years to come.  We also placed his birthdate on our computer calendars to come up as a reminder every year to pray for him.

4. Open your hands to what is next

When you are ready allow your hands to be open.  You never know what is next for you.  We went on a trip to Spain, fostered another amazing little boy, and bought a new house.  We were open.

May you be ready to receive the great gift of adoption.

To read the rest of the story about our disrupted adoption


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