Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Today we received word that the children we had hoped to adopt last year have been told that they have a family adopting them. We have been getting the newsletter from the shelter in Cebu, Philippines, for over a year now and have been waiting to hear an update regarding these children. And there it is. They have a forever family. And it is not ours.

We knew it would not be ours on October 1, 2012, when the call came from our social worker. For the month of October we were numb, fluctuating between intense hurt, bewilderment, bitterness, overwhelming sadness. November and December offered a respite from the pain with all the activity that normally comes with those months. By January we had successfully stuffed our feelings for two months and had convinced ourselves that the grieving process had come to an end.

And then it was decision time. Do we attempt to pick another sibling group from the waiting child list or do we wait to be matched through the Philippine agency? If we went with the first option, it could mean attaching to another set of children only to be rejected again. If we went with the second option, it meant waiting a minimum of three years and still being rejected again. And the tears flowed again.

In the midst of all of this came a time of sifting in our church plant that ended with much hurt, confusion, and no reconciliation, despite all the attempts made. We were distracted again, but this time by more hurt.

Fast-forward to April. We were now on the other side of the sifting, and once again came face-to-face with six months of stuffed pain. I was at a women’s conference in Massachusetts when my emotions could no longer stay in check. Nothing particular was said. It was just a safe place to let loose and cry. And I did. For over a week.

I brought those emotions home to Trey, who was also wrenched with pain, and he cried. And we spent the rest of April this way.

In May we had a crucial decision to make. It was time to renew our home study so that our dossier could remain current in the Philippines. And we hesitated. Trey asked a final question that would inform our decision: We’ve been rejected once; what are the chances it will happen again?

The response: The chances are very strong that it will happen again.

And there we had it. After all the many months of interviews, finding and submitting paperwork, having our lives completely exposed, filling out questionnaires, having our “heads examined” by a psychotherapist, reading about adoption, taking online courses about adoption, spending thousands of dollars, reconfiguring our house to make room for more children, and many more details, it was over. We would never be adopting from the Philippines.

This was a crushing realization. We started this process in January 2011 and it formally ended in May of 2013.

We have questioned whether or not we heard God right. We have doubted our motivations. We have tried to see the “big picture”. We have waited for “all things to come together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” We have wondered if we will ever see His purpose in all of this. And we may not. And that’s okay.

What we do know is this: God wants us to impact children. This part of the calling is unchanging. So for now, we will remain faithful to impact children where we are. We also know that eventually we will look in the direction of adopting or fostering again, but this time we will look domestically. More on this decision later.

We are genuinely thankful that the three children we so longed for have a forever family. They are now 15, 13, and 10, and didn’t need to wait another day. This is the best closure we could have hoped for as we have prayed for these children unceasingly throughout the grieving process.

For those of you who have walked this journey with us, we thank you. Thank you for your prayers and understanding and for providing shoulders to cry on and ears to listen when things took a turn no one was expecting. We are surrounded by “safe places”, and for that we are grateful.

We appreciate your continued prayers as we seek daily to do His will.