I ended up talking to Beth, our social worker, that afternoon for a long time. It was more like I sobbed, she listened. I tried to talk, she encouraged me. I'm not sure I've ever felt that pain before. Jacob and I were talking about it a few days later and I asked him if he thought it hurt the way it did when we lost our first baby. He said no...it hurt worse than that. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I agreed.
The next morning, after our heartbreaking news, I received an e-mail alert from a waiting kids website that I follow. I rarely check the alerts, but that day I did. As soon as the window popped up on my computer screen....I saw him. Again. I couldn't figure out what was going on. "V" was not available for adoption, but here he was...waiting for a family. I immediately emailed the listing agency on the website and called Beth. She promised that she would talk with Raul (our in country attorney), but she told me it was most likely that his file had not been removed yet. That did end up being the case, but I could NOT let it go without at least asking.
That week was stinkin' hard. It hurt. It made me mad. I went for a run one morning to try to deal with it all. I needed to figure out who I was mad at. God? The Colombian official who'd mistakenly sent his file in the first place? The website for getting my hopes up again? Then it hit me - I was mad at the whole dang situation. I was mad because a precious 2 year old little boy should NOT have to look further than his front door for a family. I was made because that precious little boy should never have been an orphan. I was mad that there was even a need for adoption because it's NOT FAIR that every child cannot grow up and live with their birth family because in a perfect world, that's how it would be. So I was not mad at anyone...I was mad because there are kids without families.
Even though I hadn't held this little boy in my arms and I had only seen his picture, I could so strongly imagine what it would be like to hold him. He was about Creek's size. And he kinda looked like Creek, too :) I would pick Creek up and hold him or rock him at night and think, "Wow....this is what it's going to feel like. This is the size and age of "V"." Yes, they are two different kids but I could absolutely imagine what it would be like to play, hold, rock, and love on "V" the same way I was doing with Creek.
I cried a lot that week. Jacob and I talked a lot and grieved together. Finally, at the end of the week I had to force myself to move on. I had to delete everything I had on sweet little "V". It wasn't fair to him or to his new family for me to have such private information on him or to dwell over his adorable face. It wasn't good for my heart, either. Over the next few weeks, he would come to mind from time to time. Sometimes I would think about the heartache and cry a little, but I would also rejoice that he has a family...that his days without them are limited.
And then Monday of this week, I got another email alert from the same waiting kids website. My heart hit the floor when I, again, saw his sweet face. He had been taken down after my last email...I had checked every day until he was gone. But here he was again. In times like this, there's no such thing as "guarding your heart". Because you can't look at a child and say, "Yes, I want to be your mommy!" and not immediately begin to love him as your son...as his mommy. In an instant, there was a bit of hope that he would still be mine. It was just as fierce as it had been a few weeks ago.
Long story short...we emailed them, again, and had our adoption agency check into the situation. We got a sincere reply from the website telling us they weren't sure what happened, but no - he wasn't available for adoption...his picture and file should not have been added back to the site.
And our hearts crashed again.
I don't want anyone who is considering adoption to think that it's easy. Or to think that it's only about paperwork, fingerprints, and interviews with social workers. Or that it's a walk in the park. Because it's none of those things. It is REALLY HARD. We lay our hearts out there for a timeline that doesn't really exist. We know it could get trampled on a hundred times over. We don't like it, but it is what it is. And you know what - I'd go through this every single week of this entire journey if that is what it takes to get to my son. Because here's what I think...I think that as hard as this is on me, and my heart...
HOW MUCH HARDER IS IT ON THE HEART OF AN ORPHAN?
I have a family and friends and a community that love me and that I am thriving in. I have my Jesus who defeated death for me and loves me unconditionally. I know where my next meal will come from and I grew up being tucked in every single night by a mom and dad whose world revolved around me and my sisters. That is the kind of life we are giving our children. So if it's this hard on me, with all that I have - how hard is it on a child who doesn't understand the world that he's in? Who has to wonder if there is more to his life than being grouped together with a bunch of other kids his age and living in a concrete building?
Yes, it's hard on adoptive parents. And so many times I've heard people say - "I couldn't do it, I couldn't risk getting my heart broken." Or something along those lines. But guess what...my heart's been broken - as have countless other adoptive parents - and those hearts healed and yours will, too. But what about the little girls and boys who go to bed every single night with a broken heart...they sure didn't choose to be an orphan, to be alone. What about their broken hearts? Who goes after them?
What if God had the same thought when He put His great plan into motion to send Jesus - His ONLY Son - for you and me? What if He decided He just couldn't risk getting His heart broken? Well, His heart does get broken every time someone denies Him, turns away from Him, refuses Him...and yet, He'd do it every second of every minute of every hour of every single day if that is what it took...
So how did we cope with this? We held tight to each other and trusted in God and His plan. I kept on singing "It Is Well With My Soul" - and sometimes I believed it. I had friends checking on me, letting me talk through it. I remembered my friends Daniel and Emily and how their hearts had broken, and yet God carried them through and has pieced a beautifully amazing family together. I read in Isaiah over and over that God's "thoughts are not my thoughts" and that His ways are higher than mine. I asked Him to use me and my heartbreak in order to comfort others who share this experience. I asked Him to help me see what we could learn from this. And He answered that prayer. We grew and trusted more and learned. For that, I am very thankful.
God took such good care of us....even people we hadn't shared this with, would call or text and say, "Hey...I was thinking about you. Are you okay?" He provided a dear friend, a foster mom, who took me into her arms within an hour of receiving our heartbreaking news and she just held me tight. She knew and understood my pain and she acknowledged my grief. Even this morning, He sent the perfect words to me through my SIL, Bekah..."Only He can make it right. But it won't be right until Christ comes again. Until then...we just have to hold on for dear life." And so that's what we will do...we will hold on for dear life and we will rest in the fact that God is taking care of us.
Thank you, friends, for letting me talk it out here on my blog. It's part of my process. We know that so many of you are praying us through this journey and have been very encouraging to us the entire time. If you think of us and want to pray for us about these past few weeks...please also rejoice with us for sweet little "V" and for his family who is working hard to get to him. Please pray the rest of their process would go smoothly and that everything would fall into place. Pray that he would transition well into his new family and home. I sure hope that someday, somehow...maybe in a way that only God can orchestrate...he knows that at one point in his life - after 2 years without a mommy - that for just a few days, he had two mommy hearts that loved him to the fullest.