One year ago today, we got up on a Monday morning and headed south. I had received a call on Black Friday about a baby that was already born and in foster care. The birthmom had originally picked another family, but decided she didn’t like them and ended up going to our agency and picking us.
We drove the long drive that morning, found our way around the city, and met with the guardian ad litem that had been assigned for the baby. Later that day, we were able to meet with the birthmom. We talked a little about ourselves and Dakota and she explained to us why she'd picked us.
We found a nice hotel that night. Thank goodness my parents were taking care of Dakota, since he was in school at that time. We ate supper at Taco Bell and then went back to our hotel and settled in for the night. To say it was an awkward night is an understatement.
On Tuesday morning, we headed to court, only to find that it had been postponed. We killed time until later that afternoon when we went to court. We were there, along with the other couple (that she’d originally picked), a social worker, the birthparents, and the guardian ad litem. During that court hearing, the birthmother made it very clear that she wanted us to adopt the child; however, the judge refused to rule on custody and instead decided to leave the child in foster care. I left that day so heartbroken.
We walked out of the courtroom and I broke down and cried. Our attorney walked over and put his arms around me and just hugged me for a moment. Rick and Susan were absolutely wonderful during that time and I doubt I will ever forget them being there for us when we needed someone so badly. We walked to our car and drove home with an empty car seat in the back.
The next few days were filled with turmoil. We were still hopeful that we would eventually bring this little boy home; however, as the days progressed, we soon realized that this case was going to be much more complicated than we were prepared to deal with. Although we had prayed and prayed for this little boy to come home with us, we came to the conclusion, along with our attorney, that this was not our son and decided to no longer proceed with the case.
My heart hurt. I did not understand why this had happened. Why had God sent us to this baby and not allowed us to bring him home? Couldn’t He have just allowed this not to happen? Why did we even have to know about this baby? Why did we have to get our hopes up only to be crushed?
As much as it hurt, we did truly believe that this was not our son. I had peace knowing this wasn’t our son, but I still didn’t understand why this happened. I still can’t completely tell you why it happened, but, if for nothing else, it made me more thankful later down the road.
Garth Brooks had a song several years ago called “Unanswered Prayers.” It said:
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Remember when you’re talking to the man upstairs
That just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean He don’t care.
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
I’m not sure that prayers ever actually go unanswered. I’ve heard before that God answers every prayer you pray. Sometimes, His answer is yes. Sometimes, His answer is no. And sometimes, His answer may be “not yet.” Today, one year in the future, I am thankful that His answer last December was “not yet.” Had He answered that prayer, we wouldn’t have our precious baby girl today. Sarah wouldn’t be a member of our family and she is the perfect addition to our family.
If you are still waiting or have gone through a failed adoption, I want to encourage you to hang on. It is so hard to believe things are working out for the best when you're in the middle of a storm. But sometimes, God’s greatest gifts come in the rainbow after the storm.