failed adoptions {week of thanks}

I wish there was a better word. One that says, “something we tried that simply didn’t work out” but doesn’t actually say “failure”.

This is the part of adoption that so many don’t know. When a child is identified, there has to be a certain level of understanding and knowledge before an adoption is pursued. Especially in the cases of older children (i.e. five and up). In other words: some semblance of bonding takes place even if you never meet.

When we learned about a five year old, originally from an African country, who needed to be placed in a new home—we sent out an inquiry. We then received over fifty pages of information about this child. After reading and discussing many of the ramifications of such an adoption, we sent back a request for further information. Somewhere in the middle, after loads of paperwork and phone calls, the process halted.

The child was placed and we did not get him.

It was okay. But it was hard.

So, why am I thanking God for this, and other, failed adoption attempts? Because I’ve learned some hard, brutal lessons that I am grateful for.

  • I’m thankful that I’ve learned the foolishness of the words, “just adopt”. Mark this down: it is not that simple.
  • I’m thankful that I’ve begun to catch glimpses of how deeply God views prayer. All that time and all those prayers spent on each child would be worthless except that it goes deeper than human eyes can see. It reaches further, touches depths, and builds faith in ways that I can only begin to understand.
  •  I’m thankful for the lesson of open hands. Holding palms upward, fingers forced down. There, in this position of surrender, hurt is bearable. The moment fingers curl upward to cling and long and grab—breathing stops. Oxygen cuts off. Desert-lostness and dying-thirst exudes.
  •  I’m thankful for the knowledge that it is not an accident that we are childless. If we never pursued and doors never closed there would always be a “what if” in our minds. Now, there is not. We surrendered everything, knocked at every door, prayed, sought God, opened our hearts and our home—and the doors stayed shut tight. I can say with confidence: God’s will for me today is to not have children.
  • I’m thankful for the comfort of a God who loves. One of the adoptions that we looked into was for a set of twins. And in the midst of the waiting and longing and hoping… we found out that one of my dearest friends, Julie, was expecting her own set of twins. When it became evident that we were not going to get our own babies, I cannot tell you how comforting it was to know that Julie would soon have her little ones. It was like God saying, My loved-one, I am still here. Because, you see, Julie also once walked the road of infertility and if I could not bear my own children, the next best thing in all the world, is one of my best friends having them. What a gracious God I serve. 

This post could go on for quite some time. There are many lessons. There have been many God-moments. And today, I am thankful for each and every failed adoption. And I believe and say, again, that God is good. 

Can you say, in the middle of your hard things, that God is good? Why or why not? 

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16 thoughts on “failed adoptions {week of thanks}

  1. We are going through the process of adoption now. We have one biological child and were never able to conceive another. We have been involved in some part of the adoptive process since early 2009, with a cross-country move right in the middle. It is a humbling, wrenching, anxiety-producing experience, even when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t completely trust that we will actually have another child at the end of this, but I do trust God, and I know we are at this point because of him.

    All this to say that I appreciate this post very much, most especially for what you said about friends having children in the midst of your failed adoption. During the year of waiting for seemingly nothing, friends of our who had no children and had been waiting much longer were able to FINALLY adopt a beautiful little girl. Two other friends got pregnant and had daughters. How thankful I was to be able to hold those sweet girls, even while struggling with doubts in our own situation. I now know that there were some things in my heart that I had to surrender in order to be ready for someone to surrender her child to us.

    Your perspective is such a good reminder to me that God is always in control, and he has our very best interests at heart. Thank you for that.

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    • It is definitely a lesson in surrender and recognizing that God is the one in control. Thank you for adding your perspective!

      Many, many blessings as your journey continues…

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  2. “• I’m thankful for the lesson of open hands. Holding palms upward, fingers forced down. There, in this position of surrender, hurt is bearable. The moment fingers curl upward to cling and long and grab—breathing stops. Oxygen cuts off. Desert-lostness and dying-thirst exudes.”

    This one really pierced me, Natasha. A reminder to me when the pain feels unbearable…am I opening my hands to my Abba? Thank you.

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  3. Natasha, grateful I was led to your blog a few months ago. Your heart for God is beautiful and inspiring. I thank Him for your life and testimony. I continue to wait on Him in several areas of my life. It’s not easy. But the more I stand in need, the more I am aware of His goodness. I pray for you, as your journey continues…

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  4. 🙂 Believing that God will do abundantly above in your life … I can’t wait to rejoice with you and for you!! 🙂 Thanks for your openness and raw honesty and your positive example of the benefits of turning to God in our pain and hard times. Love and blessings to you,Rhonda

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  5. Thank you for writing this. So often people throw the “Just adopt” out there, with no idea of just how difficult and trying that can be. Through it all, we can rest in the Lord and know that His will is perfect and pleasing.

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  6. Thanks for this. I was one of those people who thought if I can’t have a baby of my own, I can just adopt. Your post made me realize it’s not that easy. It also made me realized that I thought I was fully trusting in God, but I’m actually putting my hope on something else other than God. I appreciate your blog, I appreciate you.

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  7. Of course this is late but I appreciate the complexities of the adoption process – each of the children that came to our family via adoption has a unique story that included its fair share of tears and anguish. you really do begin to bond the moment you hear about a possible placement. i never knew how to compartmentalize my feelings and keep the distance that would protect my heart. I’ve learned since then that its all part of parenting. the vulnerability. a love so big , Scary and sweet. your resolve to know and accept that for now children are not part of His plan is beautiful. I am thankful to be able to sit on the sidelines in prayer and watch your story unfold. Be blessed sister.

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  8. Pingback: a week of thanks | Natasha Metzler

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