For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to adopt. My dream has been to open our hearts and our home to a child who needs a forever family. I’ve started the process several times, too, but each time I sensed that my husband wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about adoption as I was, so I felt it was wisest to wait (and pray!) until we were both totally on board with the idea of adoption.
As the years went by, I kept asking God, “How long, Lord?”
Then one day it happened. My husband called me from work and told me about a friend who knew a friend who was pregnant. She was planning on giving up the baby for adoption, and she wanted to find a family. My husband wanted to know if it would be okay to tell his friend we were interested.
I could barely contain myself as my excitement burst through every word, “Yes! Of course!”
After all those years of waiting, and now my husband was the one initiating the process! I just knew this was from God. And, really, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Lengthy conversations continued, and she said she wanted us to adopt her child, but there was another complication. A recent ultrasound showed there were two babies. She was having twins. Were we still interested?
Now I was crying, because I always wanted twins. “Yes! Double yes!” That was all I could say. That, and “Thank you, Lord!”
We contacted a social worker who could walk us through the paperwork, and the whole ball really got rolling. We continued to pray and dream, and some days, I found myself wandering down the baby aisle at Target, looking at two of everything.
The twins, we later learned, were girls. And I couldn’t help it. Their names were already etched on my heart — Ella and Emma. So I started praying for Ella and Emma, and their birth mom too.
And just when we started believing this was real, and this was really going to happen, it didn’t. We knew failed adoptions happen, and we were warned to guard our hearts, you know, just in case. And honestly, I had tried to prepare myself for the possibility that it might not happen. But all the signs seemed to be pointing in the right direction. I really, truly believed this was a gift from God, and that He was completely in this.
But then it was all ripped away.
I’ve never had a miscarriage. I’ve never bled from a lost child. But when I realized Ella and Emma weren’t coming home, that they weren’t going to be a part of our family, my heart bled plenty.
For months (dare I say the next couple of years?) I felt an emptiness I couldn’t describe. And I had lots of questions for God. Why would He put this desire in my heart only to take it all away? Why would He have me fall in love with two baby girls only to lose them in the end? None of it made sense.
I was a tangled mess of angry and sad, but mostly I was scared. Were they being cared for? Were they being fed? Were they being held? I was so worried for them, I couldn’t hardly think of anything else.
All I could do was pray. So I did. But I’ll tell you, it didn’t feel like enough.
I questioned the power of prayer because prayers are words. They may be sincere, heartfelt words. But babies don’t need words from afar; they need warm bottles and clean diapers and soft blankets and lots of kisses.
Every time I prayed for God to protect them and provide for them, I felt so powerless, so frustrated that I couldn’t make sure they were getting what they needed. And yet, during this time four faint words kept coming to mind, like whispers from somewhere deep in my soul.
Do you trust me?
And therein lay the crux of my battle . . . I didn’t want to release these two baby girls into God’s care. I didn’t want to trust anyone to take care of them except me.
For a long time afterward, I cried and grieved and wondered how they were doing. I’d pray too. Because that was literally the only thing I could do. But I still wanted to know why. Why did God let me fall in love with two baby girls only to take them away?
And then one day, in a quiet sort of way, I knew.
When I finally accepted that Ella and Emma weren’t meant to be a part of our forever family, I understood they were meant to be a part of my forever heart. They don’t know it, but they have someone, somewhere in the world, who is committed to praying for them, forever.
I don’t know what their birth mom decided to name them, so Ella and Emma aren’t even their real names, but I do know that when I pray for Ella and Emma, God knows exactly who I’m praying for.
And someday, on the other side of eternity, I pray I get to meet them.Leave a Comment