It was a morning I will never forget. There she was. Rosy cheeks. Curly black hair. And her almost black eyes? They wouldn’t let go.
A flood of emotions washed over me as I cried.
I’d seen my daughter for the first time.
It was the next chapter in our story, however, it didn’t go as I’d hoped.
It had been just over a year since we’d begun the paperwork for our adoption. Three months prior the Bulgarian approval was given and we waited for a match. International adoption is a complicated process involving lots of waiting so we prepared as best we could. We had yet to realize trusting and surrendering plays an enormous part in waiting well.Trusting and surrendering plays an enormous part in waiting well #adoption #ourstory #boldfaith @Kristi_Woods Click To Tweet
That rosy-cheeked little girl in my email inbox wasn’t the one the Ministry of Justice specifically matched to us. Instead, she was a child listed as having special needs allowing agencies to send her photos and medical records to families registered within their program.
I was nervous as I read her medical report because my husband and I believed we weren’t equipped to parent a child with severe special needs. Yet, I was convicted beyond the shadow of a doubt this little girl was the one God meant for us. She was a Schumaker.I didn't think we were equipped to parent a child with severe special needs ... #adoption #hope #ourstory @Kristi_Woods Click To Tweet
But what if her report was filled with scary diagnoses? What if my husband didn’t see it as I did?
I hesitantly opened the medical file. As I read through it, relief washed over me! Speech delay? We can handle that. Flat feet? What? Really? Since when is flat feet a special need? Developmental delay? Check. That’s expected from all children living in an institution and not receiving ideal care.
That night after our boys were tucked in bed sound asleep I told my husband to sit down. I asked him to look at a picture and to promise not to say a word until he fully listened to what I had to say.
But I didn’t need to say a thing. My stoic strong man couldn’t hide the emotions washing over him.
He’d seen his daughter for the first time, too.
A month later, our petition was set for presentation before the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. Excitement filled our house that morning. It was the day it would be official! We would start the formal process of adopting our daughter.
With the kids off to school and my husband at work, I awaited the celebratory call. Our case worker was just as excited for us and couldn’t wait to make the happy call.
My cellphone rang and with anticipation, I answered. But the words I heard were not the words any of us expected. The answer was “no”. Our little girl had been given to another family.
Friends, I can’t put words to what God does in adoption. When He calls you, turning away from it is impossible. His call is relentless.When God calls you to #adoption, turning away is impossible #hope #ourstory @Kristi_Woods Click To Tweet
And He opens your heart to love deeply long before meeting your child.
Just as you love the child growing within your womb, God fills your heart with that same love for a child who may happen to live halfway around the world.
So in that moment, grief consumed every fiber of my soul.
Join me over at my friend, Kristi Woods, for the rest of our story. Our adoption story wasn’t typical and still isn’t. But it’s a beautiful story God is continuing to write even today. I’m honored to share it with you and as a part of Kristi’s series ♥