A Family of Four

It looks like this family will remain a family of four.

And that is okay.

I am sitting in a packed up nursery rocking in the rocking chair I just refinished as I type this post …and you know what I feel?

Peace. Complete and total peace.

I haven’t thought or said one negative thing about C or her baby or her choice to parent and I never will …nor will I allow anyone else to. C’s baby was never “my baby” because she never placed her with us, but we loved her still and always will.

For the last 6+ months, C and her family have been part of R family and constantly been in our prayers. When we told her we loved her unconditionally, that’s exactly what we meant–without condition, as in not conditional upon placement.

I am excited for her to be a new mom and snuggle on her new chubby baby. I am excited for her terribly difficult pregnancy to come to an end and I pray and pray and pray everything goes smoothly. They deserve all the happiness in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some hard moments last night when we found out. I walked into the newly set up nursery and got the wind literally knocked out of me. I was thankful for the tender mercy of knowing I had a sister-in-law to send five big boxes of gorgeous pink and ruffly baby clothes to. We needed a purpose. As Mr. R and I folded all those tiny clothes (and we have never folded clothing so quickly!) there were some tears as I repeatedly said, “This is so sad, isn’t it?” It is sad. So sad, in fact, that I had to go in and kiss my sleeping little boys for the courage to dismantle said nursery. Any loss of a dream is sad. But, this is the reality of adoption that we knew that going in.

Our boys know it too. In fact, we had given them the language months and months before.

“So boys, the baby’s ‘birthmom’ may decide that she isn’t supposed to be in our family …and that’s okay. We will be okay.”

“Yeah, we will be okay, Mom. Then Gavin will just be our baby.”

“NO! I not a baby. I a Big Boy.”

See? We will all be just fine. Why? Because of the LAW of Hope, the ability to bounce back, the gift of looking forward to a brighter tomorrow, a perfect brightness of hope. Again, it’s the perfect theme for our family this year.

Thanks to all for the love and concern during this awkward time. It’s awkward, right? ;) The texts and phone calls from Tyson and Gavin’s birthmoms mean the most. This message from Gavin’s birthmom sunk deep into my soul:

If nothing else, know that you are loved sooooooo much by Nicole and I. We know what great parents you are and how lucky the boys are to have you two! We also know 3 and 4 years later, that we made the absolute best decision placing the boys in your arms to have and to hold for now and eternity. WE LOVE YOU.

Those ladies. Man, they bring us so much joy.

The show will go on and it will start with Disneyland. We leave in the morning. But, as my dad and I were morbidly joking we don’t think there will be a t-shirt for the boys that says, “They promised me a baby sister and all I got was a lousy trip to Disneyland.”

As Kim and Leish (my besties and business partners) and I say, “If we don’t laugh, we cry.”

Here’s to a brighter tomorrow …and a speedy, easy delivery for C and her beautiful new baby.


*Please know that one of C and my biggest concerns are hate mail. She received plenty of it over the last 6 months and doesn’t need any more. Please help us keep things positive for someone we love very much. A baby is a happy event and no one should make her feel badly about her choice to parent, just as no one should have made her feel badly about her choice to place when that was what she was choosing. It is her choice and we told her repeatedly that we would respect whatever that choice was. Thanks, everyone!

We love you, C.




  1. Marilee says

    You know I love you and that you deserve the best. I know the statement “If we didn’t laugh, we’d cry” all too well as of late. Cry, but make sure to laugh as well. At least you get to hang out with Mickey. Kick him once for me! I haven’t done that since I was little, but I still don’t regret it. Also, shouldn’t you be doing the Disney half marathon?

  2. says

    So sorry for all involved. No cliche comments for you. I know you know them all and have already heard them all. Praying for your family as you grieve this loss. Praying for the birth mom too.

    And on a lighter note – Praying the crowds and extreme heat go away before you hit Disneyland. If you can stay away until Monday that would probably be best :)

  3. says

    Your marvelous family is in our hearts and prayers and C is also, what a difficult decision. We wish you all the very, very best in your journies and hope Disneyland is healing and happy for your cute family!

  4. says

    Oh Lindsey — I am so sorry to hear this, but uplifted so very much by your strength, and the beautiful words of your post. There is a reason for everything. You and I have never met (obviously) but I love and look up to you so much. I enjoy reading your blog and your FB posts. May our Father in Heaven uplift and comfort and strengthen you during this sad period. I hope C will have that same comfort and peace. I hope she enjoys motherhood (how could she not?) and I hope you will both/all take something from this experience. Have a fun trip to Disneyland and know that you are not only loved and prayed for by people you know, but people you’ve never met as well.

  5. says

    What a difficult time for everyone involved. So, so sorry! We will be praying for your little family. Have the BEST time in Disneyland. Hope you have a safe trip, the lines are short, and you have fabulous weather!

  6. Angie says

    So, so, sad but as always sounds like you guys are handling it so well. Praise for C and trip to Disneyland; hang in there! We’re praying for you and C. Best wishes for you all.

  7. says

    Unfortunately I know the kind of heartache you are feeling. But I also know that you will survive, and someday the hole in your heart won’t feel so giant anymore. My prayers are with you – ALL of you. And on the plus side, if you were ever going to go to Disneyland in January, this is the one to do it in! Have a great vacation and hug your little guys all the tighter.

  8. says

    WE LOVE YOU!!! Have the best time ever in Disneyland! Wish we were there with you! Abby will be there any day to start work, keep an eye out for her :)

  9. says

    So very sorry. Sometimes I think things like this happen so we can relate to and comfort others when they go through something similar. My heart breaks for your little family. I’m glad you’re being comforted with peace and I’m glad you’re going to Disneyland.

  10. says

    Always super hard to have an adoption fall through! Really it just stinks! We’ve been there. It’s tough. Your family is in our prayers! So is C and her family. Have a great trip!!! ♥♥

  11. Brooke says

    My heart aches for your loss & will certainly be praying for continued comfort & peace that passes all understanding. I adore your perspective & heart for C…that is unconditional love. Blessings to you & your family & to C & hers.

    • says

      I hadn’t been outside today. So glad to see if has cooled down. When we were there on Tuesday and Wednesday it was about 89 degrees. That is normally not extreme to me but when you have to stand in line for over an hour for Peter Pan in the sun it can feel like 100.

      So hopefully it will stay in the 70’s for them. I love to go to Disneyland when it is in the 70’s. For some reason I don’t mind people standing on top of me as much when it’s not as hot :)

  12. says

    I’m very sorry to hear this, I was so excited for you to have some pink in that house! I didn’t think I could admire and respect you any more then I already did, and then I read this. While my heart breaks for you, it also hurts for C. I’ve followed her blog, and as a B-Mom myself, I understand all to well the struggles of placing a child. And NO ONE should place a child if they do not feel it is the right choice. I hope one day C will come back to blogging. And C if you do read this, I don’t know you, I will probably never know you in the real world, but I love you and care about you and if you ever need support of any kind know that this birth mom is here to lend a helping hand.

    And to the R’s…just like C I don’t know you and I can only hope that one day I get to meet you all. You have opened my eyes to a whole new side of adoption, you have giving me insite to what my daughters parents went through during the infertility and adoption process. You have shown me that complete strangers who share the same passion about adoption can be a better support system to you then your own family at times. You have given me the hope and the encourgement to keep chugging along this adoption path and to help others along the way.

    Enjoy Disneyland!

  13. says

    I am so sorry for your loss Linds! My heart breaks for you. I am so glad you have something fun to do to celebrate your family. I will be praying for you and your family and for C. Sending my love!!!

  14. Sharylann says

    Such a hard thing but so glad you are feeling that hope and peace. My best and prayers go out to C.

  15. says

    How lucky! Enjoy Disneyland, you deserve this. As someone who has been through this multiple times, the best thing you can do is immerse yourself in your little ones and a vacation is the perfect answer. My prayers go out to you, Josh, and the boys. Much love to you. Much.

  16. Sunny says

    As always, I am amazed at your strength, hope, faith and attitude. You are an amazing person. I am so sorry you have to go through this. Your family and C will be in my prayers. I think it is time for another get together of the “Larry’s Ladies” when you get home :) Have a wonderful trip!

  17. Mrs. Dub says

    Well, my family has a long tradition of going to Disneyland when disaster strikes, so I know the healing powers of Splash Mountain first hand. (And if you need a warm meal or familiar face, please give my mom a ring.)

    My heart is aching for you, dear friend, but like your many admirers, I am wowed by your attitude, strength and peace. I also know that you have a long road of grief ahead, so please be nice to yourself and let the emotions flow freely.

    (And while it may be a bit premature, I request a post on adoption loss in a year or so. I imagine it will be nearly identical to the infant loss posts, but there are some unique challenges and worse responses you’ll face. I’d love to be enlightened.)

    As Mr. Dub said, “This has to be one of the worst things that could happen to someone. Not only do you lose a child; you also lose the right to call her your child. So now there is a hole in your family and heart, but no one is technically gone.” Unfair to say the least.

    Love you!

  18. says

    Oh man I am sobbing right now. I want to help you but not sure how. Sure love you and wow you are amazing for how loving and sweet and “grown up” you are being. Disneyland is the PERFECT place for right now, you guys have an amazing time.

  19. says

    Talk about turning lemons into lemonade. You had the best perspective, Lindsey! I hope to always be positive like you amidst any trying times. My love goes out to you and your family. So sorry for any disappointment, but as you know, God is in charge and there is a reason for everything. Enjoy your beautiful family of four – especially in Disneyland!

  20. says

    You are amazing. Hot tears ran down my face for you. My husband and I packed up 2 baby nursery’s last year (2011) but I know we didn’t do them with as much grace as you did. Thank you for sharing your hard times and your love for birth moms.

  21. Kim says

    I am so sorry to hear your news. Of course the baby wasn’t yours, but the grief and sense of loss are still there. I’m glad you felt peace. My husband and I also felt peace before we got the news that the baby we were going to adopt was going to stay with his mom.

    If you can, don’t give away all the baby clothes. You’ll need them for when something else works out.

  22. says

    Lindsey, Hugs to you and your family. You are good people. Faith precedes the miracle, and I am sure that your family of four will be blessed for all you have done thus far.

  23. Trudy says

    Hi R family,

    I have been thinking about you for the last couple of weeks. I was reading C’s blog and she mentioned the baby would be coming early. Then she just stopped writing. I was concerned. I love your attitude. I hope Heavenly Father fills your hole with lots of love (and maybe even a baby, we heard about James about a year after all the other “stuff” blew apart).

    Best wishes! Trudy

  24. Hillary says

    So sorry for your loss, Lindsey. It is every bit like losing a pregnancy. You amaze me with your faith and determination to love C anyway. I think it would be hard for me to not see a choice to parent as a selfish one, which makes your positive attitude all the more admirable. Hope you have a fun trip to Disneyland! Much love!

  25. says

    R Family, We are so sad. Because you are right it is sad! We hope and pray for comfort and joy for your family and for C.

  26. Lucy H. says

    Oh Lindsey, I am so so sorry! What a hard thing! As a birth mom I can totally understand C’s decision, as I think of the day I placed my baby. I did the impossible, and I thought many times that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I wish I could tell her that life seriously goes on in the most glorious way and my blessings have never been greater since I placed my sweet little guy. I wish I could tell her the pain does go away, because it really, really does. But, in the end it’s totally her decision, and I’m inspired by the hope you are able to feel. You have helped me see the other side of adoption so beautifully– and yet there is so much pain. Sorry! I will pray for your cute family!

  27. Danielle Dillon says

    Even though we don’t know you personally, I want you to know of your family’s place in my family’s thoughts and prayers during this time. We have walked in the shoes of failed placement and I know it is unspeakably hard. You are amazing and I admire your poise, your grace, and most of all your faith. You are an inspiration to me!!

  28. Judy says

    So sorry. My niece had a toddler placed with her and they had just enough time to get attached before the birth parents changed their minds. It was hardest on my 2-yr-old nephew who already considered the toddler his baby brother. After much soul searching the birth parents decided that relinquishment really was the best decision and allowed the adoption to go through.

    Even tho your heart is breaking, and mine is breaking for you, it would’ve been even harder if C. had already placed the baby in your arms before changing her mind.

  29. jaime says

    How is it that’s strangers experience similar life events in similar time and then are linked by this uncommon common experience? We went to OBX the day after we heard our news and left our sadness on the Eastern shore. May the Western shore be as healing for your family as the E was for ours.

  30. says

    It is sad and it is awkward. I was just thinking…you have been through it all. A pretty fair adoption with Tyson, a massive legal battle with Gavin, and now a failed placement. Your heart is so huge and so strong. Heavenly Father must love you sooooo much because you sure are going through a lot of refining fires. Your hope, your honesty, and most of all, your positivity are a boon to all your readers. THANK YOU for your example. It’s not a stretch to say I may have this experience someday, and I will definitely turn to your example.

  31. Jill Farrell says

    Simply sending our love. We have shed some tears for you here at “our house” for “R House.” Thank you for your example of faith and hope, and even more…charity. This is how you get to know the Savior, and I’m pretty sure you know him on a first name basis at this point. Love, love, love to all of you.

  32. says

    I’m literally crying. Still praying praying and praying again for you all!
    I can’t think of a better place than disneyland to go to in a time like this.
    Enjoy the vacation!!

  33. Mary Ann says

    Lindsey, You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are reminding me and I am sure others what charity, the pure love of Christ really is. Enjoy your family vacation with your wonderful family!

  34. says

    You know, C really did pick the right family. Although she chose to parent rather than place, she picked the right family for her because of how much you love her and support her. Your grace with which you are handling this situation is very remarkable, even though I’m sure it still hurts sometimes.

    I’m smiling inside because when we were on pins and needles wondering if our son’s birth mom would really go through with the adoption, we decided that if she chose to parent then we would go to Disneyland, too. Indeed, it is a happy place. :) It doesn’t replace what would have been, but it sure give you something to look forward to. I hope you and your boys have a great time.

    I’ll say a prayer tonight for your family and for C.

  35. Angela says

    I am so sorry. No easy words but I will seriously pray for your continuing peace Lindsey – and that the Lord will literally lay HIs hand upon you right now. This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me say, yeah, I can do hard things BUT WHY DO I HAVE TO DO SO DARN MANY OF THEM?!?!?!? :> You and all the R’s spoil each other in sunny CA. Much love going out to you – and I’m not ashamed to say it, sister, I am sure there are more R’s in your future.

  36. Mandy says

    I’m very sorry to read this :( but I wish nothing but the best for C and her family. Hope you have a fabulous time at Disneyland!! Much love.

  37. Inkling says

    Oh my goodness. I am so very sorry. My heart is just hurting for you. I came over here to give you a link to a video made by an adoptive family and a birth mom, but I feel like it’s just not the right time for that. Now it’s a time to grieve. Adoption advocacy and all of that can come later. I’m sad for both you and C. I pray your heart keeps getting reminders of hope and joy and peace in this hard time. May Jesus hold you close and wipe away your tears.

  38. Layne says

    I read your post yesterday and have been thinking about you all day….You are so strong, I cannot belive that you can continue to be so positive with so much heart ache…. you are amazing and it helps me to make it though the month (I’ve adopted 2 children, but we are still TTC) ” We are still a family of 4 and thats okay!” Thanks for your strength!

  39. Rheanna says

    Thinking about all of you this week! I am so very sorry, but also wish C the best. Have a wonderful trip, and soak in those beautiful boys and the comforting words from their birth moms.

  40. Karla says

    Two weeks ago after our loving birthmom gave birth to a son, she changed her mind. I have so many of the same emotions, the overall feeling for our family is peace. We know that our birhtmom, a “C” too, made the choice that was right for her. It is sad, it is a loss that you grieve. But in the end we know that the right thing happened, even though it is hard. Our whole family traveled to San Antonio for the birth and it was hard on our two boys (ages 4 & 2). By the way, we took our boys to Sea World the day after we found out. I hope Disneyland is good trip for your family. Our thoughts are with you.

  41. Sierra says

    You are so courageous. As you know, I know first hand how difficult it is to place, but it really is not for everyone. Almost 2 years ago, I won a necklace from you, “come what may and love it.” You don’t know how much that necklace helped me after 2 pregnancy losses. I finally was ok with whatever happened. Your family uses that quote in their lives better then anyone I know. And while it is not easy, you are ok with whatever happens. That takes true faith and courage. Just know that Heavenly Father is aware of your heart. He is aware of your tremendous faith. One of my favorite quotes. “The Lord compensates the faithfull for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.” -Elder Wirthlin.
    Lots of hugs and prayers for your family and C.

  42. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about this but I love the way you handled it. Have a great time in Disneyland. We just got back and it is truly magical. It’s a great way to begin healing.

  43. J=love.. says

    Hello R family,
    This is another one of those times where I’m not sure what I should say. My heart hurts for your family. I love you and think of you often. Rach

  44. says

    Oh, Lindsey. I’m so sorry! This post just broke my heart for you guys. It’s evident to anyone who reads your blog that you are an amazing mom!!
    Enjoy Disney!

  45. Debbie says

    I’m speechless… my heart aches for you. I know what it’s like to pack up an unused nursery. All I can say is I’m so, so sorry things did not work out this time. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  46. Anne says

    my thoughts are with everyone involved in this, for your family to grieve the loss of what might have been, the daughter you loved and lost even though she wasn’t “yours” you still loved her, and for “C” who made 2 of the most heart breaking choices ever, first to place, and then to parent… both choices came with heartbreaking consequences and were not made lightly. i hope peace finds her and that someday your house is blessed with daughters, either by adoption, or by marriage to those 2 amazing boys you have :) your family truly is amazing and your faith makes me wish i had some :)

  47. says

    I’m so very sorry!!! Super big hugs!!!! You are such an amazing person!!! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  48. Julie says

    As an adoptive mom of 2, I want to commend you on sharing the jumble of happy/sad that open adoption (& life) is. I respect your openness. Your grace and love speak volumes. I wish both you & C. the very best.

  49. Keltie says

    I know your pain, but in a different way. We are foster parents hoping to adopt a baby that comes into our care, on three different occassions we have had a social worker tell us we could adopt the baby in our care, only for them to turn around and tell us they changed their minds and feel the baby would be better elsewhere. Yet through all of this I keep the hope that one day one of these precious babies we care for will get to stay forever. We have cared for 18 different babies over our 10 year marriage.

  50. b says

    I first heard your story at Tofw and came home to read your blog. I, too, am an adoptive mother of 1, hoping for #2. After years of waiting, and no contact from anyone, the thought of letting go of hopes and dreams have surfaced and are ever so real. The tears come, and let them fall. And we, a family of 3 will count our blessings for our 1 little miracle, will press forward with faith. It’s a difficult situation that one must face with faith. And thank you for having the faith!

    • Lindsey says

      It is SO nice to connect with you! I hope that segment at TOFW was okay–I haven’t seen the edited version yet. Makes me nervous! LOL

      Oh the rollercoaster of adoption–just intense joy and such intense pain.

      I am cheering for you!