Disneyland is a magical place.

The best way I found to ease the hurt of an adoption plan that didn’t turn out the way we had hoped is to…


Head to Disneyland!

Disneyland is a magical place for me. Lots of wonderful, warm memories all came rushing back as soon as we turned on Disneyland Drive. I was teary with anticipation especially when my 4 year old proclaimed, “This is how excited I am: 100 Billion 81!”

 Mr. R surprised us (especially me) with several nights at a hotel actually on Disneyland and breakfast with the characters as soon as we pulled in to The Happiest Place on Earth.

Our last night in the park, we went to the World of Color show. (Think the Bellagio fountains–were Mr. R and I got engaged–on happy steroids with clips from movies being projected somehow on the water spray, throw in a little fire and Disney magic and I think you can envision how awesome it was.) The music is really, really loud–not loud enough to wake the 3 year old that was passed out in my arms, but loud enough for me to sing all the princess songs at the top of my lungs without restraint.

When I sang from Pocohantas, “To be safe, we lose the chance of ever knowing what’s around the riverbend, waiting just around the riverbend” I realized how true that was. I realized that there is actually a lot of truth to my current situation in all those beloved Disney songs! (And you KNOW you have them all memorized like I do!) They were just what I needed to help me understand how I feel.

We took a risk opening up our hearts to C and the adoption plan she made for her child for 6 months. We took a chance. It didn’t turn out the way we had dreamed, but we didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.

Truthfully, in mid-November, I wrote C and “gave her an out” telling her that no matter what happened with the adoption that she will always be loved by us. After I sent that email, I sobbed as I was getting ready for a field trip with my son. I think I knew then that it wasn’t going to happen although C had given us no indication that she didn’t want to go through with the adoption plan she set in motion. She reassured us about her decision time after time after time. So …what were we to do? Tell her that we didn’t believe her word, essentially calling her untruthful? I don’t think so.

We moved forward, saved receipts for everything we purchased and continued to love her. We only just had our homestudy completed. Earlier in the week before she told us that she had made a different plan for her baby, we had rearranged the house and set up the nursery as the baby is due any day. (Perhaps already born at this point.) We took the risk because we didn’t know what was waiting for us “just around the riverbend.”

Was it worth it even though it didn’t turn out exactly as we had hoped? Yes, it was. How can loving and helping someone unconditionally ever be wrong?

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”Cinderella (my all-time favorite)

Just as we don’t know what’s waiting for us in the future, I also cannot pin-point exactly what my dream for the future is right now, but I hope it involves more babies and children.

I do know something about a grieving heart though …and I think Mickey did too! After we dropped our bags off in our hotel room, we went to breakfast with the characters. We walked in and had our little moment/photo opportunity with The Mouse. He took my kids in his arms and hugged them and kissed them. It was as if he knew what we were going through and was there to make it all better. I was emotional. Such a magical place!

That breakfast will always be a special memory for Gavin–it’s where he fell in love with and was double-fisting bacon!


“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”Mary Poppins

I have nothing deep on this one, but cotton candy for breakfast sure does help as you have to wake up and face the reality of your situation.

“Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong.”Beauty and the Beast

Mr. R often says that knowing if something “was right” is not defined by the outcome. When we were scammed 2 years ago, that definitely was not the outcome we were hoping for, but it was right to try and help her, expose her to the other families she was lying to and let her family know what was going on. (I heard from a blog reader last week that she is at it again. This time she is posting on infertility support group websites. Be careful!)

When C contacted us in July, we asked Heavenly Father to stop us if this wasn’t right for our family. Throughout the whole process, He never stopped us, but He did prepare our hearts for what could happen, what did happen. It was “bittersweet and strange” to feel that way and still feel hopeful.

Previously, I never thought that I would feel the way I do if we were ever in this situation. I thought I would be angry. I thought there would be more tears. I have never been angry about the situation and I haven’t shed a tear about the situation since the night it happened. I almost feel guilty about that. I was wrong about how I would react. In fact, even as I was packing up the nursery the night we found out, I was singing “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” How ridiculous is that?

I, for one, cannot even really understand it.


“When destiny calls you, you’ve got to be strong.”Tarzan

We don’t know how we will react or act in these kinds of situations until we are in them. We are stronger than we think we are. We are braver than we think we are. We can handle more heartache than we think we can. We should give ourselves more credit, trust in ourselves more, take more risks. It doesn’t mean that there wasn’t acute pain to the chest at times, but it passes. It lessens. You can do hard things.

We were going to name this baby Hope. When we came up with the name, it felt good. C seemed to like it, Mr. R seemed to like it, we all know it’s my favorite word …but as the weeks went on, I started to not like that name for her. Maybe my heart knew it wasn’t really her name, that she wasn’t ours to name.

The other day, I saw this on Facebook and it stunned me for a minute. It was perfect.

As Kim said to me the other night at work, “I hope the word HOPE isn’t ruined for you. I love that name. I know your Hope is fighting to get to you.” (Reference THIS post of hers.)

That said, we are not that family that only hopes for one gender of child. In fact, I have a hard time with those kinds of requests. If we are lucky enough to add more children to our family, we would cheer either way–for a boy or a girl.


“Raise our head up, lift high the load. Take strength from those that need you.”Tarzan

Being alone with our family was the perfect medicine. Standing together in lines (the longest wait was 20 min!), eating together, sleeping in the same room, non-stop talking, riding on rides together, searching for character autographs, me dominating at Toy Story Mania and all hugging and snuggling and memory making was so healing. We are taking strength from the children that we do have that need us. We are celebrating them.


“Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Mary

Mary makes your heart so light

when the day is gray and ordinary

Mary makes the sun shine bright”Mary Poppins

Mr. R is my favorite. He is so fun and so hilarious. He even sang Disney duets with me in the car. We had deep discussions about the best kinds of beef jerky as we auditioned different brands and flavors at the various gas stations. He gave us an awesome impromptu tour of his mission (Long Beach, Spanish speaking). He entertained us, took care of us and made our gray days shine bright. This entire trip was his doing and his spontaneity. I am a lucky lady and those boys are lucky to have such a dedicated father!


“If You got troubles, then I got ’em too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
If we stick together we can see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me”Toy Story

The things that have caused me to be the most emotional over the last 2 weeks is the kindness and love of others. My neighbors are incredible–with watching my kids and bringing over meals. My family is amazing. My parents always instinctively know the perfect thing to say to me in these situations. Almost all of the comments here and on Facebook have been extraordinarily supportive and respectful. The emails, private Facebook messages, Tweets and DMs have been so appreciated and helped us feel loved, supported and distracted.

Thank you for thinking of us.

We are in a good place.


“And I won’t look back
I can go the distance
And I’ll stay on track
No, I won’t accept defeat
It’s an uphill slope
But I won’t lose hope
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete”Hercules

We won’t lose hope that the future holds great things for our family.

In fact, did you know that R Family is hoping to adopt? ;)




  1. says

    I did know that! I am searching for you. Beautiful post. Here is to the pain ending forever. (Although we know that won’t and can’t happen…as life always seems to bring us new pain…but one can hope…) I love you and I am so glad to have you back. xoxo

  2. Stacey says

    My heart is with you. I want you to know there are those of us who know what you are going through. It is hard, but you do make it through. I love that you still have hope.

  3. Jenn says

    I remember my sister got engaged (it didn’t end up work) but she said she has never felt so right about saying yes, but then she had never felt right about breaking something off too! For some reason that engagement was an experience she needed to go through.

    You and Josh needed this experience in your life. I often times pray to Heavenly Father that if this pregnancy isn’t going to work out to PLEASE let it end now. I have to realize that I am asking him for what I want and not what I need. While I hope and pray these twins are meant to join our family (I really believe they are) I need to leave my growth up to him!

    Hang in there, you are great people! Disneyland looks like it was a BLAST!

  4. says

    “When C contacted us in July, we asked Heavenly Father to stop us if this wasn’t right for our family. Throughout the whole process, He never stopped us, but He did prepare our hearts for what could happen, what did happen. It was “bittersweet and strange” to feel that way and still feel hopeful.”

    Had the our last week not happened to my little family, I probably wouldn’t have understood this. But I do find it very interesting that we also know that bittersweet and strange feeling; you put into word something my husband and I have been talking about each night and didn’t really know how to explain. You’re dead on in saying that Heavenly Father prepares our hearts when we are in the midst of something we need to be part of. :) And, you should probably know, YOU were a part of us being prepared. :) Thank you!

  5. Nicole says

    I whole-heartedly agree. Disneyland is the perfect way to overcome a failed adoption plan. We discovered this in 2006. We took our little Tyson to Disneyland and celebrated the family we already had. About 6 weeks later we found out that our little boy was on his way.

    I pray that your year will be filled with more Hope than your heart can hold.

  6. says

    So, so happy you were able to do this together. Wonderful, magical memories! We are hoping and praying for you as you move forward, and sharing your pass-along cards! ;-) Thanks for sharing your cheesy Disney goodness with us!

  7. says

    Disneyland is truly magic. We were there a few weeks ago as well. We were amazed at the World of Color show and how clean the parks were and how great their employees were. It really is the perfect way to heal. I’m glad it helped your family.

  8. says

    i KNOW your next baby is fighting and finding their way to you and your family but that doesnt stop my heart from wishing SO badly I could give you that baby. Why couldnt it be easier???

    When i first started with surrogacy, before i had even applied with an agency i started adding a section to my morning and nightly prayers for the family I would help. I would pray from them to be comforted from the pains they’d had and to help them know that their baby is SO close and is coming..

    Right now, someone somewhere could be praying the same thing for you. Unsure of what to do with the baby they’re pregnant with.

    I hope Baby Chuck’s parents felt my prayers, even before they knew i was coming to help them build their family..

  9. Erin says

    I am reading this post with tears in my eyes!!!!!!! Lindsey, what an absolute beautiful post. I never knew that those silly Disney songs could have so much truth and power in them. Some of them I needed to hear today. Thank you for being such an awesome woman. You really are an inspiration. And please come back and visit us again! We loved having you. Next time I promise not to be sick :) XOXO

  10. says

    I have to say your post was moving, having been through a failed placement before. There really is nothing like the happiest place on earth to help you through

  11. says

    Been praying for you and your family! What a beautiful post! I’m so glad you were able to find peace amidst the storm! ((hugs))

  12. says

    Love all the Disney quotes. All said perfectly.

    There is something magic about that place. I am the Mom crying at Goofy’s Kitchen when my kids are meeting characters and getting excited. :)

    I am hoping for you, as always.

  13. Amanda says

    Lindsey, you guys are amazing! I love you, and am praying for you. Thank you for sharing your life and for inspiring us. Hope will find you.

  14. says

    Oh, the magic of Disney! Took our own first family trip in October to ease our own heartache. It works!

    So very sorry for your loss, and for your grief. Heartbreaking… And inspiring… all at the same time.

  15. Judy says

    Quite possibly your best post yet.

    The Disney commercials on t.v. show victory celebrations — maybe Disney execs should look at marketing Disneyland as a way to heal a heart.

  16. Jennifer says

    I love this post, Lindsey! Disneyland (and the truths expressed in so many of the songs) is truly magical! Just around the riverbend is one of my all time favorites!

  17. says

    I love that last sentence in your post. I thought of your 2012 family theme almost simutaneously when I read it. And I also love what you said about loving someone unconditionally can never be wrong.

  18. Lisette says

    What an awesome family trip! It’s so nice (and sometimes very necessary) to celebrate the family that you are, and take time to mourn the loss of the family that you hoped to be. Our first Christmas after our sweet little boy passed away (Jacob, adopted at 1 month old- passed away at 1yr old), we took the two little boys we were fostering (and later was able to adopt) to Sea World. Maybe the second happiest place on earth, but it was just right for us at the time. We have since adopted 4 more times, and are fostering two more we hope to be able to adopt, but I will always remember that Christmas spent as a small, grieving family, and the healing we were able to feel in that special time together.
    Your boys are so adorable. Best wishes and prayers for your future, and thanks for sharing your journey with us. Can’t wait to see what is “just around the riverbend” for your cute family.

  19. Nicole says

    OMG! ive always loved disney and all the magic it brings!! when i was driving home from md not to long ago i put on my pandora: disney radio. i sang my heart out all 8 hours and loved it. i posted on facebook almost the same thing.. these songs are so true, romantic & magical!! im glad we share so many things, this being one =] good to know there are others out there LOL love you guys and cant wait to HOPEEFULLY experience disney with you guys!! <3 xo

    • Lindsey says

      That would be a hoot, wouldn’t it? I would say let’s invite Joniece too …but did you know she HATES Disneyland? For real.


  20. Judy says

    Here’s a verse from the Disney Hercules song that also relates to you:

    Down an unknown road
    To embrace my fate
    Though that road may wander
    It will lead me to you
    And a thousand years
    Would be worth the wait
    It might take a lifetime
    But somehow I’ll see it through

  21. Hanna says

    I loved this entire post! We also have experienced a failed adoption and your words help it make more sense to me.

    I am so happy that you got to go to Disneyland. I’m even more happy that you are a FAMILY and know how to get through things together.

    Keep your head up. Your sweet little one will find you!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  22. says

    I loved this entire post, but I especially want to thank Mr. R for saying and you for sharing this part: ” Mr. R often says that knowing if something “was right” is not defined by the outcome.” I love that. It’s so true. A year an a half ago I was totally blindsided by a situation that led to my getting a divorce. I have had some really insensitive people ask me things like didn’t I pray about it before I married him? or don’t I think the Lord would have warned me to stay away from that? The think is, I did pray about it, and I knew it was right, and I still believe that it was. I can’t control other people’s choices. The gift of agency that I love so much is a wonderful thing, but in the end it ensures that hurt is just as possible as joy. So my ex husband’s choices hurt my kids and I, but it could just as easily have turned out perfect. And if it hadn’t been right, I would have never married him, and would have never needed to adopt, and therefore would never have found my two wonderful babies. And I need them! So it was right, even though the outcome wasn’t what I thought it would be, and if I had the choice I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Thank you so much for sharing this very difficult part of your life with all of us. Your bravery amazes me. My prayers are with all of you and my wishes are for your healing to come quickly.

  23. says

    What a beautiful post Lindsey. You are an amazing woman with a beautiful family and I wish you all the best :) My heart goes out to you!

  24. Nicole says

    WHAT thats crazy!! We can still invite her but she can relax while we go and well plan something for all of us =]

  25. says

    I loved this post! It’s been a while since I’ve checked out your blog, and I’ve missed it so much! I’m not an adoptive couple, rather I’m on the other side; I’m a birth mother. Having said that, do you know what I absolutely love? I love that I can relate to you. One thing I’ve learned in this journey of adoption is that there are more similarites between birth families and adoptive families than I ever initially thought there would/could be. I placed my son two years ago and every day is a new unknown for me, some days more than others. This post really rang home in my heart. You are a wonderful woman and I appreciate your words and your openess.

  26. says

    Watching the light show at Disney Land brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad someone else is as touched by Disney songs as I am.

    Is there anything better than a family trip? I am so glad you were able to do this.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. It is inspiring. Thank you for teaching others how to love.