If only for a short time.

*Originally written in the last week of August with minor edits since. Posted with the permission of the mother you will come to love by the end of the post.


In August, my husband and I passed through terrible heartache.

In late July, we experienced with humility the joy that comes from being chosen by an expectant mother (out of the blue!) and falling in love with her and her incredible family. It was bliss.

We Skyped. We emailed. We chatted on the phone. Mr. R flew out to visit her and her family. He got to hear Baby Boy’s heartbeat! (We’ve never done that before.)

We fell in love with this little man from the moment his mother invited us to be. This mother explained to us that she had planned on adoption from the start. She had selected another family, but things weren’t ideal. She confided in a friend–a friend who had placed years previous and now runs a non-profit for women who have placed. Her friend recommended she check us out. Her friend and I knew each other from a service project I had done for her organization years ago. We have kept in contact ever since.

Apparently this expectant mother loved us …and oh, the feeling was mutual! Funny (hysterical, really!), brilliant, talented, well-spoken and big-hearted. How could we not fall in love with her? She will always hold a special, tender, private place in my heart.

My dear friends threw me a secret baby shower with just me and my mom. I have been militant in protecting the privacy of this expectant mom and her baby. Very few people knew the details of what was going on …but these ladies did.

They made the baby and the expectant mom a beautiful quilt with their names and the raddest rickrack the world has ever seen. (The quilt has since been mailed to her.)

We planned for this little baby boy (in hyper-speed since he was due in just a few weeks), packed for him (I opened–for the first time in 4 years–the sacred box that held my sons’ newborn clothing) and we flew out to meet him and his biological family in Cleveland.

We had a BLAST hanging out with this expectant mom and her family and the expectant father. Cleveland has AMAZING food and we sampled it all with our “tour guide family”. I will always giggle at how they teased me for not knowing what pierogies are. (A note to my favorite Cleveland family: I still don’t! LOL)


I had been so very graciously invited to be in the delivery room for his birth. I was nervous. I didn’t want to go. I knew I wouldn’t fit in and I didn’t, but she expressed that she wanted me there and thought it was important so I cowboyed up. Of all things, I could do that for her.

By her invitation, I was able to reluctantly cut the cord and hold him first (filled with guilt and unconditional love). I sat in that delivery room with tears running down my face watching a horrible “after party” for this young woman whom I had come to love so dearly in such a short amount of time. I will never forget that experience.


We met with the young man who is the biological father of this perfect little life. Although his Facebook page would have you believe otherwise (still confused about this), he seemed like a great guy and totally won us over–sweet, respectful and downright interesting. He explained his difficult life to us. Stories of dropping out of two different high schools, on his own since he was 16, jobless and essentially homeless, but nonetheless he stole our hearts with his personality, love of electronics, music and good food. I couldn’t believe the miracles that seemed to be lining up.

We got to take this perfect baby boy home from the hospital. We memorized his smell. We cherished his newborn squeaks and cries. I imprinted the feel of his fluffy hair on my cheek and I snuggled him all night long.

It was bliss.

Our last afternoon together, I remember rocking him with his hair nestled into my cheek. The house we were staying at was quiet. This birth mother and I chatted in hushed tones with a cello playing in another room. I looked at this perfect baby and confessed to his birth mother, “I am so in love with him.”

“I know and I am glad,” she responded. “It’s why I chose you to be his mother.”


We were his parents for three perfect days.

Well, his unofficial parents.

And then things took a turn.

Although he has told us all differently, the father ultimately decided not to sign adoption papers (as is his right and we respected that), he and his mother expressed that they were convinced the child was not his and yet he moved to solidify his rights with a DNA test at the Child Support Enforcement Agency. He threatened to kidnap the baby from his mom. He threatened to sue the her for custody. The DNA test came back with 99.9% accuracy. Though not involved for the duration of the pregnancy, his rights were the only ones protected.

We have since learned from the mother that he is most likely in jail after an arrest for possession of a firearm. He has not contacted her or their baby since the day we left …5 and a half weeks ago.


Our hearts shattered. It turns out that “heartbreak” is literal not figurative. There were times when I literally grabbed my chest for the pain.


We were no longer his parents; we had never officially been.

We spent the morning memorizing that beautiful baby boy through our sobs. Taking turns apologizing to him and telling him how much we would miss him. Telling him that we tried as hard as we could to protect the life his mother had selected for him. It was horrendous but reverent.

My husband managed to give him the most beautiful priesthood blessing through his sobbing. Although sad, those 10 minutes will always be one of the most sacred experiences I have been given. The spirit was strong. The pain intense. When he finished speaking, Mr. R and I embraced over this little boy we loved so much and wailed. Literally. So much love and so much heartache at the same time.

We drove around Cleveland delaying the inevitable. I sat in the back seat stroking his face, kissing his hands. Apologizing.

My dearest friends and family texted to see how we were doing. All I could do was send them the above photo.

We pulled into his mother’s driveway and time stopped. In slow motion, I remember standing on her parents’ front porch. The wind was blowing. I was suddenly keenly aware of it on my tear-streaked face. The wind chimes mocked me with their playful toll. I will always hate wind chimes now.

The door opened and with it a rush back to reality.

Everyone inside was sad. Eyes were swollen and red. Countless apologies were given on all sides. This was not her plan. It was not her family’s plan. It was not our plan.

Mr. R placed Beloved Baby Boy in his mother’s arms. We were there bringing her son back to her against her wishes–she expressed that this was not the life she dreamed of and designed for herself and her baby boy. Nonetheless, she is and will be an incredible mother. I kissed that sweet baby boy one more time, got one last feel of all that beautiful hair, kissed her on her cheek and told her and we were cheering for her. “WE LOVE YOU. You can do this! We know you can! We will always be cheering for you.” She just looked so shocked and upset. It was a haunting moment for me. My heart ached for her. What an impossible situation for her to be in. I was standing in the doorway when the heaving sobs overtook me. Mr. R was saying something but all I could think of was escape. Escape this carnage.

I left.

Outside I looked at our rental car. I ripped out the car seat and shoved it in the trunk.

Mr. R came out, his chin quivering.

Somehow (and not safely) we drove away. I was encompassed with grief. My body was making sounds I didn’t even recognize as coming from my own body. We were distraught.

We found ourselves on a bench at a nearby lake. I lost myself in the sound of the waves hitting the shore. I think I was actually in shock.


Then we went to three movies in a row at the theater. Upon giving our tickets to the teenager who ripped them in half, we were asked light-heartedly how we were as more of a greeting than anything else. “We are horrible. Never worse,” my husband replied and we walked away. (The poor kid.)

We left the first movie with about 20 minutes left because it looked like it was going to be a happy ending. The trailer at the beginning of the second sunk into my soul. The lyrics pulled at my heart. They were perfect and turned out to be what got me through the next 3 days.


“And still I dream he’ll come to me. That we will live the years together. But there are dreams that cannot be. And there are storms we cannot weather. I had a dream my life would be so different from this Hell I’m living. So different now than how it seemed …now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”

In the middle of second movie, I lean over to Mr. R and tell him that my heart hurts, like someone is standing on it and it’s about to explode. He grimaces at me and nods. He feels it too.

This is grief.


I didn’t feel better after the second movie and needed more distraction.

Before purchasing our third set of tickets, we took a restroom break. In the stall, I silently screamed and sobbed. In prayer I begged for the heartache to be removed. It didn’t leave all at once, but it did eventually settle into a dull roar while we watched The Dark Knight Rises …again. Alfred’s apology scene at the very end hit home. It stung.

We got into bed around 2am. Mr. R played sad music for us on the computer and I drifted off to sleep.


The next morning I needed to write. Writing is how I cope. It’s my home. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote to our family and our closest friends who had been with us emotionally on this journey. Who were hurting with us. Who were fasting and praying for us. I wrote for hours.

I just needed them to read what was in my heart. I don’t know why, but I needed someone to actually read it. Validation, maybe? Proof that it really happened? A trophy for surviving THEE worst day of my 33 years so far? Acknowledgement that the sun really did come up the next morning even though I had my doubts? I don’t know.

Mr. R and I grieved as we do with good food, sarcasm and dark, dark humor. We were terrible, but we were together. I believe I fell in love with my husband all over again that day. No one gets me as he does. No one even really comes close.

We survived the first day of our new normal. It wasn’t pretty, but we made it.


Heading home, Mr. R and I took different airlines (he has a family member that works for Delta so he flies for pennies). He dropped me off at the curb and we embraced. And for the first time in 11 years, I was able to say something I have always wanted to say as we left The Ohio and headed home to Zion …a line from Legacy, a movie that I despise after seeing it so many times on my mission.

“It may be in Zion when we meet again.”

Followed by a verrrry dramatic, “If we ever meet again, it will be Zion to me!”


Minute 4:18. You are welcome.


Oh how I have wanted to say that! HA! For over a decade I have waited for the perfect moment. And here it was. In Mormon pioneer history, the early members of the church (my ancestors) were sorely persecuted (some murdered) in Ohio. They moved onto Illinois and eventually onto the Salt Lake Valley which they called Zion.

Is this irreverent? Yes. Although we were terribly sad at that curb at the airport taking an empty car seat home and clothes that smelled like that little boy who will always hold a unique place in our hearts, we laughed our insides out in this moment. As we have said over and over again during our infertility and adoption journey–if we don’t laugh, we cry.


Beaten up emotionally, I am pretty sure I looked the way that I felt as everyone was so incredibly nice to me in the airport. My bag was overweight, they said it wasn’t a big deal and took it anyway. (Say what?!) I couldn’t think straight and had to ask the counter for help–I was escorted to the place where you drop off your bag and down to security by the nicest lady. I bought a bagel and the person behind the counter gave me the cream cheese for free. I wept.

On the plane, a young mother and her 5 year old-ish son boarded last. The little boy sat in front of me in the back and his mother searched for an open seat at the front of the plane. Upon realizing what was going on, I may have made a fool of myself with a declaration that “Mommies should not be separated from their babies!” to the entire plane which concluded in me over-dramatically giving her my seat so that they could be together. Yeah …that happened.

Trying to distract myself, I started reading Crossed, a book my neighbor let me borrow. I read this line and my heart stopped.

I would hope that we “let go” with grace …but I don’t really think that’s fitting. In the end, I hope this baby and his mother and her family know how much we love them. I hope they understand what an honor it was for us to be considered to be the parents of that little guy. I hope they will always know how we will cherish the love, encouragement, prayers and heartache we shared together. In that way, we will always be bound together. Our goodbye may not have been graceful, but it was filled with love. Unconditional love.

Emailing later on, I confessed to his mother how we felt like we had failed her. I felt terrible, but there wasn’t anything left we could do legally or otherwise. She told me how scared she was for herself and her baby …and that Mr. R and I didn’t let her and the baby down, the father did. My heart broke again for her. Although she was allowed to make the decision of life for her child, she was not given permission to choose the life she wanted for him.

It’s something that I just cannot wrap my brain around.

The last leg of my travels home, I watched Australia–my favorite movie. There is a scene where a hopeful adoptive mother’s hopeful child is being taken from her to a prison camp where multiracial children were “reformed” to “breed the black out of them.” The child’s biological father watched with pleasure as Nicole Kidman’s character panicked, screaming, looking for help. No one could help her or the child except for the father …and he refused. Over the next week I must have watched that scene 100 times. That panic, that despair …I recognize that now. (Chapter 20 on the DVD if you want to watch it. It is horribly awesome.)

Arriving home, Mr. R and I were embraced by family and friends–some who knew the situation, most who didn’t but recognized that we were not okay. My friend Amy gave me the most wonderful book on grief called Tear Soup. “When one person is missing, the whole world feels empty.” I have loved each person who dropped off goodies–dinners, candy, orange rolls, blackberry lemonade, new sweats, books on forgiveness and sorrow, sweet bread, eclairs, cookies, silly string, cake bites, brought me a soda or lunch, flowers, pinwheels, a box of sunshine, a new apron, movies, hugged me, loved me even when I was angry and cried tears of sorrow with us around my kitchen table …all helping us cook and simmer our tear soup.

This is healing.


I am a hopeful person. I believe in unicorns and rainbows and glitter but I have not been able to find much solace in this situation. I am not used to feeling that way. This experience has rocked me to my core. Quite frankly, it’s confusing.

Ultimately, I recognize that if we put our faith in anything but the Savior, we will lose our anchor. My hope is in Jesus Christ. Only He can dull the paralyzing heartache we are experiencing and bless this beloved baby with a fantastic life and opportunities …and with wisdom. Oh the wisdom he will need in understanding the first week of his life.

My faith is in the Savior who will consecrate my afflictions for my gain. He has promised me that He will.

I have great faith in my Savior. I know that only He has the power to heal and the power to make an ugly thing beautiful, to give “beauty for ashes”.

I am so grateful for our failed adoption in January that taught us not to talk to our kids about upcoming adoption situations and not to set up a nursery. My boys were protected from knowing anything about this situation. They still don’t. Such a blessing. I’ve been pouring over my posts on failed adoptions. It’s like my failed adoption surviving self was writing to my reversed adoption struggling self. January was nothing compared to this, but what I wrote was so perfect for me now. Another tender mercy.


There was so much ugly during our trip to Ohio, but the perfect moment of holding that baby and whispering with his then birth mother about our love for him with the cello playing in the background is what I will choose to remember. I hope I never forget the feel of his hair on my cheek …although I admit that the memory of it is starting to slip away 5 weeks later. Right now those moments are hard to think about, but I am holding onto them anyway.


“Memories like bullets firing at me from a gun. Cracks in the armor.”


Before we left to go out to Ohio, we went to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green.


Then, at the request of a friend, The R House Couture made this necklace. It was finished right as I arrived home.



I saw the photograph of it and wept. It’s modeled after the following line in the movie:


“If you came to me and said ‘there are two people in the world who want you more than anything; they’ll do their best, they’ll make some mistakes, and you’ll only get them for a short time, but they will love you more than you can ever imagine.’ Well, when that’s true, I’d say ‘so much is possible.’”


We were his unofficial parents for three days …and it was perfect, if only for a short time.


I would do all that pain over again for those perfect 3 days.


  1. Maybe says

    The mother I fell in love with in this post was you. I am so sorry for your heartache and wish there was a band aid that could quickly heal the pain. Thank you for sharing such raw emotion, you’ll never know the lives you bless. Sending love and prayers to you and your family and the family you came to love in Cleveland.

  2. says

    Oh, how I love you. Your strength, your wisdom and your faith is a source of constant inspiration. And you’re writing is beautiful. I know because it speaks to my heart.

  3. says

    You are incredible and an inspiration. Your absolute faith speaks to my soul. Thank you for sharing this experience in its raw, real form.

  4. says

    There are no words.

    Devastating. Heart breaking.

    I love you. You are brave.

    So beautifully written, and the pictures make me ache.

  5. says

    There really just aren’t adequate words. I am so sorry. Sending prayers to the R house & to the sweet baby & family in Cleveland. What a heartbreaking story & what bravery to tell it – grief & pain & hope & all.

  6. says

    oh no.
    it makes my heart hurt just to think about this–failed adoption…and then to know it happened to you personally?
    oh my.
    i am so so so sorry for your loss. and i am so sorry for all the pain you and the sweet woman in cleveland are dealing with.

  7. Whitney says

    I am so sorry. I’ve experienced that darkness as well. We got four days, they will always be sacred to us. The dark will always be there, I wish I could tell you otherwise. But the atonement has carried my heart and will carry yours as well. Thank you for sharing, every word you said echoed in my heart, I’m so sorry you had to feel this pain.

  8. says

    Oh I am so sorry. I realize we only know each other from the Utah Bloggers group and blogs, but you are truly amazing. I am sorry that all of you have had to experience this.

  9. says

    I cannot even imagine what the last while has been like for you and your family. You and your family and all others involved will be in our prayers. Although I don’t know you, I wish I could give you a {hug}.

  10. J S says

    I don’t quite know what to say, but I am hurting for you and your family! Hugs and prayers sent your way. This story is heartwrenching—I am so sorry for your family and the family in Cleveland.

  11. Kristen Johnson says

    Wow! your story is so similar to ours. We just got back from Akron Ohio 2 weeks ago.

    We were going to adopt a 10 month old little girl. We have two adopted girls. The birthmom wanted us to have her baby. She told us that she belongs in our family. We flew out to Ohio and met Cheyenne and this birthmother, Simone. It was love at first site for both of them.

    Cheyenne was beautiful and smiles ALL the time. Cheyenne would give me hugs and kisses. She would hold up her fingers for me to kiss them and then smile. Simone gave us Cheyenne before the court date so that we could bond with her. We couldn’t believe that we would get to be so lucky. We fed her, played with her, gave her a bath, and rocked her to sleep.

    Then in the middle of the night we got 3 calls from the police. We didn’t answer because we knew that something was wrong. We didn’t sleep after that. In the morning we called our caseworker and she said that grandma had called child services and was trying to get Cheyenne back. Simone was in the hospital after being harassed by her family all night long. That morning was the court date when Simone would relinquish her rights and we would adopt Cheyenne, but Simone made a mistake. She told her mom when and where the court date was. Her mom filed for custody the night before (we aren’t sure how legal that was, but the court accepted it) and would now be there at the hearing. Our caseworker got Simone released from the hospital just in time for the hearing and Simone still wanted to place Cheyenne with us after everything. Then everything went bad in the court room and Simone’s mom started attaching Simone and she couldn’t take it anymore. When the judge asked Simone what she wanted, Simone said, “I don’t know.” Then the judge gave custody to grandma.

    We got the call from our caseworker telling us what happened and we still can’t believe what happened. We had to wake up Cheyenne from her nap. I had previously rocked her to sleep after carefully selecting an outfit that both of my girls had worn. Cheyenne smiled at us as we changed her diaper and her clothes and handed her over to our caseworker to take back to the grandma. We couldn’t see through our tears and we were in total shock. We were so sure that this little girl would be ours. Our caseworker said that there would be another hearing in 1 month where Simone will have a chance to make up her mind and then voice it to the judge. We packed our bags within the hour and got on the next plane. Simone texted us on the way home saying that her heart was heavy because she knows that Cheyenne belongs with us, but she just couldn’t face her mom.

    We found out yesterday that Simone will not be going to the court hearing in 2 weeks because she can’t handle the stress from everything and the opposition she has been getting from her family.

    We will forever love that little girl and we will forever miss her. I don’t want to adopt another baby. I want that baby! I knew her personality, I knew what foods she liked and what games she liked to play. She would cry every time I left the room. Some people don’t believe us when we say that we will never stop loving Cheyenne, but it is the truth.

    I went to the Relief Society broadcast for our church this weekend. I still remember the words that were spoken as I broke down into sobs right in the middle of the meeting. All things that are unfair in this life will be made right through the atonement of Christ.

    I know how you feel!! My heart aches with you.

    • Lindsey says

      The RS meeting was so perfect. Every speaker nailed it for me. In fact, after the meeting (we went to the Conference Center) I stood up an announced to my section, “It was so nice of you all to come to *MY* meeting …since, you know, every word was specifically for me!”

      It was incredible.

  12. Sydney says

    Bawling my eyes out. We don’t share it often, but we lost a little girl after 4 days in our home, in between our 1st and 2nd adoptions. It was 8 years ago. I still wonder how she is doing. It was a similar situation as it wasn’t what the birth mother wanted either. I was just thinking about it this morning. You are amazing Lindsey. I am so sorry. My heart greives for you. I can only hope you will heal with time like we did. It was the single most horrifying day in my life, yet is has been turned into good in my life (I can see that now, years later, it took a while to get there.) I know I don’t really know you but I love you and I am so sorry. Cyber Hugs.

  13. says

    So so sorry for what you are going through. I will keep you in my prayers. This post made me cry, you are an amazing person.

  14. says

    Thank you so much for your post! We went through a failed placement early August after being with him for 3 days too until his mother changed his mind. I could not agree more with your statement that I would do it all over again just to spend 3 more days with him as well. He was and is perfect. Things for us have started to get better and we are looking for the good in all things and trying to stay possitive when it is difficult. I have learned when the pain and the sorrow comes to let it come full force and to let yourself grieve. That has helped me a ton. I personally want to say thank you for your blog and how it has helped me and my wife through our adoption process even though we do not know you personally. THANK YOU!

  15. Brooke says

    My heart aches for you, for this sweet little boy and his family. Praying for Perfect Peace, for Hope, for Coolness to Anger, for the Promise of a New Tomorrow for you all. Thank you for sharing so honestly.

  16. Kirsten says

    I don’t comment on peoples blogs often. I had to post here, because that raw pain you felt, I have felt too. I am so sorry and I would like to say it gets better… It’s been six years later, and I find myself still crying when I talk about the love I have for the little girl whom I shared a life with for 7 months. It doesn’t matter how long you were his mother. Once you open your heart, a part of it will always remain for that child whom you loved. I will pray for peace and understanding for you and your family and I send my love to you.

  17. says

    I’m so sorry. Sending prayers your way and the way of the new mother. Thank you for sharing such raw feelings, I cried reading this. How can I help you? What can I do?

  18. says

    I am so sorry! I can’t even imagine the pain you are going through. I think you are an incredible woman and have so much strength and love to share. Love and hugs to you!

  19. says

    My heart ached and my tears wept as I read this post. I cannot imagine the incredible heartache you have endured the past few months. Thank you for your bravery to share this story, including the details of your pain and the pictures depicting your joy and pain. He is a sweet boy, and I love that you were able to have a few days with him where he was yours. Timothy Green was such a good movie…and that necklace is a perfect representation of “if only for a short time.” I love you.

  20. Kim says

    This post brought me back to our failed adoption that happened in mid August of this year. It was our third failed adoption. The first two we had the babies in the hospital before they failed this one we had not boarded the plane since the father threatened to kidnap the boy from the hospital, while she was in labor and we were advised to stay home to wait it out. In PA expectant fathers have a lot of rights. Our dear sweet expectant mother was pleading with him that they did not have anything for the baby, no money, bed, carseat, food, anything. He just told her he would make it work and ended up breaking up with her and the baby was discharged to him from the hospital. Very emotional. The grief is very real and I still think about all 3 babies and how they are doing. It is hard to see in the mist of the grief why we have to pass through such horrible trials to achieve a righteous desire of our hearts to expand our families. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I know now those first two situations failed because our daughter was meant to be with us. We are still waiting to see why the little boy from august was not meant to be with our family, but we have to trust in the Lord’s plan. HUGS, you are stronger than you know.

  21. Kim says

    My hearts breaks for you and your family. I can’t imagine how you and your family feel. Praying for everyone involved. Also thanks so much for sharing your raw emotions. Cried reading it. Hugs to you.

  22. says

    I am so incredibly sorry that you had to go through this again. We’ve been through one failed adoption, and I remember the pain and anguish. I can’t imagine facing it again. You have always been and continue to be such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for your beautiful spirit and words.
    Hugs and prayers.

  23. S says

    I know how you feel, there are long lasting effects, even 7 years later for us. I tend to bottle things up, it’s nice to read something from someone who’s been there.

  24. says

    I have tears streeming down my face as I read this. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that peace will fill your sole and that you will be comforted at this incredibly difficult time. You are an amazingly strong woman and I pray that healing will come to you and your family quickly. xoxo

  25. says

    im sorry for your heartache while watching a cheesy life time movie i heard the line”pregnancy comes from nature but adoption comes from god” heavenly father knows what he is doing and knows your heartache,he will bless you for your strength through these hard times.

  26. says

    The first picture of you in the hospital with him, is haunting. I instantly cried when I saw it. So much love, pain, even though you did not know in that moment what was to come. The grief, oh the grief. I remember it all too well, as I said goodbye to my little butterfly almost 12 years ago. It swallows you up. My heart aches for you, for Mr. R. You bring so much knowledge and light to adoption, to people struggling with their own grief, in all forms. Your words are touching many people you have never met or seen before. I awe at your ability to be honest, raw and true to yourself. Keep writing, writing, praying, praying and believing in God. I love you!!

  27. Maren says

    My heart aches for you and your family. And her and her family. It makes me ill how it all happened. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Happy and heartbreaking. You are in my thoughts and prayers often. Adore you oodles.

  28. says

    Oh — my heart aches. Your last sentence rocks me to the core. After reading about the whole experience – you would do it all again for those 3 days. You are amazing and loved by so many. May the good Lord continue to bless and uplift you. You can do very hard things. So beautifully written.

  29. Jenny says

    Oh Lindsey, how my heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing such raw and true emotion. Bless your heart, you need a free pass! Love you!

  30. says

    My sweet friend! You are so brave to share! You are so dear and I believe you will help someone through your post! You continue to amaze me with your deep faith and love for others! HUGS!

  31. says

    How terrible for you and for that beautiful mother. I can’t imagine. As a birthmother I can’t imagine someone stopping me from placing my child into the family I knew she was meant for. I felt a lot of your pain while reading this…a lot of it sounded like placement, only placement becomes happiness eventually and this story will only end in peace with help from the Lord. I wish you and that mother the best.

  32. shelley says

    There is one thing that comes to mind when I hear this story. WHY ON EARTH TO AMAZING PEOPLE does this stuff happen? I think I know why you have gone thru this and many other trials that you choose to share with us. The things that I have read on this blog today, are the things that I single handed needed to hear. I am a little bit better this morning because of your ability to write in such difficulty and tragedy. I have drawn strength from you…….I am grateful! When you talked about the pain in your chest, I have felt that before in a sense, I can’t say I have felt exactly what you two felt because pain is very immeasurable, but its yucky. I love the Redferns. I have lots of hope that you guys will have the little person that is meant for your family find you soon! MWUAH!!! Thanks girl.

  33. says

    My sweet, girl. Not only are you an amazing, mother, woman, and daughter of God…but an amazing writer as well. I have wept with you as I read these words. And tried so imperfectly to even begin to grasp what you are feeling. I just know that God is building a mansion for you, he just never gave you the blueprints. And it’s awfully hard to see what the outcome will be without those. I bless you with trust in him. And the ability to give your whole will, your whole sorrow, your whole pain, and the actual hole that resides within your heart to him. After all, he already suffered that pain on your behalf. And when no one in the whole wide world “REALLY” gets it…..he does. Sending blessings your way (oh, and treats….I sent those your way too….give ’em a couple days to be shipped.) :) With all my love. L

  34. Jill Kirk says

    I’m bawling. Sobbing. I’m so sorry. I’m so sad. Yet I feel your strength. And I feel a peace in my heart reading your truths because I too know that Christ is our anchor. The piercing heartache will soon become dull. It will never leave but it will subside and you’ll get back on your feet again. I promise! You know I went through the same thing and I can testify that things will get better. Life is okay. You’ll be happy again. I know it with every conviction of my heart!! You’ll find the courage (I hope and believe) to even try again. I know the future might seem scary and distant but you are a gem. I feel your power leap off the page of my screen as I read your words. I know God loves YOU. The Lord knows where we are, and is aware of our trials. No doubt. I can’t even tell you how amazing you are. I know maybe thats now what you want to hear, that all you need is for us to hear your pain, and I hear it. It sucks. It IS unfair and I hate hate hate that part of adoption. My heart is reaching out to yours right now. But I stand in awe of the dedication you have and the truth that you have in God’s plan for you. So many people would absolutely crumble. I just can’t help but feel so many emotions as I hear not just this “story” but your life. You are heavy laiden right now and I hope that you will take Christs yoke upon you. He is the only thing that will give you supreme rest. I love the mormon messages and it made me think of Jarom Fry…he says “it takes away a part of your soul when you’re told you can’t have something.” He is an amputee…but he realized he still had his heart, his mind, his will, and he was going to live life despite his weak body. I know you’ll still live life despite this hole that is present right now. Lindsey you are a rock. Thank you for your testimony and for sharing your heart. I love this quote by Marvin J Ashton “Greatness is best measured by how well an individual responds to the happenings in life that appear to be totally unfair, unreasonable, and undeserved.” You exude greatness. Oh you are so GREAT!!!

  35. says

    You deserve to have a million babies who are yours. And I totally know that “knife stabbing in your heart while being twisted” pain. It hurts. So badly. We are here for you and love you. Though our trials are different, our feelings are not. Much love from a fan in Michigan!

  36. says

    Oh my goodness I should not read things like this when I should be working…because now all I’m doing is sobbing. I knew the minute I met you that you were and are amazing. My heart aches for you and I am sorry you went through this. You kept making very vague comments on Facebook after and I figured it had something to do with an adoption and I could tell you hurt. Most of all I love that you went to the movies to escape and I adore you even more for sharing your testimony of the Lord, of family, of your husband and his love and support and so much more. I’m sorry you hurt. I have not been where you are, but the small amount I can empathize with is sad and it sucks. My sister placed a child 17 years ago with a sweet family and I have always had such a lovely testimony of the process, love and those couples that you are willing to love unconditionally. Hang in there sweetie and know there is so much love around you. Hug your boys and I hope you find peace. Love you.

    • Lindsey says

      Hugs to your family and especially your sister. When it actually happens …it’s INCREDIBLE.


  37. Tiffany says

    I can’t even wrap my brain around this. I am so sorry for your losss. So grateful for your example of grace through a very difficult and tramatic loss. You are helping so many…opening eyes to all sides of adoption. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Hugs.

    • Kate says

      Tiffany, the sides of adoption are not the good,the bad and the ugly..they are the mother,HER baby, the agency and the potential adoptive parents all whom come to the table with their own agendas (except of course the baby who is the one without a voice/say in this situation) This is a heartbreaking situation, but think about this most mothers who place their children for adoption, they live a lifetime of this heartache. Even when they have an open adoption they live every day without their child. Mothers who place their children spend a lifetime going through the grieving process, it is a traumatic and difficult decision they make. A decision where the impact is so great it can take years to truly process. The person I grieve most for reading this story is the baby, he has no say

      • Lindsey says

        I think the circumstances of the grief are very different and something in me finds it disrespectful to the women I know and love who have actually placed to make that comparison.

        I too grieve for that baby.

  38. says

    Oh Lindsey, my heart is broken for you. I knew something was not right from your posts and I was dreading when you would share, because I knew it had to be something utterly heart breaking. I wish I knew you personally, instead of just via the internet. I would give you the biggest hug right now. I am crying with you. I’m sure you have heard this quote, but it is my favorite and gotten me through some difficult times.
    “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
    I will keep your family in my prayers. *hugs*

  39. says

    I’m totally sobbing and hurting for you. I wish I had known that was going on–even though I know we’re not super close friends, I still wish I had known because every time I’ve seen you since then, I would have given you a giant hug. (And I will when I see you again.)

    What a beacon of strength you are.

  40. Shelly says

    Oh R family! I am so very sorry to hear this news! Seeing the horror and despair in your eyes reminded me of the days when we had to return our first foster baby, or even worse, the days when we thought we were going to lose our now oldest adopted son. That pain will never leave, but it can dull and hopefully turn into something beautiful. It did for me. It took me a REALLY long time to find the beautiful, but it all made sense to me in the end and I wouldn’t change any of it now. My heart goes out to your family and I pray for peace and a quick dulling of your pain.

  41. says

    And then sometimes it is nice to know others weep with you. Hold on. Sorry doesn’t even really begin to say anything at all does it? Stay still, pray, have faith. You can learn a lot even through “those” feelings. Listen.

  42. Whitney says

    When our adoption failed I found myself months and even a year later feeling ashamed because I continued to feel such an overwhelming sense of grief and sadness when everyone around me seemed to have forgotten what our family had been through. It wasn’t until recently that I became grateful for the lingering ache in my heart, when I realized that I hurt this much because I love her this much.

    That sweet baby boy deserves all the love your heart gave to him. The pain you feel from opening your heart that much is the cost of loving him that much. Today when the memories hurt me I remember how lucky I am to remember her, and I am no longer ashamed but instead grateful for the pain I will carry forever as a reminder of the sweet baby that grew in my heart.

  43. shane says

    devastating and sad. my heart breaks for you.

    i love the testimony you bore of the Savior. our family hymn this month is How Firm a Foundation, and i have had a discussion almost every night with my 6-year-old about the meaning of the end of the second verse — “as thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.” only He knows, and only He can succor you — but He can.

  44. says

    I cried with you when I heard the news and I cried with you (or your post) when I read your words today. You are one of the strongest women and best mothers I know…As someone who doesn’t have the regular everyday child bearing history, I look to you and admire you more than you can possibly now. Thanks for being my friend dear. xoxo

  45. says

    I broke down and cried as I read this like many of the other commenters. I’m so sorry for the pain and the sadness that you are going through right now. I’m so glad that you had family and friends around you that are helping you get through all of this. I hope that somehow each day is a little better. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  46. says

    I, too, am praying for everyone involved. I’m so sorry. I’m heartbroken for your sweet family, for that young mother and that beloved baby boy. You’re exactly right. Mommies shouldn’t be separated from their babies.

  47. says

    Cried with you while I read this. After my miscarriages, a friend’s adoption fell through in a similar way, and I remember thinking that there’s more than one way to lose a baby. Grief– it rattles you to the core. Sending support via the interwebs to you and yours as you grieve.

    • Lindsey says

      For the last 5 years my mom has said to me, “It’s hard to get babies here no matter how they come.” I think there is a tie there that binds us together as women, as mothers.


  48. Kira says

    I’m so sorry. This breaks my heart. I’ve never been through something even close to this, but my heart aches for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story. Prayers and hugs.

  49. says

    You don’t know me but I clicked on a link through Kim Orlandini’s FB page. I went through quite a struggle to have my babies so while I don’t understand or know the pain you are going through I do understand and know all too well the pain of loss. I’m so sorry. There are no words other than I’m so sorry. I wept as I read this post. In some places I sobbed. Your faith is amazing to me. I have admiration for you and Mr. R and how you have handled this and it is my sincerest prayer that you will find your forever baby to bring home.

  50. Yaëlle ( Finkels) says

    I read your post. Lindsey I feel grateful to have had the chance to know you . Your understanding of the atonement is getting so clear! You decided to find your strength in him and today you can testify in such a beautiful and courageous way.
    Thank you for your example. Thank you fopr loving this family like you do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings…and thank you for being so true .

    It isn’t easy… but you decided to make the best of it…je suis en admiration!

    Again thank you,


  51. Lisa says

    I don’t mean any of this lightly as we have suffered tragedy in our family very recently. I ache for the pain in all of this. But the thing I wanted to say the most to you is congratulations on this beautiful baby boy for you to love. You are a part of his story now, and he a part of yours. I guess a miracle is a miracle, no matter how short.

    • Lindsey says

      It’s true–we are part of each other’s stories …I just don’t know how my existence in his story could ever bring him comfort. That’s one of the hard things about this situation.

      • Lisa says

        I don’t know either. And really, this is not one of those “it was meant to be” or “it will all work out” kind of comments. I’ve been getting those lately and I hate them—it might be true but I don’t want to hear it from you when I am hurting and you are not. So please don’t take it that way. I know I’m just looking in from the outside and I am not in the emotional devastation you are in at this moment, but as hard as life is, I just cannot imagine that there won’t be beauty in you loving this child. You loved him as his mother. That’s worth something, dang it!

      • J says

        Have you thought about the idea that maybe you guys were thrown together because you are meant to be a part of baby boy’s life? Maybe you guys can offer him things his mom can’t, through no fault of her own.

        I’m not saying you guys should be an ATM, I’m not sure what I’m trying to say, actually, except maybe you’re meant to help her in another way, thus helping Baby Boy, and bringing comfort in another form. Kind of like a godparent, or aunt, or really close friend.

        Sorry this is so hard for you, sending good thoughts to your family and to Baby Boy and his mom.

  52. says

    First… I’m glad you still believe in unicorns. You know how I feel about throat punching sense into my good friends. Second… I’m commenting from my phone. So that means I basically think you are rad because phone commenting is a pain in the bum. Third… Are you proud that I didn’t use the swears? Fourth… I hate with the force of a thousand hurricanes that you have had to go through this. Fifth… Don’t tell Tyson I said hate. ;-) Sixth… I love you.

  53. says

    Oh my dear dear friend. I am so sorry to hear of your experience. I am so sorry you had to go through this. My hubby and I went through, just about, the same thing in October of 2010 and then again in a similar experience in February of this year. I know exactly what you mean when you say you actually feel your heart breaking. I am in ah at your ability to put your experience into words.. a gift I wish I could have.

    I know that with as bad as it hurt, it will never heal… but speaking from experience, it does dull a little with time. I commend you on the way you allowed yourself to FEEL and grieve. I admire your doing so along side your spouse and allowing this tragedy to bring the two of you closer, rather than pull you apart.

    You are in my prayers my friend. I know that the Lord is there for your. He has felt your pain and sorrow. He has cried your tears. Hold on. This too will pass. You will be blessed for the pains you had to experience. And in the next life when that beautiful baby boy meets you on the other side he will hold you and thank you for your 3 days of parenting and your lifetime of love. Hold on.

    With love, Julianna Mortensen

  54. Audra says

    Oh Lindsey, I am so incredibly sorry. I don’t know what else to say, but my heart aches for you and for the sweet baby boy who had so much taken from him.

  55. Sarah says

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. We faced a very similar situation last spring. Month after month, I could not move on. My family thought I had completely lost my mind. I fasted, prayed, went to the temple and felt no release from the aching love I felt for my little boy. I thought of him daily, my life was a blur. Then after 5 long months, the birth mom placed him with us. I know it is rare for it to turn out the way it did for us, but my point is this: the Lord will guide you. I know He would have helped me heal if that had been what was needed. If you feel like it’s not over…don’t lose hope! I know that’s your motto, and that you are great at ‘hope’ but sometimes it is honestly the hardest emotion. I almost grew to hate my hope. I wanted it gone and forgotten so that I could go back to being a happy mom. That’s not what the plan was for us, and thankfully I hung on just long enough. I will be praying for you.

  56. says

    I’m not one for knowing the right words to say but I do want to say that I’m so very sorry and you and your family including that baby are in my prayers. I admire your strength in sharing your story.

  57. Natalie says

    So so sorry for your loss. I really believe there are some things in life we are never meant to “get over” but just meant to “get through”. Our prayers are with you and your sweet husband as the Savior helps you get through this.

  58. Your Favorite Jenn C from VA says

    Linds and Josh – I love you guys. Thanks for sharing this. I cannot even imagine your pain. I am so impressed with your strength and your ability to find strength in each other. You are a true team. xoxo

  59. says

    Oh my. I had no idea! I’m so sorry for all the pain and grief that you experienced and so grateful that you captured and shared it with us so we could grieve with you. Much love to you, my dear, internet friend. Lots of love!

  60. says

    I can’t help but think how much Heavenly Fathers adores you two. He hand picked you to be that little boys parents for the start of his life. That blessing will forever be imprinted on his heart and I have no doubt that it will guide his spirit and comfort him through out his life. So many others will never be so lucky. I felt a strong spirit as we sat together in your kitchen. I love you sweet Linds! You are a hero in my book.

  61. says

    The pain you describe, the tears you have shed, the pain in your heart – I know it all. It so describes the pain I felt when Emma died.
    I am so sorry you have to feel this, you have to live this pain.

    It is interesting you chose the scripture “consecrate my afflictions for my gain”. Last night my husband and I were talking about that. One of the definitions of consecrate is “to devote or dedicate to some purpose”. I have thought about the different trials or afflictions in my life. How has the Lord consecrated my afflictions for my gain? He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what I need before I do. He knows what He wants me to become and how I need to get there. He has devoted or dedicated for His purpose my afflictions for my gain.

    You can do this, you don’t have a choice. I know it is hard. I know it feels as if there is an empty black hole inside of you that only that sweet baby can fill. You are amazing, you are strong. You can cry, scream and grieve – that is good and normal.

    You are so loved. You are all in my prayers. xoxo

  62. Michelle says

    My heart is hurting for you. I am so sorry. :(

    You are truly an inspiration and oh, how I admire you. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Love being sent your way.

  63. says

    Oh, I had no idea. It goes to show why we all need to love and accept one another. We never know what they are going through. I wish I would have given you a giant hug went we officially “met” the other night. You are amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

    All my love and support.

  64. says

    Lindsey, I read your post this morning but couldn’t comment until now…it brought me back to my own experiences and emotions…a place I avoid visiting very often. We are coming up on our goodbye anniversary so the feelings seem to be coming to the surface often. This afternoon I finally have my emotions together so I can comment. :)
    I am so very sorry for what you and Josh and this special Mom and Baby have gone through! I am so so sorry Linds!!! I want you to know, like so many others, I am praying for you and Josh….for your healing and for another miracle to come into your life to stay. I want you to know I love you and love all that you do for others! You and Josh are incredible people and deserve so many good things!
    Hang in there….we are all rooting for you!
    I will send some prayers for your special friend and the special baby boy too.

    Really…the only people who say adoption is easy are those who don’t adopt.

  65. S says

    Oh no. I am SO sorry and SO sad reading this. I’m grieving right now, going through a different kind of grief, and cried along with you. I know this is hard (it almost makes me laugh at how much of an understatement that is. Hard?! There aren’t words for this kinda pain so bare with me!) but just know by posting this, it helps others feel not alone when they go through it. I hate that anyone has to go through it at all. You are AMAZINGLY strong (again with the understatement of words, there are none!) and have a great support system. My prayers are with you, and the babies mom. I pray she has support around her. Those pictures of you? Man, that is exactly how I have looked this week. I’ve opened up my phone camera to use it as a mirror and I was shocked at what was looking back. I am also so with you on the physical aspect of grief, who knew? :(
    Not that it’s my place, but I have been trying to think of ways that you were picked to be in this little boy’s story. You may never know, but there IS a reason. Maybe your role is his life even has more to do with the role in his mother’s life.
    Sending you MANY good thoughts, you guys deserve something AMAZING to happen soon and I just can’t wait to hear about it.

  66. Judy says

    Oh I am so sorry for the heartache you have been going through. The flood of memories from our failed adoption almost 8 years was brought back to me. She will always be my little girl that is out there. I was her mommy for just a few days but they will always be precious to me. My heartaches for her still knowing the life she now lives because the birthfather and family could not honor the birthmother’s decision. I silently pray for her.

    Loves to you and your remarkable hubby and wonderful boys!

  67. Brokenhearted says

    I am brokenhearted for you. It is a difficult thing to grieve for “A Child of Your Heart”. It seems impossible to understand. The child is still alive, just not living with you. Your life enters this strange holding pattern. Thinking about when my grief was fresh literally takes my breath away. I can feel the sobs welling up into my throat. My experience was different, but I loved him with a mother’s heart. I loved him when his birthmother literally abandoned him and his grandmother was resentful towards him. I loved him when he needed to be loved. My heart will never be the same, but I don’t regret it either. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  68. says

    Lindsey, I can’t imagine your pain, but I am so sorry that you have to go through those feelings of loss. That individual heartache can’t be compared to anyone’s but know that there are those of us out there that have experienced similar pains of loss. There are things Heavenly Father puts in our paths that are totally unfair but there are people (angels) there helping to “push your handcart” if you will. I don’t know why but I keep thinking about what a life you and Josh have had together. You seem to understand one another so deeply and you have have experiences that bring you so spiritually and emotionally close to one another.

    Also, I believe that we have some mutual friends…your “tour guide” family from Cleveland? M&C? We became good friends with them when we moved to Cleveland in 2008, and have been close with them since. I gave her the “hope” necklace from your shop and she told me that you two had stayed with them in Cleveland. Glad you were able to stay with some wonderful and supportive people during this whole painful ordeal.

    • Lindsey says

      Oh my …YES! We totally laughed when she figured out she had a necklace from my shop. Such a small, small world. She was the one playing the cello on that perfect, perfect last day with Baby.

      They will always be considered dear, dear friends as they were with us in the trenches. What a beautiful home they have.

      That said, our “tour guide family” was actually the expectant mom’s family. We spent just about every waking moment with them learning about Cleveland. Again, SUCH AMAZING FOOD!

      Thanks for this comment. I love M & C!

  69. Angela says

    Dear sweet girl. I am a bit add & a sucker for happy endings – so I kept wanting to jump to the end of the post. But I could not rip myself away from your story…and then, not the ending I wanted, but such goodness & generosity & love. I am sure you have been handed enough “inspirational” quotes to open your own publishing house – but I am an early Americanist and this bit from Washington Irving was immediately brought to mind. From his short story “The Wife,” and for both you & your unimaginably heroic husband:

    “There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. No man knows what the wife of his bosom is–no man knows what a ministering angel she is until he has gone with her through the fiery trials of this world.”

    You & Mr. R are in my prayers.

  70. Laura says

    A while ago, you eluded to being sad, and I wondered if that was due to something adoption related. I wish I was wrong on that :( So so sorry for the pain. I hope that the joy of those three days will be present, however minimally, through out all the pain.

  71. Sarah says

    Lindsey, I read your post this morning and have been thinking about you and the heartache you’ve experienced all day. My eyes filled with tears as I imagined the joy of your journey turning to such intense and unbearable anguish. It seems too much to endure. You are (and always have been) an example to me of courage, faith and strength. Your words made me think of a quote I read recently, “Just believing, just having a molecule of faith-that simple step, when focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, has ever been and always will be not only the first principle of His eternal gospel but also the first step out of despair.” Jeffrey R. Holland
    Thinking of you. Praying for you. Sending lots of love.

  72. Tamara says

    Lindsey- I am just absolutely heartbroken for your family. I haven’t been through the same thing but I remember the absolute panic, despair and knife twisting when we had major birth father issues after birth. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I’m so sorry for the loss of this little guy and hope that your rainbow will happen soon.

  73. says

    Thank you for being so brave to write and post this. You are an amazing woman, and you’re husband sounds like a pretty great guy. Love you!!

  74. says

    I am so sorry for your loss. Truly. I know that doesn’t mean much as I wish it could, but I sincerely feel for your family. When we experienced an adoption loss, we went out to eat at TGIFridays. We weren’t up for cooking and we were desperate for some kind of escape, even if it was just to get out of the house and away from the place where we got our bad news. Our waiter asked us how we were doing, and my husband said, “Actually, we’re honestly doing terrible.” Your story reminded me of our experience. Though I am in no way comparing what we went through to your pain, I do feel a special sort of sympathy for those who experience a loss like yours. I will be praying for you.

  75. says

    I am so heartbroken for you. Wow, you have endured so much to create your family. I am so, so sorry. But thank you for sharing your story — the MANY ups and downs you’ve had along the way. Thank you for pouring your heart out through your words and images. You are such a strength to many of us. One of the other commenters said that by sharing your story you help others not feel so alone. Another commenter noted the sacred role you have in the sweet baby’s mom’s life. Those comments stirred my heart so deeply.

    I am in awe of your testimony. I am equally in awe of the loving comments from your readers. I read your post this morning and have been thinking about your words and the beautiful comments you received. It breaks my heart to know that all this love and support comes because your readers have all experienced grief to the core too. You have created quite a community here. I’m so incredibly sorry that we have all come together to read your blog because of loss, but I’m so proud of the strength and wisdom found here in these comments. Beauty from ashes.

  76. Shannon Black says

    Love your precious little family and sending you our prayers for a better 2013 than 2012. God has a way of compensating our greatest hurts with our greatest blessings. Thanks for sharing.

  77. says

    Wow. I thought I had a bad week. I am sure you guys will have amazing experiences to come. I am sure that you are already an amazing woman to those around you and will be a fantastic mother to others when your time comes. I am so sorry you had to endure that experience.

  78. says

    My heart is breaking for you and all those involved. What an amazing birth mother. I don’t know that you can ever really make sense out of something like that or decide why it happened, other than that people have free agency and although so much good can come from that, so can so much heartache. Prayers for the baby, the mother and you.

  79. says

    I was up working on dissertation related stuff at 1am and decided to check my reader before going turning off for the night. I sat in bed with one arm around my sleeping husband feeling my bloated stomach from the infertility shots we’re doing right now and read this post. Tears for you, your family, and this sweet mother and her child. I couldn’t comment then but I have thought of you all day. Thank you for your strength in sharing.

  80. Andrea says

    I know how active you are in the adoption world. I am often so impressed with you real and true commitment to your open adoptions. I often find it refreshing and I adore all the work you put into them. I love that you write about them because I think it shows the world that while open adoption is different and sometimes hard how amazing it can be.

    I can’t help but wonder if this was all god’s plan. If he meant for you and Mr R. to be there for this child and this young woman and her family. That he only gave you this heart ache and pain because he knows you are strong enough to endure it. That perhaps he knew that while it has been soul crushing and sad that he needed you to be his solders and to give your love to this family. That perhaps he chose you to go through this because you are so amazing and strong. Perhaps that he has a deeper meaning in all of this in that you have now been on the other side of the triad in that you feel the loss of a birthmother and that god’s will is for you as an educator and leader to teach others this.

    Perhaps I am just trying to make sense of all that happened by looking for deeper meaning because I know in my own walk that it’s what I have to do to make sense of the loss. That god must have a reason for me to feel this pain because I know that my god is kind and loving and wouldn’t put me through this for no reason.

    Praying for you and for the family in Cleveland.

  81. says

    oh Lindsey – I can’t even imagine! the only thing I can relate it to is when my sister lost her 3 month old to SIDS. The good-byes are the hardest parts – especially when you have come to love someone so much! Although the heartache is so great (and real), cherish those 3 beautiful days you had with that sweet little boy!

  82. Wendi Clanton says

    It’s so weird how similar our stories are! But at least you paid for all of your movies. I just went from theater to theater to try and get my mind of everything. I figure Heavenly Father is compassionate enough to forgive my dishonestly. I just didn’t have the energy to stand in line and face more people.

    I am a little jealous of all of the support you received when you returned home. We had very few people reach out to us after we gave the baby back to his mom. You are incredibly blessed to have people in your life who see your loss as real and worthy of the grief you felt. I wish I had had that.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. It’s so cathartic to get it all out but it’s also so helpful for those who have experienced adoption loss to know that they aren’t alone.

    • Lindsey says

      I am TRULY blessed in the friend and family department. TRULY.

      Made me laugh that you didn’t pay for your movies. LOL HYSTERICAL!

  83. Rachel says

    Hi Lindsey— I really believe that grieving is the highest forms of love. Mourning that the person you loved isn’t a part of your daily life the way you would have them be. May your heart find peace and hope. You are loved beyond measure.

  84. says

    Thank you for sharing. Your post broke my heart bd encouraged me all at the same time. Thank you for Loving that precious boy as you did, as you do!

  85. Becky says

    Although I have never met you and have never been through adoption myself (I came across your blog on my friend’s blog — she and her husband have had 3 failed adoptions), my heart aches for you and your husband. My husband and I lost our first child at 36 weeks (stillborn, trisomy 18) and just yesterday I had emergency surgery due to an ectopic pregnancy (losing a fallopian tube along the way). I don’t want to be negative. Right now I’m sure there are people telling you that someday you’ll get past this as time heals all wounds. However, in our experience I can say this … losing a child never gets easier — you do not get over or past it. You just learn that it is what it IS. The wound gets a bit less fresh. One day you’ll realize that you haven’t cried about it that day … and the next day your tears will flow. It sucks. At the same time, only being able to love SO very much produces that kind of grief. Love can never be a bad thing, just the lack of it. All you can do is treasure the time and memories you had and cherish what you already have even more.

    Know that many are thinking of you and your family at this time and wishing you nothing but the greatest of joys in the future.

  86. Gee Gee says

    It is so hard to see your child hurting. You handled the event with courage and with style. I am proud of you and I am so proud to be your mother. Dad and I are always there for you. What about a month of TLC at my house? Love, Your MOTHER

  87. Bridget Crane says

    My heart aches for you and your family! I’m so so sorry for your loss. Sending love your way!

  88. Rheanna says

    Tears shed and heart ache felt for your family. Prayers said for all the amazing, heart broken families involved.

  89. says

    We have never met, but I love the amazing person that you are! You are so brave to put your loss out there, and in doing so you have touched my heart and soul! My husband and I are currently hoping to adopt as well with one failed placement under our belt. I feel your pain and cry with you though we have never met! You and your family are in my prayers!

  90. says

    Lindsey, I just read your story. You are such an amazing writer- and such an amazing person. I love your little family! Thank you for sharing such a difficult heartache. Love and prayers from your Maryland Family:-) I think you should take your mom’s offer and get a month of TLC at her house! Sounds fabulous!!

  91. Pamela (Percy2626) says

    I LOVE the necklace. So sorry for your pain. I’ll have to figure out how to get myself one of those necklaces in memory of the little girl we had for 2 months almost exactly 3 years ago! Once you love, it never leaves you. Just fills a small part in your heart. Best of Wishes to you and your lovely family. Wish I was in your ward! :)

  92. says

    I’ve been thinking about this post and your sweet, heartbreaking story for the last few days trying to think of what I would want people to say to me to offer comfort. And nothing has come. There are no words. Perhaps simply knowing that there are people all over who are thinking of you, praying for you, and weeping along side you will bring a small measure of peace. For everything else how blessed we are that the Savior knows perfectly how to comfort us. You and your family are in my prayers.

  93. says

    Dear LIndsey, It’s my first time here. I stopped by to check out your blog as being part of “Why are your favorite bloggers Mormon?” I read every word of this heart-felt post & am holding back the emotion I felt. I’m so sorry for your loss. I relate because about 6 months ago I had someone taken from me also {in a bizarre & unusual circumstance}. I don’t understand it either, but like you – I am trying to accept it & find help to endure it in Christ. I wish you peace & comfort!

    Warmly, MIchelle

    • Lindsey says

      Oh Michelle! I am so sorry. Sending love.

      Also? Thanks for clicking on the Mormon Mommy Blogger project. It is pretty awesome!

  94. Sarah says

    This is an agonizing post to read, but so, so important. I am not part of the adoption triad, but I love adoption. Your ordeal – and the way you present it – is instructional for people outside the adoption community and, I believe, should be shared and understood. I believe many do not know that this happens (over and over). Thank you for being willing to share the most tender and private of your life’s experience.

    My best wishes to you and to the new mother in Ohio. May the Lord bless your families with peace and courage.

  95. Cally Nielson says

    Oh my heart hurts for you, Lindsey. This is not right. Our prayers are with you and the little boy.

  96. Janalyn Owens says

    You are such a giver of light and grace. I have taken this into my heart and I don’t think I will ever forget what you have shared. I hope it’s okay for me to say that I am so very sorry for your loss. This is probably going to sound irrelevant but I wanted to say that somehow, I feel that this has given me courage.

  97. Kay Harline says

    So sorry for your disappointment. I think the wind chimes were a tender mercy for you. I have wind chimes in my yard for the little neighbor girls who come to my T-parties. I tell them they are fairy feet walking around. They could be your angel feet, here to take care of you and your husband and family. I would be sorry that you would always “hate” wind chimes as they have really opened my mind and heart to better things. Best wishes to you. Hope you watched Conference this week, maybe they answered some of your sorrows.

  98. Mandy Moo says

    My heart aches for you. I am so sorry for this horrible loss you have endured. Thank you for sharing all of your experiences, both good and bad. God loves you. <3

  99. meagan says

    I am 25 years old and tonight, my mother told me that i was an unplanned pregnancy. That i was put up for adoption and she changed her mind 3 days after i was born. She said the man and woman who were adopting me wrote her a letter thanking her and promising to provide me with an amazing life. My mother left when i was 7. My disabled father raised me until he died when i was 14. Through my childhood i witnessed things that are too shameful to tell. I’ve been through many years of therapy. But the unexpected news i received tonight it what brought me to your blog. I can only imagine how my failed adoptive parents felt. And i pray that baby boy you love doesn’t have a life like i have. And reading how u have felt makes me believe that if that baby boy called u 25 years later to meet, i would be so grateful. Do you know if their is any way for me to find out who my would be parents are???? I just feel the need to thank them for being the only people who apparently loved and wanted me unconditionally.

    • meagan says

      Please excuse the misuse of words. Im writing from my phone and auto text changed a few things

    • Lindsey says

      Oh Meagan. Your words have haunted me since I read them last night. I am not sure they will ever leave me.

      I too pray for the 2 babies we lost to failed adoptions (one in January, one in August). I worry about them and I HOPE beyond HOPE that their reality is different than yours. I am so sorry. Like a previous commenter said and I agree with, “I grieve for the child because they are the only one’s who don’t have a voice.”

      I am SURE your hopeful parents still think of you and sometimes shed a tear of what could have been. It would take some pretty intense detective work to be able to locate them. I would start with the letter they wrote your mom if she still has it. Then possibly the agency if there was one. That’s about it. There probably isn’t much paperwork and certainly no legal paperwork as the adoption wasn’t finalized.

      I wish I could give you a big hug as proxy for that hopeful adoptive mother. I know she would welcome the chance herself. I know I would.

    • Wendy says

      Meagan –

      I am sure that your mind is reeling right now with this information, but there are people who have loved you without your knowledge. Three years ago we also had a failed adoption that we held and loved that baby girl, then we had to go home with an empty car seat. Our car seat might have been empty, but she holds a special place in my heart that will always be reserved for her. We have another little boy now but I will always think of her and when I do I try to say a prayer that she is well and that her family is well. I pray that instead of hurt you can feel the love that those parents have for you. I am sure they still think of you and remember the three days they had with you.

    • Karla says


      Reading about your experience has touched me so deeply. We had three failed adoption, with our first failed adoption it was 2 wonderful days of being with N. until the birthmom changed her mind. With our second one, I., it was only 24 hours before the birthfather contested the adoption and finally after being with J. for 3 wonderful weeks, again a birthfather stopped the adoption.

      I still grieve for each of these little boys. I grieve, because I feel that I lost them, I lost the possibility of being their mom. I still love them and wonder how they are doing. I pray that they will have lives filled with love and happiness. Although I do not know the motivation your mother had in changing her mind, I hope she was motivated by a deep love for you. I cannot imagine the childhood you had. I am so sorry that you did not have the childhood that was planned for you by your hopeful adoptive parents.

      If I can echo some thoughts that have already been said, I wish I could stand in for your hopeful adoptive mom and just hold you, hold you can tell you I love you.

  100. Mari says

    The only think I can say is to just echo what Lindsey said. Your story touched me, and I too pray for those that were almost with us. I’m sure your do as well. Maybe their prayers were that little bit of strength that was just enough to tip the scales to get you through your childhood. I wish there was some way you would be able to connect with them, but I’ll join Lindsey in giving you a hug from them!

  101. says

    My heart is aching right now. Not only for the R House, but for the many couples that experience this. I have dear friends who have had this happen to them not just once, but twice as well…their crib is still empty and I ache for them often. They are very private about their experiences as well, but I know that in their last moments of having baby #1 they prayed that in 18 years they would find him and be able to make up for lost time. I imagine that the parents that wanted you so badly 25 years ago still feel that way Meagan. Know that you are loved even if they can’t wrap their arms around you. Know that you also have a loving, kind Heavenly Father who wants the best for you too. I wish you all of the love and happiness that you deserve and please accept the love of all who wish to give it, including myself.

  102. Jamie says

    Megan, I hope you find a way somehow to find them. I would bet that it would mean the world to them! Hugs to you for the heartache youve been through. Oh how I wish I were Oprah today to have the ability to track them down for you….

  103. says

    Oh Meagan!

    My heart breaks for you. I too am an adoptive mother and can say that if I were in the position of your potential adoptive mother I would jump at the chance to know you and love you! I hope for you peace and comfort and for the miracle of finding your adoptive parents!

  104. Marie says

    We also were once chosen as an adoptive couple. But then months later, the bm changed her mind and choose a different couple. I’ve forgiven her (we even went to her wedding years later), but I can’t grasp the fact that we were expectant parents for 6 blissful months, and then suddenly we weren’t. I’d go to church and they would talk about how greatful they were for the gospel so they could be with their loved ones after death. I would sit in the corner and cry because the baby we loved ended up being sealed to someone else. For years I’ve wanted someone else’s take on this, but never dared ask. I hope this isn’t bad timing on my part, but your story brings it back so freshly to mind. I can’t just assume that God will make it right in heaven. I’m sorry, I wanted THAT baby, not another baby that some mom will just toss away in a dumpster. I hope I don’t open another door of grief, but is it ok to ask how you will handle that part of the grief? Cause for me, its the one thing I can not get over.

    • Lindsey says

      You nailed it. There is only so much solace in the Plan of Salvation for these kinds of situations …in that we have no ties to these children that we loved so much. I can feel from your words and phraseology that you are still hurting. I wish I had more answers for you.

      How do I deal with it? I just tell myself that it is what it is and, like Nephi, “I do not know the meaning of all things, but I know God loves his children.” I don’t think I will ever “get over” that part of the loss. Even in blessings that we have been given since August, we were told that we will never fully be healed from it in this life and that our pain won’t fully leave us–that Father wants us to remember that loss for one reason or another. Our Heavenly Father, in his infinite power and wisdom, will make it up to you one day. Not sure how or when …but He will because only He knows the depth of your sorrow. We can assume and He will make it right …in heaven, or earth, or the eternities because He has promised us that He will.

      This doesn’t open any new wounds for me …this is THEE wound. This is what this loss means for our family only that these two children (from both of our failed placements) aren’t sealed to anyone. All I can say is that I hear you. And I am sorry.

  105. Jamie Moesser says

    I read this first a few days ago, and I keep thinking about your post and your experience. We too have infertility issues, but for us adoption was not the answer, primarily because I knew I couldn’t take experiences like you’ve had. My heart grieves for you, Lindsey. I pray for you and your husband, that you will eventually be able to add another child to your family. I’m sorry, but I can’t help but feel mad at the young biological father, whose decision is having such a negative impact in so many people, and frankly, on a system that allows him to wreak such havoc even though he’s in jail.

  106. Kerri Larson says

    As I sit here with tears in my eyes and memories flooding my head of 6 1/2 years ago, we were in this exact situation. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think of our little boy. The pain that we had gone through is unexplainable…the worst pain anyone could ever endure. We had the little boy for 3-days also and the birthmother and birthfather both changed their minds. We felt as though we were in the worst dream ever and we were. I promise you that with time it will get easier, but you will always wonder about him. I made an effort to keep in contact with the birthmother via email. The birthfather, at that time, was not a member of the church, he is now. I received an email a year and a half ago and they were sealed in the Temple and had had 2 other children, for a total of 3. It was then that I knew and received my answer as to why we had to go through what we did. Although it was terrible I cannot express the joy that I had knowing that our little boy was now sealed to his parents and would be growing up in a home with the Priesthood.
    This happened in January of 2006 and in March we adopted our beautiful baby girl! We are so blessed to have a wonderful/amazing birthmother…we truly were blessed.
    In September 2006 we were chosen to adopt another baby boy who would be due in October. I was able to be in the delievery room and watch the miracle of this little boy. We had him for 10 days, due to the birthfather not wanting to relinquish his rights and we ended up having to give him back also…it was horrible all over again Lindsey. It was then that I questioned so much. What got me through was my beautiful princess. The pain is still there and sometimes I still feel that he should be ours. Today is his 6th birthday. Every detail of that amazing day still sits in my mind, but I am also so grateful. Today he lives with his parents and 8 months ago they were sealed in the Temple for Time and all Eternity and I couldn’t be happier for them. Since then we have adopted our handsome little boy and find ourselves to be so fortunate to have two beautiful children.
    I know, exactly, the pain you are going through. It is hard, but so worth it. It is hard to see the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us and I would have never guessed that I was strong enough to go through what we have, but He obviously knew I was. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are amazing and are a strong woman. I know you have much support, but if you ever want to talk to someone who has been through it I would love to chat.

  107. Kimberlee says

    There are truly no words sometimes to comfort such grief…just know so many are praying for you. I am so so sorry. So sorry. I hugged my 3 miracles of adoption a little tighter tonight. Allow your 2 to hold you and comfort you. They may not “know” but they know their mommy is hurting, and they love you so much.

  108. Amanda says

    SO sorry to hear about your loss. I flew to WI and came home empty-handed this summer. It was heart-breaking. My heart breaks for you!

  109. says

    Hi Lindsey, I first read this on my phone when you first posted it and I should have commented from my phone then because I’ve been sidetracked ever since. I know we got to talk that Sunday I stopped by, but I wanted to add it here too.

    I want you to know that you are such an example to me of strength. How you and your sweet Mr R have stuck together through such heartache and continued on helping so many families through your realities is so inspiring. I really hate that you have had to endure so much. It’s just heartbreaking.

    I hope that you are finding moments of sunshine as you continue on.

    Thinking of you and your sweet family tonight. <3

  110. Sarah says

    So if a birth father prevention a birth mother from placing their baby for adoption and then the birth father is not at all involved. Can the birth mother decide to place for adoption at a later date? just curious. I know at some point the birth fathers parental rights can be terminated, but I’m not sure how that would work in a case where the birth father is initially ‘involved’ for the purposes of preventing an adoption from happening and then is no longer involved after that.

  111. BecksOne says

    What you felt in those days is a SLIVER of grief compared to what a birthmother experiences her entire life. I have always said you can’t ask something of someone unless you yourself have gone through the same or are WILLING to go through the same.