Trusting yourself to trust again.

One of the sweet things that has come from the ashes of our adoptions that didn’t go through is being able to help those almost adoptive parents who are experiencing this kind of unique loss–the loss of something that never really was ours that you loved with a reserved part of your heart.

Unless you have been here, you don’t really understand it. Although we really appreciate those who try and listen and don’t preach. Some try to compare it to placing a baby–it isn’t the same. (And I believe the comparison to be offensive to birth mothers.) Some try to compare it to the death of a child–it isn’t the same. (I won’t go into how it is different because I believe the conversation would be contentious.) It’s just a weird limbo place.

I recently had a reader email me and ask how we let ourselves be vulnerable to this kind of heartache again. How do you let yourself hope to adopt after a failed or reversed placement?

The answer is: I don’t know. We just did. It was worth the risk.

I remember last summer hearing this song from Paramore and emailing my friends and telling them this is pretty close to how I felt about Jackson and his birth mom (then an expectant mom)–the only exception.

In the end, when it is right, if it is right, you will be willing to walk back through all your baggage and hurt for that “only exception.”

And you’ll be on your way to believing. And hoping.

You can do hard things.




  1. Lis says

    I know you mentioned that it wasn’t like child-loss, but as I read I couldn’t help but think of my own experiences of pregnancy loss (I don’t have a failed adoption or reverse adoption to related to).

    I miscarried twice before my first was conceived and three times between my first two children, and I wondered at times how I could go own, how I could possibly put myself in that vulnerable situation again but we did, we carried on and kept out hope that someday we would hold another beautiful child in our arms.

    Your answer was exactly the words I have searched for over the years as people have asked, why? why try again?

    The answer is: I don’t know. We just did. It was worth the risk. – perfectly stated.

  2. Mary says

    Thank you for this post and for your email. It has brought comfort to my heart during this “limbo” phase. The idea of it being “worth the risk” is pretty much the only thing propelling me forward on this adoption journey right now after our recent heartache. It is SO worth it!

  3. Crystal says

    We are just past the month mark of when we would have brought baby girl, who is our daughters biological sister home had she survived birth. Its a strange limbo to be in, we don’t quite feel like we fit into the failed adoption or the baby loss group.

    Taking an idea from you we booked a trip to Disneyland as soon as we could, Princesses and Mickey Mouse just have a way of soothing an aching soul. There were so many tender mercies on that trip, things that have let our hearts and souls know that it’s ok to jump back in with both feet.

    I don’t know when it will happen, but I do know that there is an itty bitty that will find their way to our family and this intense emotional rollercoaster will be all worth it.

  4. says

    You are dead-on. It is a weird limbo. There seem to be LOTS of circumstances in life that can be classified as weird, undefinable limbos and all clumped into the “grieving a loss” category. Our lost pregnancies are different than the time we were matched with an expecting mother and at the last minute, her family stepped in to give her the support she needed (yay!), so she decided to parent (yay). I don’t really classify that as a failed adoption or a reversed adoption, more of an unsuccessful match, but even that term, I don’t care for as it was a wonderful thing that she was able to gain the support needed to raise her child. Despite that whole mess and my ramblings, what helped us the most was hearing your experiences. It seemed to validate to us that it was a real loss (someone else had something similar happen), it was okay to work through emotions, and to heal. You were invaluable!