Our First Failed Adoption

One day, my friend approached me with information regarding a possible adoption. She knew someone who was pregnant and expecting biracial twins. The birthmom wasn’t sure what she was going to do regarding parenting vs. adoption, but we gave her our profile to consider.

We didn’t think of it or talk about it very often, because we didn’t think it would really happen, since the Mom didn’t seem confident one way or the other. She had chosen us and yet kept putting off meeting us or with a lawyer. We weren’t sure what to think and tried to keep our emotional distance.

One day out of nowhere, JC and I discussed what we would name the babies. In a 2-minute conversation, we had our names- almost as if they hadn’t come from us. We never discussed names again, or referred to them by name in conversation or prayer. I never told a soul, nor wrote them down in my journal. I tried to put the names out of mind.

When the babies were born, we began to get conflicted messages. Without sharing too much information in cyber-space, we were on an emotional roller-coaster. At one point, I was in tears on the phone with my dear friend, Lisa. Lisa, who had for some reason always been confident that these were our babies, shared with me the source of her confidence.

Months previous, she had a vivid dream that revealed the names of our babies as well as the verse written on the nursery wall. I thought it was interesting and begged her to share the names, and she was strangely resistant. Eventually she gave in and told me the names.

They were the same names.

Sam and Grace.

And the verse on the nursery wall? The very reason we had picked the name Sam:

“For I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted my request.”
~1 Samuel 1:27

In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah, a barren woman, begs the Lord for a child and He eventually answers her prayer with a son whom she names Samuel.

Grace- because she is a perfect gift from the Lord- as is His grace.

How could this be? How could Lisa have known the same names we had chosen- without ever whispering it to a soul? It had to be the Lord. As I praised His name, and sought His voice, I felt Him urge me to let go- to release the wall I had up to guard my heart and to let Him guard my heart instead. In that moment, I knew these were my babies. I knew that I was their mama. I rejoiced. I cried. I wondered what would happen next.

The next day we got a phone call. She was definitely going to parent the babies.

WHAT???? How could this be? Did I hear the Lord wrong? NO! No way! But if not, how could He have led me down this path only go have my heart trampled?

The following is from an email to my parents:

I don’t understand. I did everything right and was obedient. If this wasn’t going to happen, then why did the Lord tell me to open my heart? Why did He keep sending confirmation after confirmation to have hope? Why did He give us NAMES? It seems cruel. Either this is not over according to Him, or I totally heard Him wrong all this time (but why involve Lisa with the dream??) or…what? I know He’s Truth and Good and Love. Yet it would seem my heart doesn’t matter to Him if this is truly over. Or do I hold onto hope against all odds??? At every turn I heard, “God can do what He says He can do.”

It’s not that this adoption didn’t work for us. It’s that I feel like He led us on during these last few weeks. I got attached b/c HE told me to open my heart and bonded me to these babies that I’ve never even held. Why would He do that????? It feels like He’s playing games with my heart.

Eventually, the Lord showed us that only by attaching us emotionally to these children would we be committed to praying for them throughout their lives. And so, we came to terms with the fact that we are their spiritual parents, their God-parents, if you will.

A glance into my journal from that time shows this:
I don’t know what will come or even if its over, but there must be a reason you told me to open my heart and let me get emotionally attached to these children. I will surrender to this bond and take on the role of Mom- if only in a spiritual sense. I will not waver in prayer for them. Perhaps I’ll pray harder than if they were in my care- as I have no control in their upbringing. So we’ll pray. But you’ll have to do the leg work, Father. We will trust them to your care.

It occurred to me later, that if I had only read the NEXT VERSE of 1 Samuel 1:27 and 28 and realized it applied to me as well, I might have been better prepared.

“Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord, as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.’ She left him there.” ~1 Samuel 1:27-28

So we released them to the Lord and pray for them daily. We pray for these children and trust that He will grant our requests.



Lauren is in love with the Lord, the man of her dreams, and her new daughter. She and her husband married in June of 2006 and thereafter began their journey of infertility and adoption. Despite the many wounds, heartaches, and suffering, she has experienced not only healing and grace and but also the profound beauty of the Resurrection through her relationship with Jesus Christ and the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. She seeks to “magnify the Lord” through her marriage, adoption, and blog. After three unsuccessful adoptions, they brought home their baby girl, Abigail Chiara, in September!

11 Responses to Our First Failed Adoption

  • Melissa says:

    So inspiring! Such amazing trust in the Lord and such a powerful witness for others to see.

  • Emily says:

    Beautiful! A great reminder that we hope in the Lord and not in our circumstances. Thank you for sharing your story and the picture of your beautiful daughter!

  • leslie says:

    Somewhere there is a child and somewhere there is a couple whom that child needs, and that couple, reading Lauren’s story, will find there the emotional and spiritual reinforcement they need to overcome their discouragement, try again, and eventually bring that child home.

  • Erika Solgos says:

    Wow, Lauren. That must have been so painful. I certainly don’t always understand the mind of God or his reasons, but I can only imagine how much those babies need you to be praying for them. Who knows how their lives are impacted by your prayers? Maybe God needed them to be real to you so that you would really be inspired to pray. I am blessed by your faithfulness.

  • Jennifer says:

    You don’t know me but a friend passed this along. My journey was similiar, the only difference was that I was the birth mom’s caregiver, in a sense. I took her to all her appts, took her shopping, did all that she needed. I had a journal filled with God’s scriptures and encouragement.
    We also had a name, totally and completely given by God. We also had a prophecy spoken over this baby boy. Your email to your parents was and is EXACTLY how I am feeling. How could God give all of this affirmation and then it not come through??!?!?!?
    I am still struggling and maybe I am to just pray for this child’s life(b/c he is in a difficult household), but i struggle with trusting God’s Word again.
    I thank you for sharing your experience and I will give this to God(when I am speaking to Him again :)
    It is encouraging yet difficult to swallow, also.
    May God bless you and your beloved daughter,


    • Nancy says:

      Jennifer i too was there and after being in the nursery with “our” Sarah were told the day her birthmom could sign parental rights away that she would parent. I was devestated to say the least. I also struggled with God’s choice and remembered an old saying that God is strong enough for us to not like him for awhile. He can take our anger. Eventually you will come back it took me a year so be gentle with yourself. Hope felt dangerous and i did not trust my inner voice after that. I had seen red flags and was reassured by our Sw it would work out. I had a hard time trusting my choices and myself for quite a long time. Again be gentle with yourself. I was not as gracerful as Lauren i will admit and i do not have that same amazing faith i see in her story. Don’t be aftraid to seek help with working thru your feelings. I found some comfort in reviewing the KublaRoss stages of grief it explained alot of my actions and behaviors during that time.

  • Annie says:

    What a beautiful story of the Lord’s grace and provision and goodness! Thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and inspiring story of putting your future and your hope in the Lord, even when it seems as though doors (and windows!) are being slammed in your face. The children that you hold in your heart but not in your arms will be so blessed by your love and prayers, and the child you DO hold closely each night will be richly blessed by having such loving and trusting parents.

  • Barbara says:

    This is a beautiful example of God’s goodness and love. May God bless you and your dear family always . . . and that includes Sam & Grace.

  • Julie says:

    Love you Lauren! So happy for your blessing of A now!!

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