I've written about our failed adoption before in very little detail here and here, but this is the first post in which I have used names or pictures, of course with pertinent party's permission. My guess is I have a couple more posts in regards to this experience up my sleeve in the future.
Every night, just before we read scriptures together and go to sleep for the night, Nick and I write in our Blessing Book, which is a joint daily journal where we record one way we've each seen the hand of the Lord in our lives that day. Tuesday night, just after writing in it about scheduling our first couple of home study interviews, a flood of memories of anxiety and anticipation came rushing back in my mind. I opened up our previous, completed book and it fell open to the following entry:
December 30, 2010
[Nick's Entry] Today we drove to Roseburg and met Hayley, Hannah, and their family. We were at their home for nearly 4.5 hours. We talked about our feelings about adoption and parenting, played with Hannah, ate lunch, and had a wonderful time. I got to hold Hannah while she slept for about 90 min. She is a beautiful little girl and if it's right we would love to have her as a part of our family. We were very impressed with Hayley's parents and siblings as well. The meeting generally went as well as we could have hoped. We are still waiting for Hayley to decide, but we already feel close to Hayley, Hannah, and the whole family.
[My Entry] There were some really tender moments today while talking about open adoption and what we really want for our children. We want them to know they are loved tremendously, which is why they were placed for adoption. It was clear that assertion gave Hayley and her mother, Jesse, a lot of peace. They are such a good family and I hope and pray that over the coming years we get to stay in contact with them no matter what. They are dear people and it would be an honor to have them in our family and us in theirs. It is comforting to know that whatever happens Hannah will have a wonderful life.
Hannah and Hayley on the day we met.
I continued to read, and read, and read. I was captivated by my own story, like it was from another person in another time and place altogether. All those loving thoughts towards Hayley, Hannah, and their family came rushing back into my mind, and I sincerely missed them. I missed the connectedness I felt with them as we went through the crazy ups and downs of that particular adoption experience. And then, in an extremely familiar way, I longed for our next child, and then in a not so familiar way, I longed for the relationship we will have with their birth family. That was a new and exciting feeling!
We don't have a daughter named Hannah, but we do love a little girl named Hannah almost as if she was our own, because for about 24 hours in our hearts and minds, she was going to be. It was so easy to fall in love with her, Hayley, and their family. Hayley and I still exchange emails every couple of months (so grateful for those), we're friends on Facebook so we can see pictures of Hannah being amazing, and we follow each others' blogs to keep up on each others' lives.
As for Hannah, just as I said she would, she has such a wonderful life with her mom, aunt, uncles, and grandparents. Even though that experience was very hard, stressful, and caused a lot of intense work-out sessions (I guess that's not so bad), I wouldn't change that experience for the world. Hannah and Hayley continue to touch and change our lives for the better, and they are so loved and honored in our home, and will be forever.
Hayley and I have even talked about having a playdate with our girls, so I hope someday we can still pull that off. Trip to Alaska, anyone??