Friday, January 4, 2008

Conscripted Pioneers

"May all your expectations be frustrated. May all your plans be thwarted. May all your desires be withered into nothingness that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen."

For today, it feels like a fair amount of thwarted plans and frustrated expectations. I have no idea what God is doing, and though I'd heard people use the phrase "desperately clinging" to faith, I'd never grasped the depth of that until today. I'm grasping for God, between gasps for air.

We were not delayed in court. There was no problem on our side, with us or with our paperwork. It's still a bit of a mystery how it all went down, but between a young girl possibly overwhelmed in a court system and issues with translators and a skeptical judge, our adoption of Abenezer was denied. His birth mother was there to verify her relinquishment of him, but somehow things went awry between her and the judge and who knows what else.

We are beyond devastated. We were prepared for the possibility of a delay. We were even prepared for the possibility of the birth mother changing her mind, and honestly, that would have been better than this. At least then, Abenezer would be with his biological family. But as things are, he is in limbo. His birth mother can't or doesn't want him, yet he is not allowed to be adopted either. We're having a hard time making sense of it.

This is the first case of this happening with our agency, so they seem to be doing their best to figure out where to go from here. There is a possibility of appealing to a higher court, but no one knows anything about what this process looks like, how long it takes, what the chances would be. Our agency has never had anything like this happen before, and it seems we're the lucky ones who get to be the trailblazers in this process.

There are so many things to consider and try to figure out in the next few days, and we still feel like our heads are spinning. We found out this news this morning around 10:00 am, and because I was taking care of a friend's two kids, ages 2 and 4, I somehow managed to shove it all down until they went home. I understood today really for the first time Ted's mom's adage not to cry over spilled milk: you can't fall apart when you've got people depending on you.

But from the moment they drove away, it all hit me. I can't stop shaking and I have physical pain across my chest, from one shoulder to the other, as well as down my back. Breathing isn't the easiest thing to do either, and I have waves of grief wash over me--about three since sitting down to write this post. And in a particularly cruel twist, we received three pieces of mail today addressed to Abenezer from some sweet people in our lives hoping to get to know him soon.

After hearing the news, I took the kids down the street to our coffeeshop to let them play (yes, most Portland coffee places have play areas for kids) and sat down in a fog and scribbled this out into my notebook:

"...for those of us who struggle to attain the satisfaction of those human urges like the desire to parent, the world becomes an alienating, isolating place. Today, I look around my world and can't connect. "Convoy" is playing in the shop, a funny song that makes me happy, yet I feel nothing. I look at a newspaper and can't read it. This feeling is deeper/beyond an ache. It's not a hopelessness--I do have hope. I know God has a story for us. It's a feeling of wandering blindly in the darkness. I smile at Sophia, who has two black plastic horses in her hand. I can't form words though. A smile is the best I can muster. For a blind stumbler, I guess that's not bad."

Ted suggested I put the qualifier out there not to worry about me. He's right. Writing this here is just cathartic for me, and I apologize to those of you who've called and emailed, wondering what's going on. I just didn't have it in me to talk much today. I appreciate your concern.

62 comments:

Angie said...

Oh I wish I had words. And I wish those words could somehow take away the pain that you are feeling. I will hope and pray that out of all of this strife, something truly great will come. We are very sorry to read this news. Please let us know if we can help in any way.
-Ange&Anil

The Frey's said...

Dear Ted and Lori,
Appealing the court decision sounds like a good way to go at this point unless God comes through miraculously first. We are praying and will not stop until God tells us to let go.
Love,
Annie Rooney Frey

Jana said...

Just emailed you. I'm so sorry, girl. God IS good and He IS sovereign, but I know that doesn't make it hurt any less. Praying......Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lori & Ted -
I am so very sorry. I will continue to pray for you both and for Abenezer. Hang in there. I know God will comfort and sustain you.
Much love,
Staci

Jocelyn said...

I got your email, I am so sorry. Please, please call me if you need to talk, scream, cry or sit and say nothing. I will be praying for you that baby Abe still comes home to his family that is waiting and loving him.

A Memory Each Day said...

Sending love your way!

the Raleigh's

Drew Carey Show said...

Oh Ted and Lori, when I didn't hear anything today, I feared something went wrong. Words can't express how deeply we feel for you guys right now. I wish I had some sliver of wisdom, but all I have is my prayers -- so that's what I'm giving right now... lots and lots of prayer. God brought Abenezer into your life for a purpose, and the story is not yet told. I pray for your peace, patience, confidence and strength as you walk through this time. Do know that the Gladney staff care deeply about the children and their families and Belay and the lawyers will exhaust every resource to resolve this issue. My heart is aching for you... Much, much love to all three of you.

-Samantha- said...

Dear friends,
We are very sory to hear you have to go through such pains to get to your babe. We are also very hopeful that this little one that was intended to go home with you will fing his way into your place soon.
We will be thinking of you.

chou-chou said...

I am so so sorry. Just found your blog (through Jocelyn), and I don't really know you, but I am praying for you nonetheless. Stay strong.

Susan Isaacs said...

Lori and Ted I am so sorry. Almost sounds like a whole red tape snafu. I pray that Gladney sets up the appeal right away. And that whatever went wrong will go right, that your mourning will soon be turned to dancing. But at any rate I'm so sorry. You are right. GOD DOES HAVE A STORY FOR YOU. I am praying that plot twist comes in soon to bring good news.

Candy said...

OH MY WORD I am so sorry and this Guate Tot MOM is PRAYING FOR YOU....HUGS

Ted and Jill said...

There is nothing to say that can make any sense of this. I have never heard of this happening and I am so sorry!! We will pray and pray that Abe can come home to his family.

Jill

the albertsons said...

You will get through this. You've been plunged into the depths, and yes, you're clinging. But God won't let go of you. Let our prayers hold you up. Let our well-wishes surround you and keep you going. God has a plan for your family and a plan for this baby. Let time figure it out, and breath deeply. Gladney folks are the best and they will work SO HARD for you and the baby. Rest and take care of yourselves this weekend... You are wonderful, funny, kind-hearted people and you will be parents. It'll all work out. I'm so, so sorry that you have to feel this pain. Life can suck. If we didn't have hope in God... I don't even know what life would look like.
Please email if you need anything at all...
with love,
becca

Stacie said...

I wish I had words... my heart is going out to you and my prayers are with you. I'm so sorry this happened.

Angela said...

I am so sorry. Praying for you guys and lil Abenezer today... and the courts... and the darned red tape. I am so so sorry. Praying Jesus holds you all close and you can feel His arms holding you.

Tanya & Ramsey said...

I am so sorry... I will keep you both in our prayers!!!!

Tanya

Earl Family News said...

I got up this morning to your message. Oh Lori & Ted, I am so sorry this has happened to you and Baby Abe. We hurt for you, but cannot possibly know the devastation that you feel at this moment. We are also praying with you that somehow God will work things out for you to be united with your son very soon.

May God's grace sustain you through all the pain that you are going through right now. Shelia (Skopje, Macedonia)

Jessica & Kevin Perberg said...

I am just so sorry for what has happened. That is so incredibely hard to understand how that could happen. I will pray that somehow things will work out so you can bring that beautiful boy home.

Amy said...

Lori and Ted,
I am so sorry to hear this...I am thinking about you guys and praying for some quick resolution. Praying that Belay is able to have favor with the necessary officials and get this resolved.

The Quinn Girls said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and baby Abe. What a terrible thing to happen. It makes no sense. If anyone can work with the system and find out what is best for the baby, it's Belay. Be sure to take care of yourself. What a terrible heart break. I am so, so sorry.

The Roberts Family said...

Thank you for the update and being transparent and sharing your heart .... KNOW that I'll be praying for you in the days ahead!!!!! Much love,
Shelly

Ronnica said...

I'm just a stranger, but I wanted you to know that I'm praying for you that God will use this for His glory and that He will comfort you in only a way that He can!

Stephanie said...

I am praying for you too, Lori, Ted, and Abe! God is Good.

With love,
Steph

Natalie Fournet said...

I know the Lord loves you and this sweet baby boy....though it doesn't feel like love. Praying for you! Natalie

Eric & Tara said...

I know that nothing that we say is going to make you feel better, but just know that you are SURROUNDED by SO many prayer warriors who are raising you and little Abenezer to Jesus...He is going to get you through this and we will all be here to rejoice with you when He does!

Courtney Rose said...

Dearest Lori- My heart is aching for you and Ted right now. I don't know what to say, but know that my husband and I are praying for your family... praying hard for strength, wisdom, continued resolve, everything and anything. With much tenderness across the miles, Courtney

Brooke said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Lizard said...

I am so sorry.

Our Ethiopian Journey... said...

I'll be praying for you guys....I'm so sorry!

Tasha said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Danni and Tommy said...

I am so sorry. I wish I had words, I'm just so sorry that you are going through this.

emily & mike said...

Praying for you during this horrible time. May God work a miracle and bring him home to you.

Mrs.CaptainMamushMama said...

Thinking of you and sending light your way

Pattie Vz said...

Dear Lori and Ted: Words escape, as with everyone else, I am so sorry. This is one of those moments that are just beyond comprehension. I am crying our to God for you and with you. The song from Tommy "when I don't know what to do" comes to my mind, and that is all I know to do in moments like these, so I lift my hands to the only one I know who has any comprehension of this. Thanks for the qualifier Lori, but as it is my nature, I will most likely "worry a little" about you too. Love,

Pattie

emily said...

Will defintely be praying for you and your sweet baby! May this be resolved quickly. So sorry.

Shawn and Jami said...

Please know that we are praying for you and everyone involved in the process. Thank you for being vulnerable and allowing us to see your hope in Christ in the midst of so many unknowns.

Scott & Emily Lydick said...

We just got your heart wrenching message and are just heart broken for you! I have all the faith in the world in the Gladney team that they will do everything in their power to bring Abe to you. You're truly in our thoughts and prayers and we pray for quick results so that your family will finally be all together.

Lori said...

Thinking and praying hard for things to be resolved quickly for you and your little man... You and Ted need to try every ounce you can find to stay strong and to believe that there is a grand plan and that it hasn't been revealed in it's entirety yet, but it will all be clear soon...

Lori

Gurske Adoption said...

Our prayers are with you and baby A!

Gurskes

Tami said...

My thoughts are wtih you. All things work out for good.

Deborah said...

Ted & Lori,
I'm so sorry this has happened. We will pray that God gives you grace and comfort and peace. And a miracle, however it comes.
Deborah, Shamus & Quinn

Abby said...

I am so sorry. Please know that my prayers are with your family at this time.
Abby

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry! We are praying for you guys. God has a purpose for everything and this is just another piece of the sometimes confusing puzzle of his plan. In the end it will all work out somehow and we hope that you will be with abenezer.

kristen said...

i am new to your blog - but wanted to say how sorry i am for your bad news. i'll reiterate what you already know - God has a plan and a purpose and as terrible as this is for you now, and as hard as it is to believe, the all-knowing God has His plan, and soon, you too will begin to know and understand. until then, i will pray with you and everyone else for this situation to resolve itself soon. God bless you all.

Laura said...

oh my gosh! I'm just heartbroken for you guys! This is not over. God has something huge in store for you guys and for baby Abenezer. Praying for favor with the courts and for wisdom on where to go from here. HE IS FAITHFUL. In your weakness He is strong! You are surrounded by people who are covering you in prayer. Love you guys!

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

Ted and Lori,
I am so sorry. Tom and I will be holding you up in prayer.

HeidiD in CT said...

Ted and Lori - I think the many comments above have said it so well for all of us. We all know how unpredictable adoption can be with its highs and lows, but know that even those of us at our stage are not ever "finished" since we are all in this together. We are praying for you as hard as we can. My heart is aching for you. I hope that Belay can work his magic quickly and get your precious little Abe in your arms soon.

Misty said...

Still praying for a miracle...just a different one now. Also I pray for the peace of God in your hearts.

Erica said...

Ted & Lori - I have no words. I'm so so sorry. Praying for a miracle, praying for peace and comfort in this storm.

iesha said...

My husband and I will keep you and you all in our prayers. Trust that God has this under control as you go through this hard time!!

Johanna said...

Big hug! There is a reason for this journey as well, something that the man upstairs will clarify when he is ready. Be strong - you too will arrive. Questions will be answered. And Happiness will come.

ian & amanda said...

bless your hearts. hang in there.

we love you.

Anonymous said...

My family and I will be praying for your miracle... God will bless you!!!

The Gutierrez Family
From New Mexico

Lindsey and Cortney said...

Praying too. Your story will be told and it will be a beautiful one.

Kerri said...

Thinking of you...
Kerri and Ruby

Pacey's Grammy and Papa said...

Lori and Ted

We are so sorry that your adoption journey took this unexpected turn. Just know that you have the support of the entire adoption community and if any of us can do anything for you please do not hesitate to ask. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Jocelyn's parents

The Blessing that is LIA said...

I believe in miracles. A similar thing happened with my friend and her daughter. As you can see, I said "her daughter"....it worked out in the end, and she was reunited with her. Have faith. Miracles do happen. I will be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

i am from Ethiopia, it was by accident i read your blog, don't be discouraged by the judges decision: sometimes Ethiopians are like that, they like to use their power to say no for no good reason. just give him time and if you can find someone to find the judge and talk to him, I'm sure he will change his mind. just have faith and think positive. i hope everything works out well for you. and when you do receive Abenezer, please tell him you can about Ethiopia so he knows where he comes from.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you daily!

Maribeth said...

I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Annie said...

I am so sorry for you and I will keep you in my prayers. (I found your blog through Jocelyn's). I am encouraged by the "anonymous" comment from this morning and I will pray that this can still be resolved for you in the courts soon.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog and must agree with the anonymous poster- the judges have a lot of power and many times when having a bad/off day wield it in a horrible way. Our agency rep would go back time and again to a judge being ornery, sweet talk him etc and always ened up with what he wanted, even if delays had happened.
I am sorry for your heartache, but DO fihg this! Show them you want this baby and are willing to stand up for him.
LM