Before I got pregnant with Ava, I had two miscarriages. The first at 13 weeks, the second in my 6th week. They were excruciating. The first one in particular, left me dazed for weeks. Each time, I marveled at the ability to begin a seed of love for a baby, a person, I'd never met. And how that translated into so much grief after the loss.
On January 12th, we received THE phone call. Our agency social worker called to deliver the news that we'd been matched with a tiny baby bird of a boy. She immediately sent everything they knew about him; name, story, medical information, and a picture. His image appeared slowly on the computer screen and I began to cry. He was so tiny and beautiful. We had some concerns because of his history but we began to think of nicknames, imagine his life here with us, a baby boy with so many sisters caring for him. We began to love him. We sent his information to an International Adoption Clinic that routinely reviews Ethiopian children's files with the understanding that it would take A LOT for us to decline. I printed out his picture and carried it around with me so I could sneak looks at his sweet face. I walked on a cloud of excitement and secret happiness.
The next evening, we received the report from the clinic. The doctors were concerned. The report said he would need a level of lifelong care that we didn't feel equipped to handle. We had to decline the referral. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I know his face and name. I know what he needs. And I know we aren't meant to be his and he isn't meant to be ours. But my heart breaks typing these words. I will forever see his face in my mind and wonder what brought him to us for a short moment in time. I told Erik maybe he just needed some extra hearts to love him through this world. I have struggled to try to find a way to honor his place in our hearts while acknowledging that he will make his way through life with another family. But for now, I will have to find a way to love him from afar with a corner of my heart that will always be torn.