Friday, September 10, 2010

Letting Go

Yesterday, seventeen days after celebrating the news of our sibling referral, Geoff and I made the agonizing decision to decline our referral, a decision that our province would likely have made, had we not.  The joy of our August 23 referral seems like a distant memory.

Three days after receiving our referral, we learned that one of our children might have some medical issues.  Though shocked, we were ultimately ok with the news - we were not expecting perfect children.  However, over the next couple of weeks, further medical tests were completed and lengthy conversations were had with doctors, and it became evident that the issues were far more serious than anyone had anticipated...and the ramifications far more significant.  As more and more information came together, we gradually concluded that these were not issues that we were equipped to handle.  Ultimately, we were led to yesterday's decision.

It matters to us that we honour the children's dignity and privacy as much as possible.  For that reason, we have decided that we are not going to talk further about the medical issues involved; our preference, in fact, is that we not even name which of the children is so affected.

It's been hard, dealing with all of the emotions and decisions of the past couple of weeks, and I'm not off the roller coaster yet.  I am still working through the anger and pain and sadness of it all...the loss.  I don't understand why we're on this fork in the road, after already accumulating so many battle scars along the journey towards creating and trying to complete our family.  We told only a few people what's been happening these days, needing support but simultaneously not wanting to talk a lot about it.  I felt curled up on the inside and wanted to live in that place for a while.

I cannot comprehend God's plan for our lives, though I hope someday to be able to look back on this time and say ahhh, yes, now I understand why we needed to go through that.  Or, perhaps we will never, in this lifetime, have that hindsight perspective.  And that needs to be ok, too.  What came to me one sleepless night was that life isn't about where we arrive at, or the dreams that we achieve; it's not even about whether Geoff and I are able to have one child or three.  Life is so very much about how we live the journey we're on.  I've really sucked at how I've lived life at times.  But this time, I want to do it differently, better.  I figure that the God who is big enough to handle my questions and my pain and my screams of rage is also big enough to know what the best plan is for my life.  So I'm choosing, we're choosing, to let the dream of these two children go, and to believe in a God who knows the desires of our hearts and will honour them.

Over the past couple of weeks, so many people have noticed my absence from various aspects of life, and have contacted me; I've been very moved by this, and by the support of those few who know more of the details.  Thank you all so much.  Also, Bonnie, at our local adoption agency, Adoption Options, has been such a support and encouragement to me.  And, not even knowing if any Imagine Adoption staff read my blog, I need to make a comment about the people there, because I cannot speak highly enough about them...particularly Val and Melissa, who we worked directly with.  They were incredible over the past couple of weeks: crying with us; praying for us; showing us great compassion; and acting quickly and efficiently in every respect to obtain the necessary information and medical tests.  They supported us in every possible and practical way; despite the circumstances, I cannot find one flaw in how they handled the situation or dealt with us.  We are very grateful.

And so, somehow, life continues and things move on.  And we will be ok. We're better today than we were yesterday, and I hope that tomorrow is better than today.  We are officially back on the wait list for another referral, and hope some day to welcome two other children into our family.  In so hoping, I also cling to the knowledge that our first two, beautiful, Ethiopian-born children will be referred to a family in the United States, where children with significant medical needs can be adopted by experienced families who are waiting for them.

Last week, we received an additional picture of the children; it is the only picture we have of them together, and the only one we have of them looking happy.  I'm so glad we have that to remember them by.  In it, a smiling pre-school boy is looking down at his impish little sister, and written all over his face are love and pride.  It is an incredible picture.  Though we have to let go of the dream of their becoming part of our family, the faces of those children are burned forever onto my heart.


  1. My heart breaks for you Ruth. I have no words of wisdom to offer, only wishes of love and peace for the days ahead. You're in my thoughts.

  2. Praying for you, Matthew and Geoff as you walk through this valley of grief. I am honored that you let me walk a bit of it with you and I am so taken by the quiet courage, grace and wisdom with which you have handled these past few weeks.
    Love you,

  3. Ruth, i'm so sorry! I will be praying for you all as you grieve and move forward...

    Huggs and prayers,

  4. Ruth, I can't begin to imagine how painful this process must be, and what it does to your heart. But I do know it takes a very special kind of person to seek it out, survive it and keep moving forward to fulfill this beautiful vision of family. I imagine it must be indicative of the way you have, and will continue, to handle the many bends in the road that life as a mother brings :)


  5. I am so sorry to read this and my heart breaks with you.
    I am sure even typing these words must have been very difficult with each step it must feel more and more real.

    I am so sorry this has happened and this just does not feel like the right thing to say, I do not think I have any of the right words to offer you.

    Sending you lots of love
    I am so grateful for your courage ( even if you do not feel strong right now )

    I am so grateful that I have been lucky to be part of your life and this hard day.

    Lots of love to you all

  6. Sending much love and many prayers your way, Ruth. I'm so sorry this has happened.
    Gwen <3

  7. Ruth, words can not express how saddened I am that you have to go through this. I am here anytime you need me. I can not imagine the deep pain you must be feeling. You deserve so much happiness. We are praying hard for all of you. I as so sorry...

    lots of love xx

  8. So sorry to hear this. This is very heartbreaking. We had to let go of a girl we were matched with in Ghana and I still think of her daily. My kids still pray for her. Life is not easy sometimes but I am glad we have a God who can carry us through these times.

  9. I'm sorry to hear this,the only thing i would like to tell you, know that you all in my thoughts and heart..

    lots of love


  10. Ruth,
    I am so sorry. There are just not words to accurately express how much I wish things were different.

    I want to say how much I admire you. I admire your decision to respect these children's privacy, even though in doing so, you may be judged more harshly for your decision than if people knew the truth.

    I admire your decision to trust in the plans that God has for your family and for these two children.

    I admire your courage to move forward.

    I admire your strength to share the painful parts so that you might help others.

    I pray that every day is a little bit easier than the one before it and that someday, there will be abundant joy.

  11. Oh Ruth. I am so sorry. You seem to be handling the situation and your understandable feelings of anger and sadness, as you described, with such wisdom and grace.

    I can't even imagine anyone thinking of passing judgment on you. I don't know you well, but I have followed your journey here and on our online group. And based on what I know about you, I am 100% sure you and your family made the informed, compassionate decision that is best for your family and those two children.

    Again, I'm so sorry.

    Karen T.

  12. Ruth, I didn't even imagine that your time out was involving all this, and now I read this and tears have sprung to my eyes and are rolling down my face. It's all not easy, but I am hopeful that those children will find their home in the U.S. I know that our rules in Canada, and province to province are very much stricter. Just give it a bit more time for your call. Katie H.

  13. Ruth, I am overwhelmed with emotion for you...I hardly know what to say. I'm so sorry. I know that you will always think about these 2 children and I can only imagine how difficult this decision has been for you and your family. Know that we are all here for you when ever you need us. Let us lift you up in your time of need. You are in our prayers.

    Tammy, Sid & Josina

  14. You already know what I think of you - amazing! I have said most of what I wanted you to know over the past couple weeks - 100% unconditional support.

    I hope that you will let me scream in your ear again very soon...

    Your Friend, Laura

  15. We are thinking about all of you. You have our love, prayers and support.
    Alicia & John

  16. Ruth, what a terribly difficult thing to have to go through after your referral. I'm so sorry. What should have been a time so filled with joy was overshadowed by so many other emotions, I'm sure.

    Be at peace, be well, move forward. All the best to you and your family.


  17. Ruth and Geoff my heart breaks for you. You are in my prayers and you have my support always. God bless and bring you peace.


  18. weeping for you, your family, and the little ones--all of you. May God gently hold you in His hand of healing.

  19. Thank you for how you're handling this, Ruth, what an inspiration you are to me during this difficult road. Yet, in the midst of not understanding why God is letting you experience this heartache, I completed reading your words thinking, "I am so grateful that she will be able to pray for these children by name for the rest of her life." In that way, these children will forever have you and Geoff in their lives. I know it's not enough...but that will be monumental for them.

    James and I will be keeping you in our prayers...
    Sharon -- still #42 from the yahoo group.

  20. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. It must be heartbreaking. I pray that you are able to heal from this and that your next referral comes quickly.

  21. I had been hoping that your absence had not been related to your adoption and I am saddened to hear your news.

    I too, hope that the children you declined find a safe and healthy future in the US and that a new request may soon make it's way to you.

  22. Hi Ruth,
    Your post was very honest and moving. I know this must be a very very difficult time for you. I'm thinking of you and wishing you strength in the next steps of your journey.

  23. I am very sorry for your family to hear the news. Sending you strength and positive thoughts.

  24. Wow, Ruth. I was just catching up on some blog reading and I was so sorry to read of your heartbreak. This must be an incredibly difficult time and I am so sorry you are going through it. I will pray for your family and for those children. I'm sure God will direct them to the right family and will send you the children who are meant to be a part of yours. But that doesn't take away from the heart ache right now.
    You're in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. Dear Ruth, I was hoping that your silence was not about your recent referral and I am so sad to hear about what happen for your family. I just want let you know that your are in our prayers.

  26. Your in my thoughts and prayers

  27. I was shocked to read about this on the yahoo board and apologize for not reading it hear first. I can't even imagine the pain and heartbreak you have all been through in the last few weeks. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and i'm sending you strenght to get through the coming weeks ahead. I also congratulate you for making the best decision for you and your family. Stay strong, your time will come.