After 18 months of waiting, we met Micah. Merely 12 hours old, our adoption agency referred to him as an “emergency placement.” They knew little about his birth mother, but what they did know pointed to smooth seas, all the way to finalization.
So, after a short hospital stay, we nestled Micah in his car seat and drove to our tiny orange house in an historic neighborhood. We went all in—we rejected the advice to guard our hearts until the adoption was final. How could we? His tiny hands and beautiful brown eyes wouldn’t allow us to keep him at a distance. So we fell in love, with reckless abandon. We brought this bundle of sweetness into our home on my husband’s birthday. We praised God for every perfect finger, for his tiny cry, and for (perhaps our favorite part) his warm snuggles.
Friends brought us meals; sweet gifts and cards came in the mail. All of the waiting we had done faded into the background. He was our son.
It is etched in my memory, the look on Evan’s face as our social worker told him that our adoption had been disrupted. Such a mixture of horror and emotional angst I’d never seen before. In our case, “disrupted” meant that Micah’s birth mother had decided to parent. She retained this right, of course, but that didn’t make our grief and pain any less real. We were losing our son. The shock paralyzed us, but we had to move forward. We had to collect Micah’s things, tuck them into a bag, and drive him to the adoption agency. His birth mother would arrive soon, to take him back.
We cried all the way there. I rode in the back seat with Micah, memorizing every line of his beautiful face, holding his gaze as long as I could, taking in his delightful newborn scent, and treasuring all these things in my heart.
After a long goodbye at the agency, we kissed his sweet cheeks one final time, and drove home. In all our life, this remains the hardest thing we’ve ever done. We loved him in a way that we didn’t even know existed. In our hearts, he will always be our son. We were changed forever.
In retrospect, it is providential that we chose to name him Micah, a Hebrew word meaning “Who is like Yahweh?”. Because this circumstance required us to look at exactly who Yahweh is. God is sovereign and does as he pleases, according to His perfect will. Those good gifts we learned about in The Wait? We learned that those can come by addition—the way we generally like to receive them—or by subtraction, as happened here. While we can guess at why we weren’t gifted the chance to be Micah’s parents long-term, the fact is that we really don’t know why—and that’s okay. That’s not something we need to know. Our God is trustworthy and kind, working always for our ultimate good in Christ. We know He loves us, and He comes near to the brokenhearted. His Spirit truly gives great comfort. We learned to grieve to the glory of God, not despairing and not abandoning hope. Losing Micah gave us a timely reminder that, in reality, we don’t deserve anything; we are not entitled. With that in mind, we endeavor to have grateful hearts for the week that we were able to shower Micah with love.
The Loss marked my first major foray into mourning, and I can see how the Lord used it to prepare me for what came next. The Loss drew me tightly to God, caused me to hold fast to Him and depend on Him for stability—an important lesson, because what came next would rock me to my very core: I call it “The Death.” I’ll post about that in a couple weeks!
What unexpected gifts have you received from God?