A couple of weeks ago I was in Texas celebrating my birthday with my friends and celebrating the fact that we finally got approved for the adoption process. We were officially a “waiting family.” (If you didn’t know we were adopting go here) That was on Tuesday. Friday night I am back at home in Fayetteville with my family. We are about to go on a walk before dinner and my phone rings. I answer it. It is the social worker with Bethany Christian Services saying that a birth mom has chosen us to raise her child. We were in shock since we just got approved. We were excited too. We found out a little more about this baby, it was to be a boy and the mom was going to be induced on November 1st. That was less than a week away! That weekend we got down Noah’s old clothes, went and bought bottles and formula, and we started to get ready for a baby! Eventually Thursday came and we headed down to Little Rock to pick up this precious bundle of joy. We didn’t get to go see him until Friday (per the birth mom’s request) but boy, did we fall in love when we saw him. Nathan and I were already in love with the idea of him, but seeing him for the first time brought tears to my eyes. He was tiny, healthy, beautiful (or as Hadley would say, handsome), just perfect. We were able to sit down and talk with the birth mom some. I felt so blessed that we had that opportunity. We planned to have an open adoption so it was great to actually get to meet her and hear her heart some. We didn’t have long together but the time we had was so special. We got to take baby Elliot out of the hospital and to the hotel room where my mom, Patti, Hadley and Noah were anxiously awaiting to meet him. Hadley fell in love at first sight too. She held him and loved on him, helped him with a bottle and made sure he had his hat on. Such a good big sister. Such a big blessing! Not an ounce of jealousy in her body. A true image of God, her love. While in the hotel we also took our first family photo of the new Bowers family of FIVE. We were all soo happy! Eventually we loaded up the car and headed back to Fayetteville. It was time to begin our life as a family of five.
Now in the state of Arkansas there is either a five day or ten day waiting period where the birth mom can revoke her consent to adopt and take her baby back. The birth mom signed a five day consent. We thought that was a good sign. This mom also had been through counseling and preparation for being separated from her child. She told us at the hospital that she was not mentally prepared to take care of a child nor was she ready to take a child on since she was in school still and about to graduate. We knew we were taking a risk by taking baby Elliot into our home but it was a risk we were willing to take. We thought the birth mom sounded confident in her decision, and the social worker thought so as well. Also, we loved him already and couldn’t imagine not having him those first few days of his life. I tried to guard my heart but that was just impossible.
After loving on him so much, just completely swooning for the little fellow day five arrived. The last day the birth mom could take him back. I woke up and was ready for the day to be over. Never have I wished a day would pass so quickly. We carried on throughout the day like normal but with a little more anxiety. In the afternoon I get a call from the social worker that works directly with the birth mom. Apparently the birth mom is having second thoughts. You see, she didn’t tell her parents she was giving this child up for adoption. She was going to keep it a secret from them until after the five days. For some reason or another that plan didn’t work and she told her parents. Her parents wanted her to keep the baby boy and if not her raise it then they would. At this point, the birth mom had not officially changed her mind but would let us know by 5pm. That was three hours away. That was a tough three hours but we had no idea how hard the time after 5pm would be.
We get a phone call shortly after 5 saying the worst news ever. The birth mom wanted our sweet Elliot back for her parents to raise in a different state. HEART BREAKING. Nathan and I cried more than ever. This was one of the worst, if not worst day OF MY LIFE. If you are a parent, then you understand. Imagine your child being taken away from you? AWFUL.
Now, two full days without my baby boy I am still in tears, still heart broken. I have to live life though, life hasn’t stopped for me to grieve. Hadley and Noah still need me. I am so thankful for them though because if they didn’t need me then I would be a mess on the floor probably. I am trying to depend on God through this situation but it is so hard. I don’t understand why God would take Elliot away from us. I read to “give thanks” but how can I? I am thankful for my kids now, and thankful I had five days with Elliot but I can’t give thanks for him being taken away. I try to believe that God loves Elliot more than I, that God has a good plan for him and we are not in it, but my heart does not believe those statements quiet yet. As a family we are trying to move forward but it is hard. We are trying to return to normal, but I am not sure what normal is. My heart aches for my baby boy. I want him back into my arms.
Here is one picture of sweet Elliot. We have a lot but I am only going to post one since he is not my child anymore.