My Heart Is Broken

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.


16 thoughts on “My Heart Is Broken

  1. I can’t even imagine that roller coaster. I’m so sorry for your loss and the wound to your heart. I hope that you make time to meet with someone to help you with this incredibly difficult outcome. Prayers.

  2. Shannon, you have done such a good job of writing about sweet baby, Elliot. He is so precious and I’m so thankful I got to be there to spend a few minutes with him and all of you. My heart has grieved with you and my prayers have been for God to comfort yours and Nathan’s hearts. God’s Word says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps 34:18. Allow God to be close and in time it will be easier to bear. God has a plan for this sweet little boy and for you, Nathan, Hadley and Noah as well. Love you all!

  3. Darling, God has a plan for you and your family and this was just not the time. I know this hurts more than most because I came from a childrens home and know exactly how it feels when someone is taken away because my brothers were taken away from me. So trust in God and your precious family, it will take time but because of who you are and how you were raised you will be better for this. My heart melts for you but I know things will get better, the memories will never be forgotten but that is why we love as we do. God bless you and your family!

  4. Hi, I am your mom’s cousin Donna’s daughter. This is so heartbreaking to read. We had an adoption placement fall through last winter after having the baby with us for two months. It was so hard. We knew it was a high risk placement as the father wasn’t sure about it from the beginning but that doesn’t stop you from falling head over heels in love with the baby and welcoming them into your family. We adopted my 6 year old daughter as a newborn and it went about as wonderfully as you could hope. We’ll be thinking of you guys. I know how hard it is. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk.

  5. Dear Shannon,

    Your precious mother is a dear sister to me and you have all been in my prayers through the unimaginable pain and grief you are going through in the loss of your beautiful son. You have lost a child and I am just so, so sorry.

    In prayer,
    Jane Funk

  6. We love you guys so much and my heart breaks for you. If we can do anything please call! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  7. It hurts. I’m told it always will. I can begin to imagine your pain, having just said goodbye to my baby of two years when she returned to her bio-mother after foster care with us. It hurts. I am glad, though, that Elliot won’t consciously have these memories. Watching your child cry for you and not being able to give them what they want (you) is a whole different level of torture. But now Elliot has two mommies that love him, and your prayers for him can improve his life even if you can’t be there in person. Blessing as you continue to journey this road.

  8. I’m so sad that you have to go through this, Shannon. it’s such a heartbreaking story and Elliot looks like a sweetheart. You have my heartfelt sympathy, your family will be in my thoughts and I hope that you all find strenghth. you are so blessed to have hadley and noah and I’m sure there are many more blessings on the way.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. We experienced something similar, but we had raised the little kiddo up to the age of 4 and then he went to live with his grandmother. It was the worst heartbreak of my life, so I can really empathize with you.

  10. Shannon,

    Prayers for you guys! Elliot was carried and brought into a world without the unconditional love and the sheer joy most of us feel at the birth of our children… God needed to heal Elliot’s heart and soul with your family’s love…………. Because of you he was loved immeasurably at a time his birth mother was detached and confused…….. and now because of his short but blessed time as your son he will forever be capable of love, joy, and happiness! He is forever part of your hearts and you his! Prayers for healing, that your memories will be joyful, and that your amazing family will soon be blessed again….


  11. Pingback: Adoption Update | bowersbakingandbabies

  12. Pingback: Welcome to the family Harper Rowe Bowers | bowersbakingandbabies

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