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AllwoodJennifer Allwood HomeFaith, Family, & Adoptionadoption

Our adoption journey: The day God didn’t show up

By September 4, 201326 Comments
aimee 4 kids

(picture from 2 years ago)

As many of you know, my husband and I began the process of trying to adopt another girl for our family almost 3 years ago.  We could have had another biological child, but adoption has always been on our heart.

We started out going the traditional route of trying to adopt a newborn from a private agency.  After about a year of that, we decided we really wanted a toddler more than a baby. We’ve done sleepless nights 3 times already.  And….we ARE getting older. So, we decided to get our license to adopt from the foster care system in the states. We thought once we got that license that suuuuuuurely, we would quickly get a little girl, because A) isn’t the system overflowing with kids???  and B) as believers, surely the Lord would work quickly on our behalf.
Oh how naive we were.
We have put our home study in for 2 toddler girls but we were not selected for either.  And we were asked to adopt a sibling set, but the dynamics just didn’t seem a good fit for our family and if you remember this post…I needed to honor my husband’s wisdom and position in our family.  And even though that stunk, he was right.
And so here we are.  Almost a year after getting our license, almost 3 years after starting our journey….and still no 4th kiddo.  We had always said when our 3rd bio child started kindergarten that we would put a hault to our efforts.  Because we seriously never dreamed it would take 3 years.   And oh by the way, God loves it when we give Him deadlines, right?   Lol.
So, our baby started kindergarten almost 2 weeks ago.
And I feel….embarrassed. Maybe we heard God wrong.
Conflicted.  I don’t want to be jaded by our domestic social system, but what the heck?
Disappointed.   At the end of the day, all confliction and embarrassment aside, our family just wants another child.
And so we are left with the dilemma of where to go from here.  We could obviously adopt internationally, but we really felt called to adopting domestically.
What is a family to do?
I had reminded God of the calendar so many times this summer.
I reminded Him of our self imposed “deadline”.
In the event He didn’t already know, I told him how amazing He would look if He “showed up BIG the day BEFORE she began kindergarten”.
I reminded Him that He would get all the glory and look like a superstar.
But, the day came and went with no phone call from our social worker.
There was no parting of the Red Sea or “sun stand still” moment.
Ava’s school week started…..and we heard silence.

The deafening, painful silence of the day God didn’t show up.  That was our drop dead date.  We were to be done. Finished with adoption.  Getting on with our life.

And the day came and went quietly.

I know that I know that I know that my God is good.  I know He will never leave us nor forsake us.  I know He will show up when He is darned good and ready to show up.
Or……. He won’t.
And either way, as painful as it is…….He doesn’t owe me any explanation.  Even when I feel like I owe everyone ELSE an explanation, He doesn’t have to tell us why.
And my heart is to still make God look so big and so amazing and so GOOD to my other 3 kids.  Inside I wanna cry, “come on God….could you throw us a bone here?  My babies are watching this play out!!!!”

How do I adequately explain to my kids that God hears our prayers.  And He always answers.  Sometimes its a yes. Sometimes He says no.  And sometimes, He says not yet.

Yes, I know this could be for their protection.
know they can see faith at work through this.
know they can watch us and learn how to handle disappointment.
But none of that makes us feel any better.  Or process this journey any quicker.  Or grieve that a dream is dwindling any less.
And so as I sit here in this Starbucks today doing the ugly cry, I can tell you we haven’t turned in our license.  We haven’t completely given up hope.  We haven’t thrown in the towel just yet.  We will work on God’s calendar.
But I am pleading on the inside.  Lord either make this happen or please shut this door. We will continue down this journey until He does one or the other.
And in the meantime, I would like to say I GET God’s timing.  I understand the scripture and biblical importance and significance of God’s timing which is sooooooo good and always better than ours.
My head gets it.
I nod in agreement when people keep reminding me.  But I wanna spit nails on the inside.  Cuz’ it doesn’t make it FEEL any better.So, if you have someone in your world waiting on a child…..I’d like to encourage you to encourage them.
Let them know you will believe in their dream too until it comes to fruition.
Tell them you are sorry.
Ask them how the progress of their journey is….even if you are uncomfortable with asking.  Cuz’ asking means you remember.  Remembering means you care.  And caring means you aren’t afraid of the emotion that may come with the answer.
And just cry WITH them.
Pray for them.
And pray for us.

Because that sliver of faith that YOU have in OUR journey is some days enough to sustain MY faith.

So thank you for letting me bare my heart.  And get my ugly cry out.  I want you to know the ugly cry isn’t very often.  I’m not in a deep mourning over our adoption.  Most days I go about my day with complete normalcy.
But there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder where our girl is?  And why can’t we find her?  This feels so lonely.  And sooooooo emotionally vulnerable.  It’s like getting picked last for the playground games….for 3 years straight.  And trying to convince people you were meant to play the game.  All while trying to keep a faithful face in front of our other kids.
I know our journey is not for nothing.
I know my God has a plan.
And either way, we win cuz’ I believe it’s His VERY best for us.
But until then, just cry with us, will you?
(PS…if you are aware of any healthy girl, age 2-6, of any nationality, in foster care who may become adoptable, please let us know. xoxo)


  • Melanie says:

    Sending you good thoughts and prayers

  • brenda allen says:

    God Bless you and your family. Stay strong God will bring you what you need.

  • Janice says:

    Dear, Dear Jennifer – I don’t profess to have any miraculous words of wisdom, least not any that you haven’t heard before. Just wanted to send a huge hug……

    I know what you mean by the “ugly cry” but don’t imagine you could do anything in an ugly manner.

    Will keep you on my prayer list…..


  • 9405018--Pat says:

    Sending prayers and hug to you and your family….one day at a time! Pat H

  • marsha says:

    Okay, I do not know you other than reading your blog and FB posts, but I want you to know I cried with you. God is good, I am glad you know that.

  • Holy Craft says:

    Oh hon, my heart breaks for you. I remember seeing that picture of your family two years ago and feeling so touched by it. God is good all the time. Praying for peace as you wait for whatever answer God has for you and your family.

  • Desiree says:

    I agree with you that God is good. I don’t always understand though why we live with big dreams and sometimes bigger heartaches. Or why we carry desires in our hearts that can only be explained as God given, and then don’t see any progress toward that desire. So many things I don’t understand.

  • Michelle says:

    God’s plan is perfect. We don’t understand it, but someday we will. Perhaps it is a boy that God wants you to have? Or perhaps God feels your family is complete? I’m just putting that out there. Hubby and I don’t have children and I know God’s plan is perfect and that He didn’t intend for us to have any. One day we will understand. In the meantime, big hugs.

  • Elmina says:

    Jennifer, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.I have a tough time remembering “In God’s time, not mine.” It is not easy when we want something that seems so right. Hang in there. God does love you!

  • Suzan says:

    I know your pain and completely understand. I have two children and desperately wanted more. No reason why I didn’t have them, I simply did not. I prayed about it for a long time and then it finally dawned on me that God answered my prayer. It wasn’t the answer that I wanted but He answered. Peace to you.

  • Praying for your family. This brought ms to tears.

  • Julie says:

    You write so well, so expressively. Maybe you should change careers. 🙂 I’m a grandmother, and as I read your words, I thought of the many times I have prayed for something and felt 100% justified in that prayer. It was good and would bless other lives. And yet many times, perhaps more often than not, those prayers did not result in what I wanted. Eventually, something else greater came in its place. Each time. What God wants for us is better than what we want for ourselves. I have learned to ask the Lord to teach me what to pray for. Best to you —

  • Olivia says:

    About two weeks ago in church we prayed for a two year old girl whose mother had been killed in a car accident. The prayer was for a family to come forward and take the little girl. No one in her immediate family was able to care for her. I am new to this church and if I can find out some more information this Sunday I will let you know. More information will depend on if the girl who requested the prayer is in church Sunday. Also I live in AZ not sure if that is a problem.

  • Melinda says:

    This post–like your previous adoption posts–really tugs at my heart. I’m so sorry for your hurt and disappointment. {{{BIG HUG}}} I’m glad you’re not abandoning the journey due to timing, though.

    Dear friends of mine were told midway through a LONG international adoption journey–that was mired in government red tape–that their adoption of two Haitian children was “a failed adoption.” Everyone was devastated. But they didn’t give up; those little kiddos had already been held by them and had been given their last name. We all prayed and waited (what seemed like forever) and today those little children are home with my friends.

    I know it doesn’t always end that way…but it’s worth hanging on until God says stop.

    And it’s ok to be sad and cry; the situation is rotten and stinks to high heaven! but letting yourself feel is ok. You have a tender mom’s heart. (I do, too, crying with you!)

    Maybe your little girl has yet to be born?

    Much love and prayers,

  • Today I received a phone call and was immediately asked to please hold. I thought as I was holding, ‘wait a second, you called ME! why are you now asking me to please hold?!’ Then it occurred to be that is exactly what God has done in our adoption. He has called us (let us celebrate in the call!) and all He is asking to do is “please hold”. I knew not to get angry at the caller because she cares about me and chose me to call to talk to, but she needed me to hold. and so I did. I didn’t dare hang up on my friend. I just waited. Because we are in month 22 and I can relate, and you once encouraged me on my blog, I wanted to share this verse with you:

    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
    Praying that you find joy in the wait.

  • Unknown says:

    Your entire blog post is filled with why God, why, and then you still conclude that God knows best and has a plan for you. The all knowing deity which has a plan for all 7 billion people living on this earth, you must be a very silly person to believe these things. Have you got any idea what the universe is made up of and how mindbogglingly big it is? We are but grains of sand in the universe and does God has a plan for every grain of sand in the Sahara? I don’t think so. If you have any grasp on reality, I would ask you to please wake up from your delution and stop clinging to invisible, omnipotent deitys for every move you make, stop mindlessly asking for things to the non-existent listener in the sky. I know scientists already have traced the reason some people feel the need for some reason, feel the need for there to be something bigger than us, but it is all just your brain not understanding things and misleading you. A kind of self presevation mechanism of sorts. Please live your life to the fullest and stop bothering to ask God for things, he/she does not exist, and therefore he/she/it will never answer or listen or do anything at all. So I implore you to learn all you can about the science of the universe, learn as long as you live, don’t stop just because you find something that goes against the things you’ve been told all your life in church and what not. Live and be awed by the greatness of the universe! And I also would like to ask you to never, ever indoctrinate your adopted children to this complete load of …. you’ve filled your post with. I was brought up as a christian and as soon as I was capable of critical thinking, I realized how silly my parents were and still are for believing in Jesus Christ who just happens to be the very same character as the son of the sun God in Egyptian mythology which also had 12 deciples, also died and was resurrected. Do you also believe Astrology? Because the Bible is filled with that nonsense. I could go on and on and on. I bet you will delete this post anyway so I will stop now. Have a good life and please listen to my words a little, however they may offend you and your “God”.

    • Casey says:

      Please do not put this person down because of her belief. That is the problem with this world that everyone wants people to believe as they do. She was talking about her faith and no one else’s. She can raise her children as she sees fit and one day they will chose their own path. Whether you believe in a god or goddess or absolute nothing, that is your right but the least you can do is just let the other person believe their own way. Where is the tolerance everyone cries about? Jeezzzzzz

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Idell Willet says:

    Despite the disappointment of having to wait in “deafening silence” for 3 years straight, I hope you’ll never lose confidence in domestic social system. At the right time, you’ll find someone who’s meant to be a part of your family. Just stay positive.

    Idell Willet @

  • Geri says:

    I am going to a fundraiser tonight for the Global Orphan Project and looking at their website. They have a special interest in getting kids in KC adopted. I don’t know if you have looked into this, but please give it a look. Global Orphan Project Kansas City. Blessings. Geri Jaeger

  • debianne says:

    “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isa. 43:19).

  • Laney says:

    You really have a way with words. Your faith is such an inspiration! I know how hard it can be sometimes. Who can say where your story is going to end, but know that God loves each and every one of his children!

  • Linda says:

    Adoption is truly an emotional and spiritual roller coaster. We konw, because we have been on that ride. We have been on that ride going to the hosptial to meet “our” son and it abruptly ending when we recieved the call from teh birth mother saying “I changed my mind”. We have been on that ride when the agency called to say we had been matched but the birth mother wanted to take the child home to say good bye on her timing. Oh, it was the longest 10-day ride of our lives! In all of this we had to remind ourselves that God is Sovereign. Over, and over, and over again. Once that precious child was lovingly placed in our arms by the birth mother who thought it was her timing, I felt God saying ever so gently – no, it is My timing. He blessed the birthmother with time to say her goodbyes, and He knocked our socks off when the time was right! Waiting is never easy. But oh how precious the wait will be when HE knows you are ready. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Although not the same context, I believe His word teaches us to be ready at all times. May He bless you and your family!

  • Carolynn says:

    I’m swinging over from Emily’s today. How difficult this must be for you and your family and yet, as I read this and hear the crying of your heart, I know that God has heard it too. It brings to mind Daniel 11:12 – 13. In this story, after praying and fasting for three full weeks, Daniel is finally visited by an angel who tells him that God heard and answered his prayer on the first day. For twenty-one days, the Evil Spirit blocked his way and another, higher angel, had to come and help him break through. Perhaps, there are things happening in the spirit world that you don’t know about that are preventing things unfolding in the manner in which you’d hoped they would. You have your home and your hearts ready. Perhaps, that’s all that is required of you now, other than to wait patiently upon the Lord. May you find peace today and rest in the knowledge that all things unfold, as they should, in the proper time.


  • Amber says:

    I know you posted this awhile ago, but I can totally relate. My husband and I have struggled with infertility for 7 years (feel free to see my blog about that journey) and God didn’t show up in a big way in that either. But my husband and I both have always felt a calling to adopt domestically and save a kid from ‘the system’. So we went through classes and got our foster care license and now we have 2 sweet little boys 2 and 6 living with us. We have submitted our home study as well and are praying for the opportunity to get to be their forever family. Good luck on your journey. This certainly wasn’t the way my husband and I pictured ours, but it’s God’s timing and God’s plan, and it’s always better than ours. That’s the hope that keeps us going.

  • Jamie says:

    Going back and reading some of these older posts… These heart tugging posts.
    We had been trying for some years to have another child and then stopped trying. Low and behold I got pregnant, with complications and very early in so not many knew. My youngest, 4 years old… I was tucking him in one night and he mentioned something about a baby. Mind you, we never ever discussed having a baby. I asked him if he wanted a baby. His little chin started quivering and he said, “Yes but God doesn’t give us a baby.” Tears streaming down his face. So we prayed. As I laid there with my baby, and another baby in my belly, I prayed like heck for God to make it right. To answer my son’s prayer.
    In the ER some days later I wasSCREAMING at God (in my head) to make it right and answer my son’s prayer… To not deny my son his prayer. How He would be able to show His mighty glory if He let it all work out.
    It did not. It’s been almost two months. Some days it feels like yesterday and other days it feels like a lifetime ago.
    I totally get your heart in this post. Big huge hugs to you, Jen. Anxious to read the new post on the topic.

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