Okay, I know this is more complicated than just “moving on,” but on some level we have to start taking one step at a time. We entered into this process knowing that each step was a tenuous one, and that at any moment this could happen. I am thankful that we had this mindset from the beginning, as I can’t imagine the grief of losing a child in any way if it were totally unexpected. But in moments of loss as in moments of gain we take comfort in the love of God as it is expressed through His people. We thought this experience was so that we could love Will, but maybe it was so that we could experience the love of so many people.

When we got the original call to see if we wanted to be considered for an open adoption, it was scary on many fronts. We didn’t know much, but we did know one thing. This was an opportunity given to us by God. Unfortunately for us we know our Bible enough to know that God sometimes asks His people to do things that may cause them pain. He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, He asked Joseph to endure years in prison for doing the right thing, He asked Hosea to marry a woman who he knew would leave him, He asked the disciples to leave everything to follow Jesus, and he asked Paul to endure great suffering. So we went into this with our eyes open, trusting that God would sustain us as far as it went and meeting our needs, whatever they would be, and He has.

Now we take comfort in knowing that we did what God asked. We were obedient. It didn’t work out like we had hoped, but we know that God is faithful to those who obey Him. He doesn’t promise us everything we want, and He doesn’t promise that it will work out like we plan. In fact, He doesn’t even promise that we will understand. But He does promise to take care of us, to protect us from those things that are too much for us to bear, to love us and to comfort us.

We have been blessed more than we deserve, and we are probably more aware of that in our sorrow than we were in our joy. God provided through His people not only every penny of the money we needed to adopt Will, but also a huge container of Starbucks Java Chip ice cream and a box of Kleenex when we can’t. He has given us friends who are excited with us and friends who will cry with us. He has blessed us most of all with a daughter who has the depth of faith to pray that we can keep the baby even though she will be relegated to the smaller room and the back row of the van, but the simplicity to be comforted with a book about Camp Rock, a sleepover and the promise of going to the pool.

We don’t know what the details of our story will be, but we want it to be a story that glorifies God in the good times and the bad ones. We want people to see God working in our lives, even when it is messy and we are crying a lot. At the beginning of this process we considered the level of vulnerability we should allow because we knew this could happen. Ultimately we decided to be open with everyone, also because we knew this could happen. We wanted people to be happy with us, but we also needed to be able to share our sorrow.

As we reflect on this experience we recognize that our journey also provided a test for others. Through our needs, God’s people felt the opportunity to act on His behalf, and they were overwhelming in their obedience. So many people have gone above and beyond to help us in every way possible, and in this have been the body of Christ to us. We pray that we will be similarly obedient when we have opportunity to help others.

I can’t say “Thank You” enough. We are overwhelmed by your love and concern and support. And ice cream.

Note: I don’t mean to imply on any level that we are in the same league or even the same sport as Moses, Joseph, any prophet or any apostle. Also, by using the example of Hosea, I by no means am casting doubt on my wife. She is no Gomer, that’s for sure.