This time last year Andrew and I were spending several hours each day looking at a photo of ten beautiful children and dreaming about our future.
Though we knew in our heads that our dream was not a guaranteed outcome, in our hearts it felt guaranteed.
"Our kids" were two words that came so quickly into our daily conversations.
In our hearts, they were ours.
And they always will be.
Though it doesn't occur as often, I still occasionally notice Andrew or myself saying "our kids" when we talk about the eight children we were blessed with for such a short time.
Our adoption was disrupted - that's the system's way of saying it didn't work out.
It didn't feel like a disruption.
The word disruption, at least to me, indicates a small bump in the road.
A short break.
A TV commercial is a disruption.
An adoption not working out?
It is so much more than a disruption.
In the moment it feels life shattering; you don't know how you will get through your next breath.
It hurt more than anything I have ever experienced in my life.
It's been almost five months since the kids left our home.
And for the most part life is back to normal, back to the way it was before the children.
I still have moments where I cannot control the grief.
Moments where I cannot control the guilt.
There are a million emotions that come with a failed adoption and unless you have experienced it, there is no way you can really understand.
We have received phone calls from three different adoption specialists about three different sibling groups in the past five months.
We've said no to two of those adoption specialists for different reasons.
It's hard saying no.
I want to want to say yes, but I simply couldn't.
I was not ready.
I had no desire to walk down the road of adoption again.
I was finished.
The third adoption specialist, the one we haven't said no to, called for the first time in early December. There wasn't a lot of information at the time, just the number of children in this sibling group, their genders, and their ages.
She did say something that was a pretty big turn off to Andrew and me.
And then we didn't hear from her again so we figured we were not an approved match.
Last week God began to change my heart.
Through social media I watched a friend and her family finalize the adoption of four beautiful girls.
I began to feel ready to step out there and try again.
I begin to feel ready to actively start working toward finding the children God has for our family.
On Thursday we heard back from the third adoption specialist.
We have been approved as a match for this sibling group.
The thing that was a big turn off to us....she explained it a little more and it is something that is not a deal breaker for us.
She invited us to an adoption even next Saturday to meet the children in anticipation of a doing a full disclosure meeting.
All of a sudden we are back on this path to adoption.
It's exciting yet so very scary.
It feels different this time.
We are meeting the children in a week and they are not "our kids" yet.
Our hearts aren't as quick to jump into feeling guaranteed yet.
We are hesitantly tip-toeing down the path this time.
Our dream is coming back slowly.