Pain in the Offering

The title for this post comes from a favorite song of mine called “Blessed be Your Name” by Tree63. There’s a line that says, “Blessed be Your name, on the road marked with suffering…though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be Your name…”

I’ve been thinking of this song lyric over and over for the past week. We’ve had a very rough week. On Tuesday we got a call from our agency that our previous birthmother wanted to work with us again {you can read about that match here}. She regretted ending our match before and wanted to come back to our agency. We couldn’t believe it. We decided after some prayer and counsel with friends that we would be remiss if we did not go next week {she’s due Wednesday} to meet her and possibly get a baby girl.

We started making plans to drive 10.5 hours. Rental car rented, hotel room booked, Little-care arranged… I was sure that if she came back into our life, there was a divine reason for it. I was convinced God brought her back into our life as some sort of wonderful, beautiful surprise. Our faith remained strong after the first failed match with this same woman, and my heart couldn’t consider that it might fail again. This had to be God bringing things full circle and writing a really incredible story.

But it didn’t last long. 48 hours later, on Thursday, our agency called again. When our birthmom attempted to cut ties to her former agency, the agency director became belligerent. She reacted harshly, screamed at our adoption coordinator, and I can only imagine she screamed at our birthmother as well. She manipulated her, guilted her, scared her, and ultimately changed her mind for her. One text message ended our match again, “I’m so sorry. I have to stay with her. I’m sorry.”

It’s one thing to have a match fail because a woman decides to parent her own child. It’s something else entirely to have a young woman genuinely want you to parent her baby, but be too scared of angering another agency to break ties with them. I feel like we were so close but it slipped away. I’m hurt, confused, and angry.

I’m struggling in my faith about all of this. I still feel strongly that God is telling us private domestic adoption is the way to go. And I am still certain God has called us to our agency for a reason. So what’s going on? Why did he allow us to get so close to having this baby, and then allow it to be ripped away? Why does he allow women like this agency director to intimidate and order impressionable, unstable, and lonely girls around?

I’ve struggled trying to understand why. Have I not prayed hard enough? Was I not faithful enough? Did I not learn the lesson I was supposed to have learned when it fell apart the first time?

When an adoption match fails, it’s sad and you mourn but you move on because you believe your baby is still out there…But when she came back into our lives, I truly thought this was our baby. I thought this was going to make for one awesome story. An amazing testimony of God’s steadfastness. Not that He’s not steadfast, but …. This sucks. This isn’t the ending I was anticipating.

This morning in Sunday School, the lesson I was teaching kind of derailed in a God-way. We took a detour from the printed lesson plan and instead did what fellow believers should do- we cried, we opened up, we leaned on each other, and we asked some painfully difficult questions. I learned I’m not the only hurting right now. I’m not the only who had a terrible week. Many of us did. And many of us were asking the same question:was I not faithful enough for You?

One thing we talked about was knowing what to pray for when you’re hurt, angry, confused, or lacking in faith. What do you pray for? After discussing it, we kind of all came to the same conclusion: You pray your pain. If that’s all you have to offer God, then offer it. Give him your anger. Give him your confusion, your hurt. Hand over your heart with all of its ugliness and just be honest. If that’s all you have because you’re so hurt or so damaged, then hand it over. The only time he can’t work through us is when we stop giving him anything. When we stop giving him our prayers, our feelings, our fears, our hopes, our time, that is when we stop being effective.

When your cup is empty, pray for Him to fill it up. When you’re so mad you just want to yell at God and ask “why” over and over again, then yell! I genuinely believe God would rather us tell him we’re angry than shut down and quit talking to him. Our anger becomes sin when we let it take over us and it becomes a blockade between us and God. But anger itself is not wrong. There’s nothing wrong with hurt, confusion, frustration, or sadness. I’ve experienced all of that this week.

We have some dear friends who are really walking this journey with us. They hurt with us, they cry with us, they lift us up in prayer, and when we’re confused and frustrated, they are right there with us. They experienced the pain of a miscarriage several years ago, so I know they understand that sense of loss over something you never fully had. They definitely understand the longing in my heart. And today I made a new friend. She has no children, and has never lost a pregnancy or been through an adoption, but her heart is hurting in longing as well. She longs for the healing of a loved one, and today we just sat down and shared in our sorrows and our pain and cried. We are going through completely different struggles, but her pain is so similar to mine, I just know God intended for us to land in that Sunday School classroom together this morning.

I can still praise him for the people he’s placed in our lives who lift us up, pray for us, encourage us, and share in our pain. When I tell someone what happened this week and they start crying for us even when they don’t know us very well, I know the Lord is crying too. I can praise him for the friends we’re making along this journey who have been through the adoption process. I may never meet many of them face to face, but I have amazing friends all over this nation who write me beautiful emails encouraging me through prayer, Scripture, and the sharing of their similar experience.

I’m not gonna lie, this has been the hardest week in this adoption yet. The first failed match hurt, but I had a peace in my heart that brought me comfort and truly had me convinced God was going to make it right. When this same match failed again with the same woman, there was no peace. There was no sense in my heart that God was going to bring this back around. I don’t know what to feel or think. I just know my heart is broken and I’m terribly confused and disappointed. I’ve never been so disappointed about anything in my life. The longing in my heart for another baby is almost stifling.

All I have to offer God this week is pain. I have pain, sadness, disappointment, confusion, frustration, and anger. I feel let down. I feel led astray. I feel ignored. So right now, that’s all I’m praying. I pray that in the areas that I can’t have faith through my own hurt, that the Holy Spirit would intercede on my behalf and give me faith and strength to keep pressing on. I have to believe if my only prayer today is, “God, why? What’s going on? What are you doing? How long must we wait?” then that’s enough for him, because I’m turning to him in my hurt.

I want more than anything to stay strong and to be an encouragement to others through my sadness. I’m not about to give up. I believe completely without a doubt that our baby is out there, and I believe that God wants our good. He’s in charge of this and I have to believe he’s doing something incredible. I have to believe that he’s going to use our adoption to bless the lives of others. I can’t say right now that I’m considering it a “pure joy” to go through this trial as James talks about, but I’m trying. I’m trying to still find hope in this. And I’m still relying on God. He is faithful. He will lift us up. I just have to believe that.

“But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.” Psalm 71:14 




Filed under Adoption General, Faith and Adoption

6 responses to “Pain in the Offering

  1. Donna Corbell

    Sweet Faithful Kathleen. My heart is so saddened for you and your family with this latest disappointment. I’ve shared with you (and your mother-in-law, my dear friend) I’m in awe of your amazing faith that God WILL always be with you. I continue to pray for the birth-mother and infant God has chosen for you and husband. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” With great admiration and blessings, Donna

  2. Instant Mama

    You have shared beautifully through your pain. I know that God is working, and hope you get to see His side of things sooner rather than later. Blessed be His name.

  3. Valinda Jackson

    Love you, Kat and Travis. It is so beautiful that you are giving your pain and hurt to God and remembering that the Holy Spirit does intercede when we can’t find the words. I’ve been praying for everyone involved.
    – Aunt Lynn

  4. Nanny

    I, too, am at a loss of what to pray anymore. I am just praying for an easing of the pain in your and Travis’s hearts right now. I am praying for God’s will be done. That humans get out of the way and let God. Sometimes the gift of free will does so much harm. I will pray that he changes hearts and soon his divine plan comes to pass.
    Love, love,

  5. kthorpe

    Hey, I’m new to following your blog. Thanks for writing it. I’ll be praying for your family.

  6. Hang in there! Don’t give up! I know the pain of disappointment that you are going through right now. Here is the beginning of something I wrote during our long road to adoption:
    Why did I pray for a miracle?

    Why did I fast?

    Why did I hold fast, hang on, keep hoping?

    Why did I pray believing

    and believe that You had answered?

    Why does my heart hurt so bad?

    Why does my stomach feel so sick?

    Why must we pray and pray and pray believing and hoping that

    All things are possible?

    Why can’t I give up?
    To read the rest of it, click here:

    May He always be everything you need!

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