May 8, 2012

A Study in Loss and Hope

Where to begin? I'm not sure. It all started with an email last November. Actually, it all started 7 years ago with the first of 6 miscarriages and subsequent discovery of complicated infertility. But that's a different story for another time. So I'll start with the most recent of defeats. Back to that email from last November. We had been published on the LDS Family Services website for almost 7 months when the email suddenly popped up in my inbox with the appealing name, Amelia, highlighted next to the subject line that unassumingly said, "Hello". She asked if we were still interested in adopting. She had browsed our profile and she knew with all her heart we were the family for her baby boy due in December, two days before Christmas. Of course, we were elated. I just KNEW we were having a boy and this confirmed I'd been right all along. Time passed, we talked often, and we loved Amelia from the start. But then, suddenly, the wind changed and those warm hopes of a new baby turned chilly. Overnight she became distant and easily upset and we felt the looming birth of her/our son begin to take its emotional toll. She stopped emailing us. We ached for contact from her, anything, just something to let us know if we had any hope of bringing this baby home. We prayed and I cried. A lot. A week before Christmas she emailed and told us she was still considering placing with us. Two days before Christmas she told us that she had actually had the baby back in November. It was just easier to let us keep on believing than to be honest. Right after Thanksgiving, and in a panic, she had quickly found another family that day and placed with them. Their moment of happiness at the sudden gain of a son twisted into our moment of despair and it knocked the breath out of me. I felt like they had kidnapped him from my dreams and they probably don't even know we exist. And then I began to wonder if Amelia even existed. She came in and out of our lives so quickly with lovely promises of a new baby and an almost instant friendship. And yet, we had no concrete evidence of her pregnancy other than the cute picture of a girl in college with curly dark hair and a big, bright smile that made us feel we could trust her. And we did trust her. That is what made it all so particularly crushing. Despite the overwhelming disappointment and all the what ifs, there was only one answer. We had to move on. Although a little bruised and fearing to ever trust again, we forgave her with our whole, horribly broken hearts and started over. 

Back to the waiting game. Nervous, longing, apprehensive freaking waiting game. I had this nagging feeling that our baby was coming to us with the help of an agency that solely matches birthmoms with adoptive parents. We couldn't afford them, but the feeling persisted. I figured if it was meant to be the money would be nothing in comparison and we had to go forward in faith. Sure enough, with a little help from our friends, we began to see some serious miracles and in 3 months time we had raised enough money to submit our names with the agency and get matched with a birthmom. One week later we sat on our bed nervously talking with a girl in Charlotte, North Carolina named Samantha. She was cheerful and had a charming little lilt in the way she spoke that reminded me of the first time I'd had grits and drank lemonade with whipped cream from a gallon jar. We took an instant liking to each other even though our lives were worlds apart. We talked often and she chose us to be the parents of her baby girl due May 23rd. Almost exactly 2 years to the day that Isla was born. Ben said it would be awfully convenient given we had all the girl clothes we would need and in the same season too. I agreed. The weeks passed and I developed a ball of nervous butterflies in the pit of my stomach. There was so much to do. I had to get the house cleaned and organized and make freezer meals and generally prepare for the chaos and exhaustion that comes with a 2 year old and a new born baby at home. Then there was the trip that had to be planned at a moments notice whenever Samantha went into labor. Oh. My. Gosh. The trip. That ball of nervous butterflies began to spread and there were some days I thought I might have a heart attack. The sooner that due date crept up the more my breathing became a conscious effort. Any day that call would come and we would jet out the door and be on our way to picking up our baby girl. A call came. It was from our lawyer in North Carolina. The details are still a little bit hard for me to see clearly and really, in retrospect, they don't matter anyway. The shock of it all and the heavy dose of denial that followed felt like I'd been hit in the chest with a base ball bat. There were so many different stories told to different people that it's impossible for me to even speculate as to what the truth is. The only real truth is that she lied. She never intended to place her baby for adoption, she just needed rent money. It's simple really. And let's be brutally honest, we are pretty easy targets. Vulnerable, trusting, hopelessly longing for a baby, easy targets. She swiftly tore through our lives, ripped the roof clean off our house, and left us shivering in the corner. Devastated.  

The good thing about not having a roof is that you can see straight up. So, now what? Sit in bed and feel really bad for myself. Been there. Cry dramatically every time I get in the shower. Done that. Eat an exorbitant amount of chocolate. Yep. This is basically part of my daily ritual. But somewhere in the deepest part of me, I have to believe that this is not acceptable. This is not the end. This is not it. I refuse to let this be the end of the story. I know God loves me, I know it in my soul. what? And then I read this. And it changed my life. And a tiny little flicker of hope lit up my heart when I read this apostolic bit of encouragement:

Don’t give up.  Don’t you quit.  You keep walking.  You keep trying.  There is help and happiness ahead... You keep your chin up.  It will be all right in the end.  Trust God and believe in good things to come.
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I know God lives and loves me. I know this is not the end of the story, not even close. I know His heart is broken for me too. I testify of hope. Of healing. And this long winded explanation is hopefully the precursor to a happier story in which our family grows once more. Every single bit of it will be by His hand. Keep watching. You are about to see a miracle.  


  1. Oh Kindle. I have goosebumps and chills~ tears streaming down my face. You are so so inspiring and strong. Yes I know that miracles are around the corner for you!!!

  2. Kindle my heart mind and soul are weeping as well as my eyes! I love you and your family so much and I know there is a plan. Right now it just sucks and know it will be better one day! We will continue praying and thinking about you all. Love each other! Isla will get her sibling! You are amazing and strong and you will be rewarded!

  3. My heart is broken for you and for all of the family. You know, her mother may not realize it, but, a little piece of our hearts go with this little one. We will most likely never know what influence it will have in her life. For a short time even before she was born she was loved by a whole bunch of us out west. Hopefully, somewhere along the line, her path might be made brighter by that little bit of light she wont even know that she has....
    Love you all SO much,

    1. Cyndi! I believe this with all of my heart. It could not have all been for nothing! I think I will pray for this baby for the rest of my days. In some ways this loss has been harder than the others because they were at least sealed to us. I am hoping and praying all that love follows her through out her life. Thanks for that thought. Love you.

  4. I've been thinking so much about you lately and this was the last thing I expected to read. heart is absolutely broken for you. How can someone endure so much heartbreak? Your testimony is strong, beautiful, and inspiring. Love you!

  5. All of this...ALL of this will be made right. Keep holding on to your testimony and each other. The journey is far from over. Your dreams will be realized as you wait upon the Lord. What a blessing to find even a fraction of peace in the midst of such a trial. I am grateful for your willingness to share what is in your heart with all of us, Kindle! Your faith and endurance is a light in my life and in many lives around you I'm sure! Love you both so much! I hope you can feel our support despite the miles that separate us.

  6. Oh Kindle and Ben, I am so sorry that you are having to go through this heartache right now. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for you. But what a beautiful example of faith through trials you are as you wait for this righteous desire to come to pass! I am so, SO excited to see what good things are to come for you. And they will. :)

  7. Kindle and Ben, you never cease to amaze me. I love you so much. I am deeply sorry for all that you are going through, yet I believe you. Your conviction, faith and determination are astounding and true. Thank you so much for your hope and moving forward in-spite of it all. Thank you are staying true to what you know and showing me that I can do the same. I love you so much.
    Love Heather

  8. My heart breaks for you guys! It's amazing how these heart-wrenching trials strengthen our testimonies so much! This is a quote that has helped me a lot.
    "Even if and when we seem to have squeezed out the last full measure of our devotion, an omniscient and perfectly empathic God not only knows the difficulties through which we have passed and are passing but also knows if any residue of unused devotion still remains to further the process!" -Elder Maxwell
    You will be in our prayers!

  9. Kindle. You guys have been on our mind NON-STOP the last few weeks. Christian and I both thought it was bizzarre. lol! But you have, and now I know why. We have been through the EXACT same thing. Let's get together!!! Seriously. Let's do dinner, lunch, we will come and wash your car. WHATEVER. Let's talk.
    My cell is 801-971-8164. Call me.

  10. We don't know one another but I wanted to reach out to you and let you know you are not alone. My hubby and I had a similar experience in 2006. After waiting on firm hold with a bmom for her entire pregnancy (5 weeks to birth) she parented and we discovered lies and realized she had no intention of placing. I am so sorry for your loss! But I do know that after the trials come the blessings. Keep hanging on..Your baby is coming and you will see amazing miracles unfold. I will be praying for you.

  11. Kindle, my heart aches. this is a horrible epidemic I see happening...these women take horrible advantage of these wonderful people. It is the worst crime. We just had dear friends who had almost identical instances happen a few weeks ago. (Darren Downs and his wife) I have no words or answers other than- ONE DAY THOSE PEOPLE WILL PAY (revenge in heaven?? sure, why not! :)) kidding...but not really. You are in my prayers. Hugs.

  12. This is one of those things that is especially beautiful to read when it's in retrospect and you now have your precious little Shepherd. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your faith. It's really uplifting. Love you guys!