Experiencing adoption failure – Abby Grace Blog


First: this is the story of our game that fell this spring. This story isn’t about Teddy, our five-month-old son, in case someone reads the headlines and worries that something is going to happen to our little one.

I’ve been a little quiet on my infertility and adoption journey over the last year or two- part of the reason is because I’m a lot busier than I used to be. Motherhood will do that!

But another reason is the increased awareness that how I talk to our children’s stories will impact the way they learn to tell them themselves- wanting to be careful that we don’t share details about their lives that everyone might not want to know. Or details their biological mothers prefer to keep private.

Because my children’s stories are not MY stories.

I love telling my side of things, I love telling the path we’ve been on since we first tried for a family in 2015 to Felix being born in 2019, and now Teddy in 2022.

But I always want to make sure I do it carefully and consider how my children, as well as their biological family, would feel, someday if they look back and read these words, knowing the world had these details before my kids- children can understand it.

This extends to how much we’ve shared about failure, too- because even though this little one didn’t come home with us, even though their mama’s story and our story ended when she decided not to adopt, she deserves dignity and compassion and empathy. No matter how disappointed we are.

So, with all that said, here’s our story.


We got a call on the afternoon of March 2 – Matt picked up his phone in the kitchen, and I saw him walk into our living room with a look of shock on his face as he quickly put the phone on speaker. It was our agency, calling to let us know we were betrothed!

This is the call we’ve been hoping for since becoming an active and waiting family (it’s called “going live”) in August 2021- we just signed up with this particular agency and our profile has only been showing on their listings for a few weeks, so we were a little surprised to be matched up so soon. fast!

Our agency tells us that we have been chosen by the expectant mother (we’ll call her Mama H)and the baby (let’s call them Baby H) scheduled in about three weeks.

Cue: all the excitement, and also a bit of confusion as we have a launch 8 days coming up (always a messed up week) of our signature course plan, and registrations are closing (always a crazy 24 hours) on the day Baby H is due.

So we were VERY fast moving things around – we moved the launch a week so instead of opening in 14 days, we’re now opening in 7 days (all my course creation friends can imagine how stressful that must be!). I had two shoots in Europe that now needed to be rescheduled, and we had to quickly clear our calendars for April to make way for maternity leave.

Anyone walking towards adoption can tell you – the paperwork never ends! Once we matched there were several visits required to renew permits and get the notarized forms. Felix is ​​determined to do his part :).

Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman

I didn’t admit it at the time because I thought I was in survival mode, and because I didn’t want to be any less. very grateful… but trying to adapt our launch to meet our financial goals + new timeline, while reeling from the excited expectation of another Baby Spring joining our family, while processing the information our agency has provided us about this special situation… it’s a lot should be brought. Any of those things (launching, expecting a baby, studying/researching expectations for a future relationship with Baby H’s birth family) are going to be very much on their own, and we’re doing it all at the same time. Over a three week period.

So all that to say, it’s been a crazy few weeks here. Lots of calling friends for prayers, lots of worship music on Alexa to calm my frenetic heart.

Then we got another call on March 15th, the day before we closed the train for my course- something went wrong somewhere along the way, and Baby H wasn’t actually born until early May. We’re frankly a bit confused about how to move forward, as we’ve cleaned up the calendar and rescheduled the session, but we did our best to manage our disappointment and reordered the calendar, and then proceeded to clear the schedule again for May/early June considering the fall dates. new tempo.

We started working on a gender neutral nursery, getting baby clothes out of the storeroom, getting our home ready for Baby Spring.

It’s hard to explain what it’s like, to be matched- it’s far from certain, and this kid isn’t your son. This mom is not a biological mother- he’s just a prospective parent, who is considering adoption.

Trying to plan for the future while keeping your expectations low… well, I’ve never been pregnant, but I imagine that’s probably how someone feels during their first trimester after having a miscarriage.

Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman

As March moves into April, we’re receiving some updates about Mama H’s health and anticipated arrival date, as there’s the potential for an early delivery. As we moved into mid-April, we felt like it wouldn’t be too long considering what we knew about birth plans, so we started making arrangements to go to Florida, where Baby H would be born, so we could be there as soon as we were given permission to go. to the hospital.

We knew meeting Baby Spring #2 would look very different from when we met our son Felix (his story here), so our arms are wide open for whatever God wants to do. We have no expectations, but want to be ready for whatever comes our way.


We travel to Orlando, where we’ll be waiting for a call from our agency- we’re not sure if we’ll get a call 1) after Mama H is admitted, 2) once Baby H is here, or 3) once Baby H is ready to go home and we were allowed to go to the hospital. Not wanting to risk getting into situation #3 and we were 850 miles away in Virginia, we decided to fly before taking the call, knowing it was risky, but took it anyway.

We filled the time with a few trips to Disney Springs (There’s SO much to do there!), lots of outside walks, and lots of cars- I’m telling you, the $29 we spent on a box of nine toy cars from the Pixar movies at Disney Store is worth its weight in gold. Felix played with them all SUNDAY. Still, actually!

Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman

After three nights in a no-news hotel, I was starting to stress that we’d been hopping, so we called a friend in Georgia to see if we could come over for the weekend to take a break from the hotel sights (and costs). On the way, we got a call from our agency- Baby H is here, they were born in the last hour! That’s all the information the agency has right now, and they promise to call back the next day when they have a chance to talk to Mama H.

So we kept driving to Atlanta, I texted our family and a few friends to let them know the latest developments, and we settled on what we hoped would be our last few nights as a family of three.

Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman

We spent the next morning walking the local town square, discovering cute little coffee shops and craft fairs, and, of course, I checked my phone obsessively to see if there was anything new.

We put Felix to a nap, and that’s when the next call from our agency came in.


Our social worker sounds…tired. She said she didn’t have the news we hoped for- Mama H would not be putting Baby H up for adoption.

I felt my whole body freeze, like I had a hole in my chest. Matt and I just looked at each other, trying to process what our social worker had just said.

We always knew this was a possibility. But there is a difference between hypothetical and actual. And this is the last.

No further details are available. We don’t know the sex or name or health of Mama & Baby H.

It is over, like that.

And boy, was it tough.

Taking two days to come home with an empty car seat is painful.

Experiencing adoption failure |  Abby Grace Springman

Having to call our parents and tell them the news, and that we don’t have any further details or closure to offer, is infuriating.

Feels like “What is the point?” from the immense stress and cost of moving the launch, it was very disappointing.

But one of the biggest lessons adoption taught me is that it is *much less* about us than it is about taking good care of the mother-to-be and a child she may or may not choose to adopt.

We hope the way of failing Baby & Mama H will be able to enjoy closeness & disconnection in a way they couldn’t have had she chosen adoption. We wish the best for this mother, for this precious new child.

But more than anything, we have hope and confidence that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Even though our hearts are broken, we have faith that good can and *will* somehow come from the situation.

Our sorrow and pain are not in vain – they never were.

And it turns out, the goodness we believe in actually comes from pain?

It came a little quicker than we expected.

Teddy’s adoption story is coming next week ❤️

*Updated- Teddy’s adoption story is here!*

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