We could not believe that we had been so deceived.
After months of preparation for adoption, first through foster care, and then from a birth mother who had approached us at church, we were within days of our twins being born. Only there were no twins. There were no babies at all. The birth mother was not even pregnant. We had been robbed, deceived, heartbroken.
Grief. The dark hole of the soul that seems to have no limits to its depth. My plans, my dreams, my joys, were ripped out from under me and my heart tumbled in a free fall into the murky pit of grief.
I mourned the children that never were. Though they had names, they had never existed. How do you grieve someone who never existed?
I grieved motherhood. For years I had prayed that God would make me a mother, and I had believed that I was at last realizing that dream, only to have that dream snatched away.
I mourned my plans. My plans were to spend the first half of the summer devoted to being home. Though I knew the crazy schedules and sleeplessness would be exhausting, those disruptions were desired and loved. Now, I would have to take on a tremendous load of work — my regular course load, plus my course load that was meant for me when I worked my way back from maternity leave.
I grieved all the baby things waiting in new packaging that we would never open. The letters spelling Palmer and Emelia crafted with such love that would never be hung on the wall. The mural that would never light up two pairs of tiny eyes. The matching outfits that would never elicit the question from strangers: Are they twins?
I mourned the excitement of others, who were also waiting with bated breath for the twins’ arrival as they asked, “Any news about the babies?” Their hopes would be dashed as well, as soon as I could choke out the words to tell them.
But in the suffocating downward spiral of grief, we were not alone. In the midst of the mourning, there was never a moment in which I felt that God was anywhere but right there in that endless pit of grief with me. In the darkest nights of sorrow, there was never an hour that I doubted that we were exactly where God wanted us to be.
For a while, I pondered what purpose God had behind the situation. Perhaps we would be able to prevent the “birth mother” from defrauding someone else. Perhaps our story would serve as a warning to others who were considering independent adoption. Maybe God was delaying our adoption until our actual children were ready. Perhaps God was increasing our dependence on Him.
Any of these were possible, but the truth is that God does not answer to me. The point of surrendering my life to God is not so that He can help me fulfill my dreams, or achieve my goals, or even make me a mother. The point of surrendering my life is to glorify God, even if I must glorify Him in the midst of mourning.
I would rather be falling into a dark pit of grief, knowing that I am in the center of God’s will, than be living my dreams without God as the center of it all.
Even in grief, God is good.