Adoption blogger Stephanie Willis reflects on her transition from pink to blue after the failed adoption of a baby girl leads her to her son AND how a simple piece of jewelry is helping other families adopt. Read below:
I’ve been admiring these bracelets from helpusadopt.org for a while now. I'd see the founder, Becky Fawcett, posting photos of her beautiful collection on Facebook and would tell myself to remember to check out the website and get one for myself, to commemorate my path to becoming mom to Chase. I'd get distracted and forget, but when I saw this blue one a few weeks back, I had a moment. A deep, powerful moment.
As many of you know, my husband, John, and I were supposed to adopt a little girl, whom we had named Jada, in the spring of 2014. We were so ready for her. Her nursery was pink. Her clothes were pink. Her toys were pink. My heart was pink. I had always wanted a girl and enjoyed every second I spent planning for her big arrival. Three days after her birth, after meeting her in the hospital, holding her every chance we could, falling in love with her and imagining a life with her, the birthmother decided not to move forward with the adoption. John and I were absolutely devastated. You all were there; you cried with us. We flew home to you, and you encouraged us as we hopped back on the raft that would take us through some crazy waters.
By summer of the same year, we found ourselves in an unexpected situation--we had a choice to make. We had gone from feeling defeated to having two promising matches; one woman was pregnant with a girl and the other pregnant with a boy. It seemed to make the most sense to match with the girl, whose due date was 6-8 weeks before the boy (AKA less time to fear another failed adoption). We were already prepared for a girl, but my heart said, "Choose the boy." John trusted me to make that call, because I was the one talking to the women daily. My choice had more to do with the relationship I had built with the birth mom than the gender of the child, but John was ecstatic, regardless of my reasoning. He would be “Daddy” to a boy, and this was shocking to him being as we had the option of matching with a girl. I'll be honest, my head was confused as the pink was packed up and given to a friend expecting a baby girl, but my heart was already turning blue....bright blue, not the sad blue you hear about in songs. Following my blue heart brought the most amazing, handsome, strong (willed), smart and talented boy into my world. He loves music and is food-motivated like his Dad. He loves to perform and has compassion for the smallest beings like his Mom. He loves his grandparents more than his mind even understands, and he would choose his family over a playdate at the zoo any day. He is ours and we are his. We don’t share a drop of blood, but we are a family in every sense of the word. His birthmother believes that our family was “ordained by God,” and I couldn’t agree more.
I won’t go as far as to recite lyrics from Garth Brooks’ “Unanswered Prayers,” when I think about the road that led us to blue, because the sting of flying home without Jada still burns every day. If the adoption had been successful, we wouldn’t know and love our Chase. Saying I’m thankful the adoption failed so I would be ready for Chase feels wrong. Saying I wish Jada was here with me also feels wrong. Emotions are complex, especially when human lives (you love) are involved. All I know for sure is life handed me bright blue, and I know, without a doubt, that blue is my color.
The bracelet in the picture had to be mine. In hindsight, I wish I had ordered the pink one as well, because Jada was part of my path and is still in my heart. I suppose there is still time.
I bought the white bracelet because it represents hope to me. I read a poster in a fertility clinic a few years ago that said, “H.O.P.E. — Hold On, Pain Ends.” Chase is my hope. I have also found hope in HelpUsAdopt.org, because its mission is to make the costly adoption process more affordable for families. People considering adoption often reach out to me for guidance and share they feel like it’s not an option because of their finances. Through charitable giving, fundraising events and their online store, HelpUsAdopt.org is able to raise money to help many of those families...because kids need homes, and homes need kids. I love that these bracelets build families.
I'm a sucker for sentiment, and love things that make me feel something. If you're shopping for someone whose life has been touched by adoption or for someone who is hoping to adopt themselves, this would a great place to start! They even make bracelets for little ones...and yes, Chase just requested one after I told him he couldn't have mine.
Thank you for reading my bright blue, “Stephanie blue,” story. We fell in love with Chase together, and I’ll bring you along on this wild ride as long as you’ll hold on.