For adoptive families, adoption starts with a leap of faith. The unknown can be scary and adoption is full of unknowns. I had to trust that the right baby would come at the right time.

Very early in our wait for baby #3, we got a call about a baby that was already born. A girl. It was a crazy couple of days that included a 2+ hour drive to the hospital and a visit in the NICU. And I fell in love. I wanted her to be my daughter. I think my husband did too. We were so close. All we had to do was say yes.

We spent a lot of time praying… and daydreaming about what life would be like with 3 kiddos, 4 years old and under. I even bought a Christmas dress (to coordinate with my other kids!).

We had some hard conversations. And shed many tears. As hard as it was to admit it, we decided we weren’t the best family for this baby. It was something I never thought we would do. We were pretty open during our adoption wait and couldn’t imagine walking away from anything; let alone a child we were falling in love with. But we knew she’d be better in a different family. With different parents. We wanted what was best for her.

I so badly wanted her to be the right baby at the right time. And she was the right baby at the right time… but not for me; for someone else. We had the full support of our agency and they immediately found the perfect family for this sweet babe. I was sad for us, but so happy for the new family.

I eventually returned that Christmas dress. And I started to lose hope. I wondered if we just gave up our last chance to bring home another baby. My husband reassured me (over and over again) that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Once again, I had to trust that the right baby (for us) would come at the right time. If it never happened, I had to trust that we were meant to be a family of four.

We got through the holidays and I (not so secretly) hoped our family would be complete by the time the holidays came around again. And much to my surprise, we got another call in late January. This time, I knew it was right. We brought home our littlest miracle the very next day!

Clearly, God had a plan far better than mine. Now that we have our baby, it’s so painfully obvious why everything happened the way it did.

On a warm Wednesday, this past August, my family of five headed off to the courthouse to finalize our baby’s adoption. With a bang of the gavel, she legally became our daughter. Forever. And ironically, on that same day, in a different courthouse, that baby we met earlier had her adoption finalized too. Two families got to celebrate adoption that day. Sadly, several months earlier, two mothers saw the harsh reality of what adoption can be. They each made the nearly impossible decision to give their babies up. To give them what they knew they couldn’t, but so badly wanted to. Love isn’t always enough.

Adoption certainly isn’t easy for anyone. But when you weave together the different stories of love, loss, heartbreak and hope, you can see some of the beauty shine through.

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Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.