My heart is heavy today for some sweet friends who have experienced an adoption loss. It's a weird kind of loss because there usually is no physical death but the death of a dream of parenting a very real child is devastating. Especially after the losses affiliated with infertility.
What do you say in this situation? I'll tell you what you do NOT say, and that is "This was not meant to be." This may seem comforting, but the fact is that many times it has felt "meant to be" for weeks or months. It usually looks like God's hand was on the match and there was no indication that it wouldn't work out. The family banks their hopes and dreams on this baby, names the baby, and loves the baby even if they have not met. If they have met it can be even harder in that you have a real live baby to picture in your arms forever. And then you're left empty handed and broken hearted.
This is the time to rally around the prospective adoptive parents. I thank God that this is what is happening in this case! Allow the couple to grieve this loss. Although the baby was not legally theirs, in their hearts the baby was. It is a very real loss even without a physical death. Don't expect the couple to "snap out of it" quickly, to be ready to move on to another match right away (although they may be), or expect them to be strong for you. They can't. If it seems like they are, they may be faking it and will let down sooner or later (hopefully sooner). But don't push. Let them know you are there to listen when they are ready. Offer to bring a meal. Leave a meal on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run if you have to, if they don't yet feel like talking. (Tell me if you do that so I can find out how that goes.) Pray.
Whew. I know the sadness I am feeling for this couple in no way begins to match their feelings. I know I keep rehashing this in my mind, but this is not my loss. I don't think my friends are blog readers, but if they are, then know that I love you and will continue to pray for your hearts and the lives of everyone involved.