Let Us Begin

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.

Loving Seraphia Caritas {Breaking the Silence in the Midst of Our Brokenness}

on July 12, 2012

Oh my dear friends,

It is with trembling fingers and weak knees, a heart pierced through and poured out until empty that I am attempting to write a post that I never dreamed I would ever be writing…

I am compelled to write because I know many of you have been wondering how we are doing and starting to be concerned that I haven’t updated my Facebook page in a few days.  I have received multiple messages that you are praying and hoping that everything is still okay.  Apparently my sudden silence has been deafening… but how do I find the words to say what it is that I have to say to you?

You who have been supporting us and praying alongside of us deserve so much more than a mere status update and yet I still cannot begin to express adequately what is on my heart and I am not sure if the reality of it all has even really begun to sink in.  I kind of feel like I am walking in a dream and keep hoping against all hope that I will wake up soon from the nightmare of these past few days but it isn’t a dream…

This is real – the unthinkable has happened…

Seraphia’s birth mother backed out of her adoption at the very last moment.

After being her mommy and daddy for a week, taking her home with us and introducing her to her big brothers, we had to drive our Baby Girl to the adoption agency and give her back on Tuesday -

and so we will do our best to carry on knowing that Christ and the power of your prayers are carrying us even in the midst of our brokenness and gut-wrenching agony.


We know that your hearts break with ours.  We are so, so sorry that this is happening…

we know that you love her and have prayed for her

we know that you love us and hate to see us hurting

we are so very sorry for the pain that her absence in our lives will undoubtedly cause you too…


but please,

we beg of you,

do NOT allow this in any way to discourage any heart from adopting!

Refuse, alongside of us, to be mastered by fear or heartache because that is not of God.


We recognize in our story the potential for fear tactics so often used to scare families away from risking to love for the sake of a child through adoption and I think it would be so easy for people who hear what happened to us to feel validated in such a stance – confirming the worst case scenarios and exclaiming “I COULD NEVER DO THAT”.

(Believe me in our weaker moments, we have said similar things at least regarding domestic adoption – it is certainly not for the faint of heart)

BUT that kind of discouragement is the LAST THING we would ever want to happen!!!

because you know what?




This is not about whether we are cut out for heartbreak.  Who is?

No one wants to endure having their hearts ripped out of their chests and a baby ripped out of their arms.

We are not made from any different stuff than you are.  We will get through this and you could too.

Because it’s not about us and its never been about us!

We are not adopting to fill some void in our lives or to make us feel good or because we thought it would be easy.

We are the grown ups here.

It is about the worth and dignity and value of every child who deserves to have a family, a mother and father to love them and nurture them and care for their every need forever.

and it can be messy and ugly and painful

and there is sin and selfishness and heartache because such is our fallen human condition


but it is not Seraphia’s fault or any child’s fault.

We are talking about helpless, innocent children here!


Seraphia, like every child, is worthy of having someone fight for her.


We had the HONOR of being the ones God asked to step up to the plate on her behalf.


This we know for sure.  (If you read the ways He brought her into our lives, no doubt you are confident in that too.)

There was never any question what God was asking us to do.  And so in the midst of such turmoil and concern for her welfare and safety

(I can’t tell you how many times I wake up on the night to check on her, looking over to the side of my bed, her co-sleeper already packed away – and I panic for a moment wondering where she is and if she’s okay and then I remember and my concern for her only grows and so I pray and pray until I finally drift off to sleep only for it to happen again a short time later…)

even in this, there is a peace too that surpasses understanding – in knowing that we have done what God asked us to do.

We have been faithful and He is pleased and that is all that we can ever hope for.

I pray that in every moment, I will always have the courage to lean into the Lord and rely on His grace enough to do what LOVE requires of me and to never be motivated out of fear, paralyzed to the good heaven needs me to do.


We have NO REGRETS and would endure it all again

in. a. heartbeat.


We were Seraphia’s mommy and daddy for one incredible week

and she will always and forever be the child of our hearts.

God knew that she needed us and will continue to need us.

Although we may never see her sweet face again,

not a day will go by as long as I have breath in me that I don’t storm heaven on her behalf.

I ask that you continue to pray for her too.


Be not afraid my friends.

God is still good.

He is in control.

and He calls us to love without limits…


and although it may not have been His will for all that has transpired in the past few days to take place, He did allow it.

and we have to believe that He can bring grace and glory and resurrection even from this cross.


With all of our Love,



43 Responses to “Loving Seraphia Caritas {Breaking the Silence in the Midst of Our Brokenness}”

  1. Rae says:

    I’ve been where you are. My first baby we had in our arms for 14 days before bringing him back. you are in my prayers.

  2. Sarah K says:

    I am bawling my eyes out right now. I love you so much, Alison. Your heart inspires me. I wish I had more words. But I don’t. I will pray.

  3. Emily W says:

    My heart is broken for your family. I know that the love that we have for Serafina is there for always.You are, as always, in my prayers and I want you to know how loved you are!!

  4. Kellie Soper says:

    Oh Alison, my heart aches for you and Johnny. I know the two of you are incredible servants and God will honor your “Yes” to Him! You have and will continue to be in my prayers, for healing and for peace of mind. God bless you and your family.

  5. Jennie says:

    No words for this. Our hearts break with yours. Prayers continuing, loving always. Please let me know if we can do anything for your family.

  6. [...] I was going to write a frivolous post today about Philomena’s new ability to sit up by herself for long periods of time, but then I was stopped dead in my tracks by this blog post. [...]

  7. laurel says:

    oh my….. i have no words. i am so, so sorry.

  8. Pritchard Family says:

    Our hearts ache for you! You have been an inspiration through all this and continue to be! We love you and will be praying for you and for Seraphia! Please let us know if you need anything!

  9. Liz Rogers says:

    Dear Alison,

    Angela sent me a link to your blog about a week ago so I could read your beautiful story. You are an inspiring family and I know that God is filling you with his grace during this heartbreak. I wanted to pass on the link to the blog of a friend of mine who has been through similar situations in her families adoption journey. She is a beautiful Catholic woman I though maybe it would be comforting to read about or talk to someone who has been there.


  10. Gomer says:

    After becoming a father twice now, I now know that children reveal a whole new depth of love and worry that I never knew existed. God love you and little Seraphia.

  11. Marie says:

    Our hearts break too for you…much love and prayers for you all during this time.
    Marie and Mike

  12. Lori Pennison says:

    Tears and prayers for your family!

  13. Jan Bowers ( Kelsey's mom) says:

    Allison, your strength is inspiring. What a difficult time for you all. I do believe God has a plan, and even as hurtful as it feels, he put you and your husband in that special little girls life for reasons we may never fully understand. She is blessed to have had you for the first week of her like. Praying for you all.

  14. Becky Donatelli says:

    Our prayers are sent on wings of angels that God will hold your family close. We love you guys.

  15. Kathy S says:

    My heart goes out to you. Here’s a thought: perhaps God placed her in your life so she would have the prayers she needed the last few months? We tried to adopt twin girls when we were missionaries in Venezuela, and it fell through (not as dramatic as yours, but my heart had already been given to them…). Some months later it occurred to me that during the time we were working on adoption, we prayed diligently for the little ones. And no one else WAS praying for them. Perhaps that is why they crossed our paths. Perhaps little Seraphina needed your prayers.
    Hugs and prayers as you all deal with grief over your loss.

  16. Kathy says:

    Our faith in God makes us both strong and weak. Strong to get through difficulties, weak because of the human condition. In my heart I know what should be happening here and as long as there is one tiny shred of hope, I will not give up. Sometimes God puts us in places for a reason…I love you both so much and my heart aches but I will continue to do all I can with prayer, hope, and love. Please know there hasn’t been a moment in the day when I have not thought about and prayed for your family.

  17. Alison, you have shown us again what true love is – loving wtihout limits. If you and Johnny had not stepped up and agreed to give Seraphia a home, her mom might not have thought it was worth it to continue carrying her to term. And now, you are continuing to pray for her, in the midst of your pain – you are such a great witness. If nothing else, much prayer has been produced over this – prayer for you and Johnny and your family, prayer for Seraphia and her birth mom. And we will continue to pray until we can all be united again in the end. God bless you.

  18. Catie Hb says:

    Oh Ali, I too have no words…

    May every tear shed for this sweet girl have eternal merit for her soul, so that you may meet her again in heaven. In some way, she will one day know just how blessed she was to have parents as fantastic as you and Johnny… if even for a week. She is a blessed, blessed girl.

    I love you so much.

  19. sarah says:

    I am so so sorry that you are going through this. My heart aches for you.

    I don’t know if we know each other but we have mutual friends and I believe we may have gone to the same University.

    Either way– I know how you feel. My family lost our adopted son last year. It was a very different situation but the pain is the same. A loss. Heartache. Confusion for the children. My prayers will be w/ you and your sweet family. If you ever want to talk to someone who knows how you feel…. you can reach me through my blog letusbuildthecityofgod.blogspot.com

    Again- my prayers are with you. May our Lord bring you comfort during this difficult time.

    Peace be with you,

  20. maria says:

    you inspire us…you remind so many of us of mama Mary and we carry you in prayer to the cross!!

  21. Katie says:

    Oh, Alison, I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to your family. You are so strong and this post is so beautifully written. He will carry you through. Praying for you and little Seraphia.

  22. Heidi says:

    Our hearts are breaking with yours. You and Johnny are amazing and have truly inspired me with your faith and confidence in God’s plan during all of this. You have humbled me, in so many ways. Thank you for your inspiration, love, and witness.

    We love you guys so much!!!!!

    Heidi (and Mike)

  23. Kelly Schonour says:

    Alison, I have always admired and looked up to you for so many reasons. Your strength, love, and trust in God is truly inspirational. Sending love and many prayers.

  24. Pat says:

    God bless you for opening your lives to this child. May God give you the strength you need. Blessings

  25. Monica says:

    Alison, I am so sorry! Reading this just now completely stopped me in my tracks. I have been in awe of your ability to listen to and follow God’s will throughout all your posts, and now to read this…

    You have such a beautiful and giving heart, and your faith illuminates throughout this post. I’m so sorry this is the path you have to walk, but please let me say thank you to your response and action in all this. You truly are a woman of God!!!

    My prayers are non-ceasing for you, your family and precious Seraphia.

  26. JD says:

    Dear Ali, Last year we suffered the pain of an interrupted placement. It broke our hearts, stretched our marriage, and challenged our faith. And we never even met the baby. Please be assurred of our prayers- we can’t even imagine your pain and heartache.

  27. Anissa says:

    Ali, Johnny and boys,
    words do not do justice to the pain we are all feeling for you. i am crying to the point of headache and soaked clothes. i admire your undying love and strength and faith. i also admire the wisdom of the comments above. They are right…Seraphia (and her birth mom) needed your prayers, everyone’s prayers during the past few months. I pray that you will continue to have a physical relationship with Seraphia, while you undoubtedly will have a spiritual relationship with her for eternity. I wish I had words to comfort you, they just fall short. I only have prayers. We love you, Anissa, Joe and family

  28. Michelle Moore says:

    With all my heart, I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing this journey with us and please know you and your family are covered in our prayers and love.

  29. Father Neil says:

    Dear Johnny and Ali, I just heard your news! I will keep you both in my prayers and the Holy sacrifice of the Mass will be offered on Monday 16th July, feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel to strengthen and sustain you in the days ahead. With much love and affection Father Neil

  30. Aunt Susie says:

    My heart and prays go out to you all! No words can give you comfort. I still see HOPE in your words and tears. When he closes a door, God opens a window.
    All my love.

  31. Cindy says:

    I am so very sorry that your hearts have been broken by this unimaginable turn of events. But it is the broken heart that can God can pour the most grace and love into. You and Johnny are amazing witnesses to His grace and over abundant love and are so inspiring with your faith and confidence in God’s plan, even now. Thank you for sharing your witness to love with all of us. You are in my prayers.

  32. jackie says:

    Dear Alison,
    By opening your hearts to the great love you have for Seraphia, you gave her the gift of life, and that is a beautiful and wonderous gift. My heart was aching for you as I read your brave, wise, sacrificial words. My family will be lifting you up in our prayers as you mourn. May He reveal to you the good that He will bring about through your sacrifice.

  33. Marisa says:


    I haven’t been following your blog for very long, but these past couple of weeks I’ve been checking every day, anxiously awaiting your newest post about welcoming your baby girl into your family. My heart is breaking for you, and I can’t imagine the pain you are going through. Your faith and trust in God is so inspiring, and I know He will get you through this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your story with us. May God bless you and your family.

  34. Natalie says:

    I am so sorry that your hearts have been ripped out of yoru chests… again…! God be with you and strengthen you… I am so very sorry. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us… sustain this family… and, most importantly, protect little Seraphina and bring her to life your Son has in store for her…

  35. Brina says:

    I know the pain is unbearable from any human perspective, but we trust in the Lord’s infinite goodness and unwavering word that He know’s the plans He has for you… And for the daughter born to you by grace. You and your familys sacrifice, and your current bleeding hearts was a sacrifice that may very well preserved this beautiful life. The Sauer family loves you all, and we mourn your loss with you. But we will continue to celebrate this life preserved by our Great and Loving Father.

  36. Johnny and Alison,

    Your family holds a special place in mine and Mark’s hearts. Tears and sadness that you are experiencing this pain. You are amazing family to open your hearts and home to Serapina. God is Good and your faithful actions and trusting words are aspiring. Your family is in our prayers. Let is know if there is anything we can do for your family.
    We love you!

    Mark and Pam

  37. [...] a completely unrelated topic, I had to share this blog written by Alison, a friend and Creighton Model NFP instructor who shares the raw heartache she and her husband, [...]

  38. Becky says:

    Alison and John,
    We were heartbroken to hear this news. Please you know you are in our prayers. Your courage and strength are inspiring, but it is your vulnerability that really exemplifies your faith and unconditional love.
    Steve and Becky Greene

  39. Will says:

    I’m so privileged to be part of your journey, I will continue to pray for your family. Blessings and Prayers- Will

  40. Pam says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. We will continue to pray for you and your family. May God shower you with His love and comfort.

  41. Laura S says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I’m just reading this now. We just gifted your necklace to a friend who just lost her 3rd baby to miscarriage as a tribute to the children she isn’t able to hold. And here you are with your own unique loss… but God is so good and it is obvious that he is blessing you and giving you many graces through this experience. Just keep looking to Him!
    God Bless!

  42. jill says:

    how do I suscribe to your blog? you are truly amazing. I just happen to come across it from the knee team because we are going through a domestic adoption right now. It has been a long 3 years. I love your heart!

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