My partner and I experienced five adoption failures in 14 months. Five. Three failed foster care situations that we were told were going to end in adoption, and two failed infant adoptions, where a birth mom chose us to be parents and changed her mind at birth (or before). Miraculously we're still together, still able to get through the day, and still pursuing adoption to grow our family. How? A few factors, to be sure, but definitely because of the things I remind myself when an adoption falls through.
My daughter joined our family five weeks after my partner and I started our adoption journey, in a completely miraculous, simple, smooth situation. As adoption goes, it was the easiest. We certainly hadn't started thinking about a second child when our agency called and asked if we would consider adopting an 8-month-old boy. He had been at a foster home since his birth and his case was going to adoption. The foster family was unable to adopt him, and our agency wanted us to consider welcoming him into our family. We considered, prayed, and said yes. We met him (he was so sweet, so strong, and so big, wearing 18-month clothes already) and expected we would take him home forever just a few days later. Hours before he was scheduled to arrive, we heard from our caseworker that the foster family had done a run-around the agency and found another family (friends of theirs) and convinced CPS to allow him to go there.
That was our first failed adoption situation. It was brief, while a few of the others were not, but it was still exhausting, especially considering we had a 5-week-old newborn at home. Over the course of the next year, we learned so much about what it takes to go through a failed adoption and come out the other side still feeling whole.