Skip to main content

Expecting the Unexpected: Finding Purpose in the Long Wait or Failed Adoption

By January 27, 2020Podcast

If your journey in foster care or adoption is anything like mine, you know it can feel like a rollercoaster with twists and turns, leaving you with a full range of emotions. Expectations have gone unmet, and you may be questioning whether God really called you to this journey. Should we just get off the ride when it gets tough?

I recently had the opportunity to speak to this at a breakout session at the Replanted Conference. I shared about my own story of waiting and a failed adoption to remind you that there is purpose in the hard.


1. God uses our disappointments.

When we say yes, we often assume that God is going to bless our yes with His yes. My husband Clint and I were fearful of adoption and foster care, but in fear, we moved forward. We said yes, but our yes was met with a no, and another no, and again, it continued. Looking back, I received an even kinder gift from God when in my pain and disappointment, I found myself clinging to Him more tightly.

“God had become my first. He had used my brokenness to make Himself my first.”

2. We see God’s perspective through His Word.

God was teaching me to seek after His will, not my own. Still, the pain of unmet expectations was devastating. I begged for His perspective and searched His Word for reminders of His promises. I found the book of Job to be the example I needed. We must trust that God will do what He says He will, even when it doesn’t line up with our desires. We need His strength to remain firmly rooted in our faith.

“I will not understand it. I will not like it often. We don’t even have to make sense of it. But, we do need to trust that He is God and we are not. He sees it differently.”

3. Our children are learning hard but important lessons.

We want to protect our children from hurt. We don’t want them to grieve. We feel our own grief and don’t want that for our children. But, God uses hard circumstance to not only shape us, but also our children. I saw that when my daughter beautifully articulated her thoughts on our family’s failed adoption in a school assignment. We can’t allow the unexpected to completely de-rail us; we must trust in the sovereignty of God and allow Him to work in our lives and the lives of our children. God just might be drawing your children closer to Him, too.

“Without the hard, I would never have seen the good so vividly.”

Do you need encouragement in your waiting?

Download this free resource today, and know that you are not alone!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

Meet Our Guest

Adoption, foster care, and advocacy were not part of Jami’s dreams for her life, but God changed her heart when He made her aware, and she is passionate about helping others become aware too! She and her husband Clint are parents to their seven children (five through adoption).

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

Get encouragement and updates in your inbox.

Be the first to know about new episodes, posts, resources, and stay in the loop about what’s coming up.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Episodes You Might Enjoy:

sitting woman leaning on man's shoulder facing lake during golden hour

S4E8: Strategies for Making Your Marriage a Safe Haven

| Podcast | No Comments
Beth Guckenberger and her husband Todd have been married more than 25 years and, between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children. In addition, they also work together as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back…

The Summer Struggle: Establishing Routine for Your Foster or Adoptive Family

| Podcast | No Comments
I loved summer growing up! It was a break from the typical day to day structure of school—full of new adventures and opportunities that there wasn't time for during the school year. Sure, it wasn't…
silhouette of mountains during sunset

S3E12: Adoption as a Picture of Redemption

| Podcast | No Comments
Keith McAfee had a less than idyllic childhood—denied by his biological father, raised by several abusive step-fathers, made poor decisions, suffered various kinds of abuse. But one family saw through his pain and never gave…