Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Emotions and Adoption

I'm never surprised when the emotions hit me during what has turned out to be a long adoption process. I think back to our naivete when we started this process some three years ago and I wind my mind back through all that we have gone through and the emotions that have ripped me apart and the tenderness with which God has reminded me that He is in control, not me. To say it has been a roller coaster would be like calling Hurricane Katrina a thunderstorm. It has provided the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and ever emotion in between.

So, the last few weeks were not surprising, I suppose to me, but they have proven to be an enigma. During a time I should probably be the happiest since we are so close to the "prize" or the "goal", I find myself feeling ambivalent. This seems to be the best word to describe my emotions right now. I'm tired from all the work that we are pouring out right now with trying to get our house in order so we can add another person and from fundraising to raise funds more quickly than we had anticipated we would need them.

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of why we were doing this. I got caught up in the thought and process of adoption and forgot to focus on the outcome of the adoption. Someone who is adopting using our same agency just travelled for their first trip. They shared their blog with me yesterday and I spent quite a while marveling over this tiny baby girl that they were blessed with being told was theirs. Somehow, in the painting, the hammering, the baby clothes, the pizza kits and the paperwork, I haven't been still enough to think about the child, the baby.

I got a sample diaper in the mail today. When I held it, the reality of the fact that a little wiggling baby girl would be in that diaper and in our home and our hearts came crashing in. I went into her room and thought of her sleeping there, crying in the middle of the night. I think, because I have been here and done that before, I can understand that even though she is not "real" to us yet, she is going to touch our hearts, our home and our family in such a way that none of us will ever be the same people as we were before she came. I hope I can change her life in a positive way as well.

A friend commented as we talked about the things I'm writing here that I'm in my last trimester of our adoption pregnancy -- the time when you are most miserable, most anxious and most afraid. You have no idea when the baby is coming, but know that everything is going to change. You are tired from all the work of just existing and carrying a baby. You are so anxious about "nesting" and getting it all ready for the baby and yet you are also so tired. That's exactly where I seem to find myself these days.

Our family is ready (pretty much, anyway) to receive our referral when it comes. We are ready to dive in headfirst to find what our "new normal" is going to be. We are ready to go back to life without the burden of adoption work. While adoption will always be a part of our lives, of Ellie's and my history, it doesn't have to be the focus of our lives all the time -- like this seems to be.

I can envision my little girl. I see her small with dark hair -- lots of it -- and dark eyes. She will be dark complexioned. I see her tiny fingers clutched around one of ours. I see her yawn and hear her coo. I see her sleeping in her brother's arms. I see her, just like her brother did, sleeping on her daddy's chest for a nap. I see her in church on Sundays, knowing "my girls" will all want to be holding her and playing with her (Sara, after all, has called dibs on babysitting). I see her at MeeMee's and DeeDee's for Christmas and at Nana's for Sunday afternoon dinner. I see her chasing the cats and laying on the dog like Josh used to do. And so while I am fearful, I am excited.

I found the following verses that gave me comfort this morning. I hope if there are other parents who are adopting and waiting that are reading, they will find some comfort in this as well,

Isaiah 30:18
The Lord longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion
For the Lord is a God of justice
Blessed are all who wait for Him!

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