I went to pick the boys up from camp last week, and as I sat in the parking lot I took a moment to check my email. There was one from our adoption agency and when I opened it I read something beautiful. “Your travel has been approved and they are forwarding us the necessary paperwork soon.”
Then I had the most immediate gut reaction where I welled up in tears and this sob escaped me that I didn’t even realize was inside me. I took a moment to just cry tears of joy before wiping them away and heading out. I was shocked by my reaction. I didn’t even remember how much excitement and love for my daughter was stuffed deep down inside me.
That’s because I’ve needed to stuff. And protect. And hide. And guard myself.
It’s too hard to love someone and have to wait this long to go and get them. In order to survive this journey, I’ve needed to push Iris from my thoughts. I’ve needed to force her out of my mind. And I can’t even begin to consider what her life is like every day that I wait for some piece of paper to be filed and shuffled and approved. My friend just said to me the other day “Saying that your child is in the best orphanage is like saying you picked the best turd out of the toilet” Amen sister. It hurts to think of my daughter parentless for even one more day.
And then there’s the guarding that I see myself doing, the fear that I am feeling. Adoption is hard. There is no way around it. We did this four years ago with a child almost the exact same age, and to say that we struggled that first year is like saying natural childbirth doesn’t hurt that much.
We struggled to bond with Mesfin, to even like him some days, as he certainly didn’t like us. We felt like our family was falling apart, when we thought adoption was going to bring us all closer together. Our marriage felt the strain……I often wondered if Jon looked at me and thought another one of your top-notch crazy ideas jenny. There was such a sense of nostalgia and longing for the family that we used to be that a sense of loss sent me to sleep amid tears more than once.
It was hard to see what I was gaining that first year when the loss and disappointment was so front and center.
And so here I go again. Facing this struggle one more time. And I know that I am more prepared, but I struggle with the balance of preparation that will help me, and fear, that will only harden my heart.
I know there are people out there who listened to me struggle through my first adoption, and are now hearing this again and are thinking “Why are you doing this?” (I happen to know people are thinking it because some actually say it out loud 🙂 )
I do it because I believe in redemption. I know that I’ve been called to this mission of adoption. James 1:27 tells me so. And therefore, beyond the struggles, beyond the pain, beyond the trauma that Iris will go through, I know that God will redeem our story – at. some. point. There is a rescue from it all.
I think about the story of Job in the Bible, who suffered far more afflictions and pain then I will ever know. And he cried out “For I know my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth.”
It may not come easy, it may not come quickly. And it most likely will never look the way that I intended it to look. But I trust that the greatest story maker of all time is planning the most perfect ending to this chapter of my life, so I guess it’s time to say I’m ready.