I realized after reviewing the last couple of months of posting that I never finished discussing how I came to the decision to go forward with our adoption. It’s the most exciting post of the series, and I left it unfinished. The lead-up post to this one was full of grace (part 5). It is ironic, actually, that today would be the day I find an old notebook with the most important journal entry of the past four years written inside. The notebook contains a journal entry I wrote at work in November 2006. My dad asked me awhile ago if, how, and when I knew this is what we were supposed to do. I think what he was really asking me is am I really sure that this is supposed to be our path. I didn’t give him a full answer because we got sidetracked, but here it is…
9 November 2006
Wow! Where do I go from here? I am frustrated, confused, amazingly disheartened and completely torn. One moment I want a baby–the next I couldn’t care less. Most of the time I feel like I shouldn’t even try–that we should “just” adopt. I think I am okay with that. In fact, I would be totally okay with it if I knew with certainty that there wasn’t a little unborn spirit(s) that needed to come to our family.
It’s like, do I do all that I can to “have” a baby and do the adoption thing part time OR do we focus on adoption and take bio babies as they come (if they come). I have been trying to give equal time and emotional energy to both, and it is not working. I vacillate too much because I read fertility boards and books and adoption boards and books, and I go over the “what ifs” ALL THE TIME!
And being on the hormones makes me emotionally react as if I am pregnant–which means I cry all the time, I mean all the time. I feel like I have no control. What does it matter, really? If we can’t have a baby it is not the end of the world, I guess. The most important thing to me is that I am doing God’s will. That I can rise through this trial positively and with grace. I want him to be proud of me–I want him to see the personal growth I so badly strive for in adversity. “Woe is me” is not becoming, and it doesn’t help.
So I guess the only thing holding me back is A. fear of the unknown and B. the question, “am I doing God’s will by not pursuing further medical treatment?” It looks like it is solely between me and God. I hope he knows how much I want to please him, and how much I want to be a mom! 🙂
This letter reminds me clearly of the day, just a couple of weeks after writing it, we decided to stop treatments and start our adoption pursuit. I can taste it and smell it, and however painful it is, I am glad I remember…..
I was home by myself after work. Our “nursery, ” which I painted (big mistake) also housed some boxes of old papers. I went in to try and clean out some paperwork (another big mistake). I was sitting on the ground flipping through old files when I decided to lay down. I remember lying on the carpet looking up at a bookshelf containing nursery trinkets we had collected. I totally lost it. No, I seriously lost it. You all know the ugly cry. It was the ugly cry times 25. I can laugh now, but at the time it was completely tragic. I rocked back and forth crying and screaming holding a little white lamb that a friend had given me after our first miscarriage. I couldn’t stop crying. This went on for about an hour. My eyes were swollen shut and there was snot crusted to my face. I thought for sure the neighbors would here and think something awful. You know that if Rach didn’t care about that then it must have been pretty bad! 🙂 I called my sweet husband and asked him to come home.
I was drowning. I kept clawing for solid ground, and couldn’t seem to find it. My mind was in a perpetual state of winter. There was no sunshine for a really long time, and I was so tired. The next hour I spent crying some more and praying and thinking. As I calmed myself down, a distinct warmth filled me. I was open because I had literally hit the bottom. I remember a still distinct voice. I can’t share more about the experience, but I can share that I was left with an assurity that adoption, international adoption for us specifically, is a blessing. It is good. It is right. It is nothing that I needed to feel guilty about. I knew, walking out of that nursery, that I would probably never hold a biological infant in this life. I also knew, walking out, that our quest to be parents and to adopt children would bless many lives, not just ours. And that is the moment where I found myself. That is the moment when I realized I wanted to be a mom more than I wanted to have a baby.
Adam came home and wrapped me in his arms. I told him what had happened, and we cried together for a really long time–sad and happy tears. When I told him that I didn’t want to take another pill or do one more test or go back to the fertility doctor, he smiled and said okay. When I told him I didn’t care what our children looked like or where they came from, but that I just wanted to be a mom–he began to glow. I can still remember sitting on the couch, mostly in the dark, but seeing his countenance illuminate goodness and light. We chose then to adopt a sibling group from Colombia, and the rest is history. My husband has been a champion through this whole experience. He deserves so much more credit than I give him at times. He has been my rock and my soft place to fall. We are stonger and happier having gone through this problem, not around it–together.
There haven’t been many, but there have been a few days since when I have questioned our decision. To get through those moments and days I think back to that day in our empty nursery, and I REMEMBER. I am so grateful that the Lord has found me worthy to care for not one, but four of his children who need a family. I wouldn’t trade their sweet faces for anything–not even a baby.
Exactly one year from that experience in the nursery, we received a picture of our four children. The past four years have been simply awesome. I have grown as a woman and as a wife. I have had time to think and develop into the mother I want for my children. “…when the fiery trials come they either consume us or refine us.” (Ardeth Kapp) I feel more refined. I still have a long way to go, but I know that I will be a great mother because I choose to be refined!