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!
Thank you for sharing this experience. That was a truly beautiful moment.
You are so strong and wonderful. Thank you for being able to share this amazing story. I am touched! You and Adam are an amazing couple. I am so grateful that you have been part of our lives. I frequently remember when we first met for a double date at the Outback. I so badly wanted to be friends with you both! That seems like so long ago! You will be such a great Mother!
You ARE a great mother, woman, friend, confidante, sister and daughter. It is so easy for us to not share those moments at the bottom of the pit, but they are really what makes us who we are. I LOVE that you have four beautiful children that look nothing like you. I LOVE that when you hold them close and look at their skin next to yours you will think of the beauty in each color God made and you will REMEMBER that God loved you enough to take you on this journey to find your children.
I love how our stories are so similar but SOOOO different. I feel guilty in pursuing fertility treatments because I know that I can love a child regardless of where it comes from. That is a good question for me to ask myself. Do I want to be a mother more than I want a baby?
It is amazing to see the journey to where you are now. I am so sorry you had to go through all of this and wish it never happened, but I’m so glad to know the Rachel I know and it won’t have been then same. (I’m also DYING to have more nieces and nephews that have beautiful tans!) Thank you for sharing your story, it helps me to understand what this has been for you. I love you so much and am grateful for your example.
PS I think the patience you have learned from waiting will help you with your high energy youngest! HA!!
I really enjoyed this entry. It was like hearing myself and reading my own journal. I remember the many days that I also grieved over infertility issues. After we went through IVF, it was a very difficult decision to go in another direction. It took much prayer and time alone with God to really know what move to make next. Reading this took me back to the very day that we decided not to move on with fertility treatments. I too, wanted to birth my own child. I knew that I could love, nurture and provide for a child that was not of my own flesh, it was letting go of the possibility and hope that I could one day birth my own child that was so difficult for me. The desire to experience a pregnancy and motherhood overwhelmed me at times. Today, motherhood has a different meaning to me. I cannot imagine what our lives would be like without this little angel boy that I’m watching sleep so soundly right now. Nicolas has been such a blessing to our entire family. The journey to be a mommy wasn’t as easy for you and I as it is for some but God was there all the time, holding our hands, picking up the pieces of our broken hearts, and loving us unconditionally. I couldn’t have made it without the Lord. He has been so good to us! Your babies are so adorable and I know you cannot wait to get to Bogota. Where are you staying?
Take care & God bless,
Mommi to Nico, Nov 2007, Los Pisingos
All I can do or say right now is that while reading this entry I was consumed with the answer to the question we always wondered about when you moved in with us last year. Well anyway I know now that your path was led to us for a reason and it was the path of the lord…Brian was so adament about you guys going through with the adoption and we wanted to help in any way possible and I know the lord knew that of us and I am so grateful that we could be a part of the lord’s hand. I am not a reader Rach but if you were to write a book I wouldn’t be able to put it down, you are an amazing writer and I truly believe you should write a book one day it would be a Best Seller for sure! 🙂 We love you and thank you so much for sharing this it was amazing!
Thanks for sharing this final part of coming to your decision. Lately, when Brien and I have questioned certain things in our life, one of us usually remembers what helped us make a decision. Remembering why we chose a path is so important. Especially when we get to rough points in the road that make us question our decision. It’s always nice to have a moment of clarity to reflect on.
You know how much your words mean to me and how much I am moved by your ability to share your experience with the world, while I tend to hold it closer. It gives such hope to so many to know that those dark days to end and prayers are answered. When they are not answered in the ways that we want, it is OK to grieve that as long as we find the strength to pick up and follow a different path.
I love you!