adoption related seriousness, waiting

dear friends of waiting adoptive moms: some things to know (also, we’re sorry)

1. Your friend is not crazy. (She is adopting.)

There is, I will admit, a fine line between those two but still it’s good to remember. The international adoption of a child requires enough paperwork to kill a small forest. And more governmental red tape than you can believe. Imagine your longest, most frustrating trip to the DMV. Now quadruple that, add in twelve more governmental agencies in two countries, and remember it’s not a driver’s license you’re waiting for but the final piece of paper that says this family you’re creating can finally, finally be together. Yeah. Not crazy. But close.

2. She loves a child she’s never met.

It’s possible. So possible. It’s irrational and crazy but it’s reality. Does she love them like she will once she gets to know them? No. But she loves them. She wakes up loving them and goes to sleep loving them. She drives to the grocery story and aches to have them safe and snug in the carseat waiting for them. She pushes her cart around the store and hears a child cry and her heart pounds wondering if her child is crying? Alone? Hungry? She might even have to leave an entire grocery cart full of food in the yogurt aisle to go home and cry because it just is too hard. Way too hard.

3. It’s difficult having your heart on the other side of the world.

To people on the outside they don’t look like our kids, on paper they might not be our kids yet. But in our hearts we love these children like they are and yet we’re not together. We’re moms without children. It’s an ache that doesn’t go away. It starts before we see their faces and only ends when they’re in our arms. So we walk about with half our heart missing. It’s hard to breathe, to think, to speak. Something always feels missing. Because they are.

4. She is addicted to her email.

It’s okay. This is a temporary condition and most make a full recovery. It can be diagnosed by refusal to allow separation from her smart phone, or glassy-eyed concentration as she clicks “refresh” over and over and over on her computer. Other signs may include: waking up in the middle of the night to check because it’s X time over there, and muttering aloud “must get home, must check for update, must get home” while out in public.

5. Her child has been through trauma.

If she’s like a lot of moms she won’t be advertising that fact everywhere because she respects her child’s privacy. But children don’t come to the place of needing a second family because they were placed in a cabbage patch by unicorns and leprechauns. Adoption comes from loss. Loss she will see in her child’s eyes and in their heart. Loss that as a mama can make your soul curl up in a ball for an ugly cry. So don’t tell her the kids are lucky. You wouldn’t tell a person who lost an arm that they’re lucky to have a prosthetic one would you? I mean yeah, they are lucky to have that replacement. But you know what would be luckier? Not losing that arm in the first place. So please be understanding. Also, maybe instead of asking for her child’s story outright ask “are you sharing about his history before you?” That gives her a chance to either answer you or bow out graciously.

6. Adoption isn’t pregnancy.

It just isn’t. Well, it is in that at the end of it the hope is to have a new son or daughter in your arms. But I’ve yet to meet a pregnant woman who wonders how old her child will be upon entry into the family. Adoption is different. There is no due date for us. Let that sink in. No due date. And even given preemies and late arrivals with the baby by stork method you have a narrow months-long window of time in which the baby will arrive. That brings us to point number seven.

7. She probably doesn’t know when the child is coming home.

And she has probably been asked this approximately twelve times that day. Because you, her awesome friends, care about her! (And also you secretly worry she’s going a little nuts, see point #1.) And I get it. It’s hard with adoption because you don’t know what to ask. I feel that way with pregnant ladies, like what am I supposed to say? “Your ankles really don’t look that bad do they?” Recently I learned the always safe phrase “you look great – how is baby doing?”, the adoption equivalent is “I know you must miss your kiddos, how is the adoption going?” Or, if you don’t have time to have her break down and cry all over you try the even safer “can I see your latest update pictures?” and then ooh and aww over their cute faces. Even if the pictures are horrible say something positive. I mean I don’t tell people that their sonogram pictures sometimes look like aliens made of bread dough. (Except yours Amy B. Yours is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.)

8. She isn’t sure they’re coming home.

This is the part of the adoption process that makes you want to crawl under your bed and not come out until it’s safe again. This is the part that tears your soul in two. This is the part that you wake up in the morning remembering and going to bed at night fearing. Because there are no guarantees. And that’s hard. No, not hard. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s not just the fear that your child might die before having a family, it’s that this child you love with every ounce of your being might grow up in an orphanage, on the streets, or worse.

9. Your friend is kind of stupid.

I know. That’s harsh. But it’s true. You try operating on a daily basis with only half your heart and half your brain, because that’s what it’s like. ‘Cause the other half of you is wrapped up in a tiny person who is half a world and what feels like a lifetime away. Also, because of the time zone difference it means that half of you is awake pretty much all the time.

10. She doesn’t need to hear your HAS (horrible adoption stories.)

Yes, I know, everyone knows of someone’s uncle’s neighbor who adopted a child and then the child burned down the school with the power of her mind after her classmates dumped a bucket of pig blood on her. (Oh wait, that’s the storyline of “Carrie” isn’t it?) But sharing these stories are the equivalent of telling someone hopping in a plane for their first sky-diving session “I watched this video on youtube where a guy skydived. He died. And his body was all smashed and stuff.” Maybe it’s true but it’s also not overly helpful. Unless you’re the kind of person who also goes up to pregnant woman and says “I know of a lady who got pregnant one time, she gave birth to a kid who became a serial killer and sewed a suit of clothes out of his victims’ skin. (Shoot, that’s the storyline of “Hannibal” isn’t it? Well, I tried.)

Do “Adoptive Kids” sometimes grow up and do horrible thing? Yep. You know who else grows up and does horrible things? “Vaginal Kids.” So really, the warning should be more along these lines: “You’re going to be a parent huh? Good luck with that.”

11. She has probably done her research

Don’t assume she’s going into this because of a driving urge to be mistaken for Angelina Jolie. Unless she is also demanding everyone call her husband “Brad” it probably comes from some deeper place. Or you know, her husband’s name really IS Brad. Chances are she’s read books on adoptive parenting, has agonized for hours over which adoption agency to choose from. Made a decision. Then agonized some more. She’s thought about the ethical questions. And if you don’t think she has then maybe ask. “How did you pick your agency?” “What led you to X country?”

12. She looks brave on the outside, she’s brave on the inside too. But she’s also a mess

Which, I think is what mothering and loving is all about. Being a mess. Throwing your love out there and not knowing if you’re ever going to get it back. It’s scary. It’s vulnerable. It feels like you can’t breathe and when you can it hurts to do it. And you don’t want to complain about that because you picked it. So you pick up the pieces of your heart and you keep going. You keep going because at the end of the day what you go through as an adoptive mother is nothing compared to what children go through when they live their life without family. And that’s what this journey is all about.

dear friends of waiting adoptive moms

{{picture of my son and I taken by the talented Melanie Pace}}

edited to add this note: When I hit publish this morning it didn’t occur to me that this post would spread so far beyond the small group of friends and family who read my blog. Beyond the group of women who’ve become my friends during this adoption journey and who helped me think of topics to add to this post. I’m honored that each one of you have come here and read my thoughts, and honored that you saw fit to share this post with your friends. For those of you who haven’t read posts before I’d like to offer links to a few that I believe will present a more complete picture of my thoughts on the adoption process.

Adoption is an imperfect answer to an impossible question. I happen to wish that all Babies could be raised by their first mothers & fathers, the people who brought them into this world, the people whose blood history they share. But we don’t live in a world where “shoulds” always happen. Life is messy and painful, life includes loss and heartache. And so adoption exists.

All throughout the process of adoption I tried to be careful about calling our life here “home” for Nat. Even on his birth announcement I put “together” instead of “home”. I’m not sure all the reasons for the hesitation. Certainly I thought it, I believed it, I wanted it. But I also knew it wasn’t. He wasn’t coming home, he was leaving home. Leaving home to come live in a strange place that yes, would eventually BE home. Sometimes I think I over think things.

I’m ashamed to admit this but way back when, shortly after we heard the first child we were matched with was dying, I wondered why our adoption journey had to be so hard. So painful and soul-rending. I wasn’t expecting a rose petal covered path but I was hoping that some almighty power would at least keep the thorny brambles cleared off of it. But here’s the thing: if there was any fairness in this world my children would never have needed me in the first place. And there is something quite horrific about the arrogance of believing that God would make this easy on me when it wasn’t easy for my children’s other parents.

waiting

the christmas tree that made it

Today I took down our Christmas tree, it finally died. It’s March 12. It’s been standing in our living room for one hundred and fourteen days.

When his brother and his daddy and I picked out our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving I don’t remember thinking it would still be up when Tal came home. Mostly I was trying very hard to be present to the fact that our oldest was home. That all the longing and dreaming of “next year our family will be together” from the year before was now true. Except it wasn’t. We had our first baby but were now missing our second. Two Christmases with such similar longings.

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But then the tree kept living. We got home from our Christmas trip to CO for two weeks and it was still going strong. And then we thought Tal might be home in Jan and I thought – maybe it will make it. Maybe he’ll get to see his first Christmas tree. And then Jan was gone and Feb was here, and the tree kept on going strong. A few ornaments bit the dust, but the tree itself seemed reluctant to give up its needles. Like it too wanted our baby home.

I don’t remember when exactly I pretty much gave up hope. I remember posting about it on an online group. And some people said they thought it could make it. And a new friend stopped by with treats and a visit just when I needed it and she said she thought it could make it. So I started to hope again. Hope is a crazy thing.DSC_1234

Then I met my youngest. And on Thursday his Daddy, his brother, his grandparents, and I flew into Seattle. We drove home from the airport, walked through the door as a family of four for the first time, and I curled up on the couch with Tal in my arms. His big brother turned on the Christmas tree lights. Tal’s eyes got big, he laid his head against my chest and we sat there snuggled up together. And he fell asleep. He fell asleep in the glow of the lights of the tree from his first Christmas. It made it. We made it.

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{{I don’t have pictures of that first night beside the tree.  But Friday night when he woke up in the middle of the night and his jetleg wouldn’t let him got back to sleep his daddy and I spent some more time with him in its glow and I took a few pictures to remember the tree that made it, and the baby boy who loved it.}}

adoption related mushiness, adoption related seriousness, waiting

the stranger who will be my son

It won’t be long now, they’ll be placing a child in my arms, and I’ll become his mother. And he won’t know who I am. He’ll look at me and won’t recognize me, won’t love me, won’t have any bond to me. And I’ll be his mother.

So I’ll do what mothers do. I’ll hold him, and rock him, and feed him. I’ll kiss him and tell him in a language he doesn’t understand that pretty soon things won’t be so new, pretty soon we’ll know each other, pretty soon I won’t be a stranger. I’ll tell him I love him and it’s okay that he doesn’t love me. I’ll tell him that love can take time to grow, that home can take time to become a reality. I’ll tell him we’re his family and that I hope someday he knows that and feels that and believes that.

I’ll whisper his foster mother’s name and tell him it’s okay that he misses her. I’ll tell him she loves him because I know it’s true. I’ll tell him I know of his losses and they’ll always be spoken of with respect in our home. I’ll tell him I know we’re not his only family and that I’m sorry for all the upheaval he has had in his little life. I’ll tell him there are no big changes now. That this family we’re creating is his as long as he wants it to be. I’ll tell him that no matter what happens I’ll love him for all of time. And my love will be enough for both of us until he has his own. My belief in the strength of our family will be enough until he believes it too.

But most of all I will tell him of the amazing person he is. How his very life gives a unique gift to the world, one that no one else can give. I’ll tell him that it’s not a question of what he does, it’s a question of WHO he is. That who he is, is enough. Is everything.

Sometimes I stare at his picture and whisper a thought of gratitude that he’s here. That he’s on this earth. That I get a first row seat to the wonder that he is. That very soon, the four of us will be a family. Will have our lives intertwined by memories and emotions and experiences. That each of us came to this family from another. Each with a unique bloodline. And yet we’re a family. Very soon now that journey will begin. Pretty soon that stranger will become my son.

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{from his nursery}}

waiting

nesting and giving and what a dollar can buy

There’s a fine line between “nesting” and insanity. As I found myself pinning 1.5×2 inch rectangles of fabric to a piece of rick rack for the third time last night (because the first two times weren’t quite right) I realized I had crossed it. I originally thought this nesting compulsion was the domain of physically pregnant moms. Not so.

A few weeks ago I gave a donation to one of my favorite groups, Shona C*ngo. I gave it because one of the ladies in the group is pregnant and I wanted to help with her medical expenses. A few days later the stateside rep wrote me an email telling me what the money would be used for, and I can’t get it out of my mind. You see we didn’t really give much in the grand scheme of things, and the amount isn’t important, the point is she told me how far the money would go. How long it would provide for this sweet mom’s time in the hospital. It blew me away. That so little could go so far.

We’ve given that same amount and more multiple times in the last months, but it’s usually to a larger organization and while I know the money was well spent I also don’t know quite what happened to it. There’s nothing wrong with that of course but this time it was so personal. So intimate. This time I knew exactly what the money was doing. And it’s shaken me. I think sometimes we don’t see how much of a difference we can make, but really it’s huge. It’s huge because it’s someone’s life we’re touching. And not because we’re amazing or wonderful or fancy ourselves the next Mother Theresa but because we happened to have the dumb luck of being born in a country where nesting can mean sewing tiny pieces of fabric  to a piece of white rick rack and not trying to find a hospital that will be safe to deliver our baby in while we live in a refugee camp.

(For the record I’m going to repin those rectangles for the fourth time soon because the blue one happens to line up with the blue of the whale in front of it. Totally unacceptable.)

I’m sitting in K’s room as I type this. Sitting in the rocker my husband bought off of Cr*igslist for me because buying things from strangers stresses me out too much. In one of those happy happenstances the yellow matches the yellow accents in this room perfectly. And I mean perfectly. It makes me smile. I love beauty, I love that I look around this little nursery and I see love in every corner. I see the quilt my mom sewed, the hat she crocheted that looks like the flag of K’s birthcountry, the crib my husband set up and the decoration he held up to the wall while I said “up, no down, now over, now up”. My phone is sitting on the table (that still needs to have the wobble in it fixed because it’s a garage sale special) next to me and it’s been buzzing at me the whole time I’ve been typing. I know it’s my siblings and parents and friends writing back about the good news I texted to them this morning. Love. I feel it all around me.

And it’s love that should compel me to keep giving, to keep helping, to keep loving. Love is something we all have extra of. There’s a never-ending supply of it in the universe. You can’t give it away fast enough.

And now I’m off to buy a new diaper bag from Shona C*ngo, and I’m going to think of that other mother whose nesting looks far, far different from mine but which I know shares one powerful force: love for our babies.

If the above links don’t work for you, you can find out more about Shona C*ngo here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shona-Congo/112885348272 and here: http://shonacongo.com/meetus.html and buy their beautiful handiwork here: http://www.shonacongostore.com/ Please “like” them on Facebo*k and get the word out about their products.

nursery

{{On the right is a beautiful piece I bought from the ladies of Shona C*ngo and which hangs in K’s nursery. On the left those tiny pieces of fabric I’ve been working on, also for K’s nursery.}}

adoption related seriousness, mountains that don't move, waiting

the grace of twilight

a thousand years

This adoption process has me reduced to finding solace in “Twilight” quotes. Okay, it’s not quite that bad. It’s actually from a song written for one of the Twilight movies. I didn’t know that though when I first heard it. When I sat there and felt like someone had seen into my soul. Maudlin much? Picture me doing a Kristen Stewart type lip tremble here but with more facial expression.

I’m ashamed to admit this but way back when, shortly after we heard the first child we were matched with was dying, I wondered why our adoption journey had to be so hard. So painful and soul-rending. I wasn’t expecting a rose petal covered path but I was hoping that some almighty power would at least keep the thorny brambles cleared off of it.

But here’s the thing: if there was any fairness in this world my children would never have needed me in the first place. And there is something quite horrific about the arrogance of believing that God would make this easy on me when it wasn’t easy for my children’s other parents. Or for my children. He could easily keep every child from becoming parentless. He could stop death, war, and everything else that leaves babies vulnerable and alone. But He doesn’t.

So who am I to think that I would be spared pain and setbacks? Where was that part of the deal?

Comparison is an ugly thing. Always. Unless you’re comparing yourself to characters from trashy reality television. In which case comparison is one of the cheapest forms of therapy because compared to most of them my life totally and utterly rocks and I am a completely normal and sane person. But that aside, comparison in the adoption world can make you crazy. Because there’s always someone who gets a form faster than you. Who accepted a referral after you and got their baby home before you. Who seems to be getting the easy path.

And there’s a temptation to believe that it all means something. That it somehow has something to do with your worthiness and specialness and iamsogreatness. Or your unworthiness.

For the record I don’t think it does. I don’t think mountains that move are indications of an Almighty Power saying that I deserve something and the ones that don’t move aren’t indicating the opposite either. Because if I did, if I did believe that then what does that say about my belief towards my children’s other parents? Where was the mountain-moving when they needed it?

Theologians have been debating what is God’s will and what is man’s choice since the dawn of time. They’ll probably be debating it in the afterlife. Maybe there will be a whole section of heaven set up for it. It will be like the internet in physical (metaphysical?) form for all eternity. And some days I get caught up in that. I wonder why some are given so much and some are given so little, and the injustice of it all makes me want to resign from the human race and volunteer for a deep space mission to Mars. With apes.

But on the rest of the days I resign myself to the not knowing and I come back to this belief that I carry in my soul: Each of us were put on this earth for a reason, we were each entrusted with love and grace that is ours to hoard or to give away. And that’s all I’m doing, it’s all I know how to do. I’m just holding out the love I have and saying  – here, I have some extra – who can use it? Knowing that others have given me love and grace when I was the one needing it. And somehow I have to believe that all that love and grace melts together and oozes something beautiful. Not something that makes up for the ugliness of a broken word, but something beautiful none the less.

So yeah, I’m quoting Twilight today. Or it’s theme song. Or whatever. And thinking deep theological thoughts that can’t all be shared. And somewhere deep inside I’m holding thoughts of a little boy who I desperately wish will be in my arms sooner or later. Who I hope beyond words grows up in a family. Who I’ll love until the day I die. Who might someday read these words and curl up in a teenage ball of embarrassment. Sorry kiddo. Maybe use it as emotional blackmail to get me to buy you that new phone or laptop you’ve been bugging us for. Or, you know, a hovercar.

adoption related mushiness, cave paintings of the soul, waiting

a true story and a note about onesies

True story: On Friday night our adoption agency contact emailed us with pics of K. I wrote back. “I love you. If you send me an email Monday morning telling me we have our <name of paperwork we’ve been waiting forever on> I will love you forever.” Monday she emailed me to say we had it and would have a scanned copy the next day.

I’m debating between flowers or chocolates to celebrate our undying love.  I already owe her a statue of herself for something from Thane’s adoption process.

Update pictures are like finding an ice cold Fanta while you’re crawling your way across a desert floor. They keep you sane. Well, saneish. And this set was exceptionally great. Because my baby has chub. CHUB. His little legs actually have chub on them. I squealed when I saw them. His new formula is agreeing with him apparently. Not being in the hospital for a few months helps too I think.

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This is the onesie he’s wearing. This one right here. The one I bought for him. The one I sent in a care package after carefully making note of the size. Which means I touched something that has touched my child. There are no words for how good that feels. This is the second time we’ve gotten a picture of him wearing a onesie I sent. The first time I cried. Adoption hormones are insane I tell you.

He’s such a serious little guy in his photos. We have one from very early on with a little half smile and an amazing 26 seconds of perfection on video where he’s with his foster mummy where he gives her a little half smile as well. But the rest are very serious. I love his eyes. His little face is filling in now so they don’t seem quite so big. But they are just as beautiful.

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And in one of those “I’m going to paint this on my soul in happiness” moments he just happened to be wearing this one in the picture that went with the paperwork we got this week. You can’t see the words in the picture of course, but I recognized it and smiled when I saw it. We’re so ready for him to indeed be our family’s little brother. And by ready I mean excited. The actually preparedness could be debated. Among other things I have closet shelves to finish, clothes to hang up, and a coming home outfit to buy.

It’s a good feeling to see him in clothes I sent him. It will be an even better feeling to dress him in them myself.

adoption related randomness, waiting

adoption process update

That title makes it sound so cold. Clinical. And ultimately the process is, it’s just piles upon piles of paperwork that sit on various desks until various people grab their various writing utensils and sign them. Then the news sorts its way down to us where a little email icon pops up on my phone screen telling me we have movement. And this week, finally, we have movement again. Another little checkmark in another box that brings us one step closer to meeting the little man we’re head over heels in love with.

A form we’ve been waiting on came in. We got the news yesterday and have a copy in our little virtual hands today. This means we have a due date for our next step, which will happen in just over two weeks. It means we’re now in a two and a half month window of time in which K will probably be joining our family. It means that just maybe in a few more months we’ll breathe again without feeling that tightness in our chest.

Because beyond all the cold and clinical parts of the process is a mom who really wants her baby home. Is a dad who works so incredibly hard everyday to provide the funds needed to pay the lawyers who help us bring him home. Is a 19 month old who loves to look at pictures of K on my phone and who kisses the screen whenever he does.

We’re getting closer baby boy, getting closer to getting you here, with us. And I know you don’t know any of this is happening. I know you’re happy with your foster mummy. I know while I lay awake at night wishing to hold you you’re happily content with the one who cares for you so, so well. It will take time once you’re here for you to know this place as home. That’s okay. We’ll wait. We’re good at waiting.

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{{My sister and her family sent us these balloons a few months ago to celebrate passing another milestone in our adoption. So grateful for a family that walks this path of waiting with us. And who never once said we were crazy for diving in again six months after Thane came home.}}

adoption related seriousness, broken and okay, mountains that don't move, waiting

when the mountains don’t move

So what does it mean when your mountains don’t move?  When you pray the “prayer of faith” but there is no splash at the end to indicate that God was listening?

What does it mean when those same prayers from other lips get answered?  When their “miracle” request is granted and yours gets filed in the trash bin of heaven?

I find myself tempted to believe I didn’t do something right, didn’t pray the right words, didn’t have the right heart.  As if God is a temperamental vending machine and I didn’t hit the right button with the appropriate force.  I find myself wallowing in believing that if I was somehow good enough then my prayers would be answered, my life would be made lovely and easy.  As if those whose lives are a daily struggle for survival somehow did something to deserve their condition.

So maybe it’s good my mountains didn’t move, my personal “miracles” wasn’t granted. Maybe if they had I would believe in the own specialness of my American self.  Maybe I would somehow think that the privileges that come from being born in a wealthy country where opportunities abound somehow said something about my goodness as a person, my deservedness as a human.

Maybe if my mountains had moved I wouldn’t think every day about those around the world whose mountains are so much bigger than mine.  Whose unanswered prayers cost them so much more than mine ever will.  While I pray for paperwork to come in quickly so my son can come home to me others are praying to not die in childbirth and leave their child motherless.  While I cry over months apart from these children I love, others are crying for the food to keep their children alive.  While I wonder why my life has to be tainted by chronic illness others watch their loved ones die from preventable diseases, all because they lack the money for treatment.

Maybe if my mountains had moved I wouldn’t feel compelled to give to others, to do what I can to help their own mountains move, maybe I would have been content to sit and stare at the gap in the horizon and be pleased with my own personal faith and my own personal happiness.  Maybe I would have believed in my own specialness at the cost of forgetting others.

My mountain didn’t move.  But my heart has.

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adoption related mushiness, waiting

the second time around

I have a constant sense of deja vu lately.  Like I’m in in my own adoption-themed version of groundhog day.  But I’m not repeating a day I’m repeating a year.  We accepted our two referrals almost exactly thirteen months apart.  And it’s a strange feeling going through the holidays and feeling so many of the same feelings I felt last year.  Thinking the same hopeful thoughts of “next year our family will be together.”  Waiting on the same paperwork.  I even got mixed up thinking that I had sent in a form that our agency said I hadn’t.  But sure enough when I went back and look at my files I was just remembering doing it last year.  What can I say, immigration paperwork makes a lasting impression.

When we dressed up Thane like a Dragon and took him to Nate’s work party I remembered thinking last year that we would have a baby to dress up for it and wondering what that would be like and what he would go as.  And this year I thought the same thoughts about K.

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Then Thanksgiving came and our family felt incomplete, missing someone.  We put K’s picture on our dining table and I once again found myself thankful for a baby I loved but hadn’t met yet.

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I decorated the tree and thought next year – he’ll be home.  The same Christmas song that got me through last year will get me through this year too.

come christmas

The danger of course is that in hoping for what’s coming I’ll miss what I have.  And I have so much.  I look at Thane and like I sing to him “you’re that star up in the sky, you’re that mountain peak up high, hey you made it, you’re the world’s greatest” (yeah, I like repurposing 90’s pop into lullabies.)  So while we settle into another holiday season with our heart in two places I try to remember that.  Remember to bottle up everything that’s happening and tuck it inside my heart.  I’m never going to get this time back.  I have to take in all the moments I can.

And we’ve had some of the best moments the last few days.  Sitting on the couch, the three of us.  Thane laughing his head off because I was using his hands to squeeze my cheeks into a funny face.  Listening to him say “uggamugga.”  Or asking him if he wants us to squish him and having him say back “kish me” and we hug him between us.  Or hearing him laugh in his sleep while he was sleeping on my lap.  Hearing his little “hiii mommeee” first thing in the morning.  Or waking up to see him curled up in his daddy’s arms fast asleep.  Those are some cave paintings for the soul right there.

Getting kicked in the face first thing in the morning not so much, but that’s not going to last forever either.  Thankfully.

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adoption related seriousness, waiting

please let him have a family

The truth is I miss my baby.  The one on the other side of the world, the one I’ve never met, the one I don’t know when I’ll meet.  There is no magic pill that makes this easy.  Putting “adoptive” in front of “mother” in my title doesn’t mean I am suddenly immune from the ache of having my child so far away.

The truth is that I think about him when I wake up and when I go to sleep.  I think about him when I’m rocking his big brother to sleep.  I ache that I’m not the one putting him to sleep at night and at naptimes.  I hurt that it isn’t my face he sees above him when he wakes up. I think about him when I walk through the store and see a baby around his age cooing or crying.  The truth is I’ve now seen more of that baby than I’ve seen of the one I think of as my own.

Loving someone you’ve never met is possible.  So possible.  You can have an ache and a fire in your gut that is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.  You can love this tiny thing more than you thought possible.  And all the chants of “worth the wait” doesn’t make the wait easy.  So you cling to faith.  Faith that this dream of him having a family will become a reality.

The truth is I’m a world apart from the one I love. And that makes it hard to breathe sometimes.  But it’s not death I fear the most for him, though that thought makes me ache.  It’s what else is out there waiting for him if neither heaven or a family become a reality.  I want him to have a family, it doesn’t have to be mine.  But dear God, please let him have a family.