HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve written, I know.
I am here now, though, so take what you can get! ;)
Since the last time I wrote, not much in life has changed, except it’s now 2015. Also, as of the second day of the year, I am officially in the last year of my 20s. John and I are both settled into the jobs we began in early 2014 and, due to John especially finally being acclimated (for the most part) to his new career, our stress level here at home has thankfully significantly subsided.
Since I know you’re wondering, and thanks for doing so, let me go ahead and tell you: Despite us wishing it weren’t true, there really isn’t anything new to report regarding our adoption journey. Yes, you read that correctly — nothing new to report. I promise I’m not “hiding” anything. Believe me, had I news to report, I would be telling you! Alas, though, there is nothing new. We are not “expecting” a child in the immediate future and don’t even have any prospects on the horizon.
The birth mother due in December who did not pick us (the only one to whom we have been shown) should have had her baby by now. We pray that she and her child are both doing well and that the baby is happy and healthy with his/her new family. It’s strange thinking about how I very easily could have been an earthly mother by now, caring for my approximately two-week old child on my 29th birthday just a few days ago. That wasn’t God’s will for us, though; so instead of spending the day feeding and changing a newborn, we spent my birthday in another city just the two of us and then had dinner with a dear friend.
I wasn’t even fully aware of this shift in my thinking until just the other day when a close friend asked me how I was doing with the whole adoption thing. She mentioned she hadn’t asked in a while, and I hadn’t said anything, so she figured nothing was new, but she wanted me to know she cared. I did very much appreciate her inquiry, but as she expected, I had nothing new to share — except for one thing. I am starting to approach our adoption journey a bit differently, and until just a few days ago, I didn’t even know it.
As I told my friend how I had been feeling about how things were going, I found myself understanding what had been going on inside of me for the past several weeks. I used to literally wake up every morning and say to myself, “Today could be the day!” I would sometimes get up, go into our already-furnished nursery and spend several minutes praying on the nursery floor; at the very least, I would put a lot of emotional energy – almost every single day – into thinking and/or praying about our adoption all day long.
When we spent those few weeks this Fall praying and thinking through difficult circumstances that made us question even allowing our life book to be shown to the birth mother, just to in the end step out in faith and say “yes” on our end but not be picked and have no idea when we will have another chance to be shown, I couldn’t help but become very emotionally-vested in a child I will never see, let alone mother. I sincerely loved that child and, in some ways, still do. Because of that very surreal time in our lives, as well as watching close friends of ours walk through a devastating adoption-oriented situation, I think God began working in my life in ways I didn’t even realize at the time. He has been showing me grace and teaching me to demonstrate the same grace to myself.
Now, a few months later, I am still trying to learn how to truly leave our family’s future in His hands, not just in word but in tangible ways, as well. I am also, though, trying to learn how to keep my sanity, while I wait for someone (or more than one person) who seems at times like a figment of my imagination, while also displaying childlike faith that my dream of becoming a parent could happen tomorrow. It’s a delicate, sanctifying balancing act.
Don’t get me wrong. I always believed, and still believe, the Lord has His hand in our adoption plans. I have always wanted, and will always want, His will to be done and Him to be glorified, even if that means that I’ll never be an earthly mother, which is a possibility as harsh as that sounds to most. This process could take another year, or two, or three, or longer, or never even turn out the way we’d like…and if I truly want to be the happy, positive person that I have always been, I am going to lose steam fast if I keep operating the way I usually did the past year.
While I wait to see what He has for us, I am learning that every. single. day. I don’t have to – and can’t – emotionally submerse myself into anything and everything related to the fact we are not parents yet. I just can’t do it, if I want to stay sane and really be present in the present, instead of feeling guilty about the past and/or pining about the future.
I am learning I can’t wake up every morning and dwell on the fact that, “Today could be the day!” Could it? Sure. Of course I still believe that, but what if the “day” isn’t until 3 years from now? What do I do in the meantime? Pull myself off my nursery floor every day just to be filled with more disappointment when I am still waiting for the “day” to happen years from now, while most of my friends continue to be blessed with more children while I still wait to be able to be one’s mother and have nothing else to which I look forward?
No, instead I have changed my focus. Instead of daily sitting and thinking about my children for hours, I will be intentional in how and when I pray about my children, with some days devoted to more focused times of prayer than others. Some days I have, and will continue, to shut the nursery door when its emptiness is a little too much for my sensitive heart. I will still unashamedly ask for prayer for our adoption journey, and thankfully welcome concern from others regarding the process, but I will also be trying to celebrate the other things going on in our lives, too. I will do this even when those joys seem at the time to pale in comparison to the joy I’ll feel one day when I am, if the Lord allows, finally a mother here on earth – my deepest earthly desire not yet fulfilled. I will be a supportive, loving wife to my hard-working husband and believe that he truly loves me, despite my inability to provide him the biological children he always assumed he’d have and I, to this day, so desperately wish I could give him. I will do my job with excellence and continue to well serve the 300 or so authors left to my charge. I will serve the Lord in my church and be thankful for the responsibility and privilege to serve ladies of all ages within our Body, as well as the children we’ll both serve soon in the nursery. I will continue to love my friends and their children, while also supporting and caring for those who, too, are walking their own lonely journey of infertility and/or adoption. I will be thankful I am able to be an empathetic shoulder (tangibly or figuratively, depending on their location) on which they can cry, because I know better than anyone else, sometimes all you need is a good cry on a caring shoulder.
As I continue to wait, but try not to sit around waiting for our adoption to happen, most importantly I will daily allow the Lord to sanctify me to His truth and try to walk in the power of His Spirit, seeking Him above all else. I will continue to be honest about the struggle it is to strike a healthy balance between acknowledging my God-given desire for motherhood and saying “not my will but Yours be done,” because that is all I know how to do.