He had the fortitude to think through the pain and write a series of blog posts. I put one foot in front of the other and put my chin up. I am not sure who is more “well adjusted”, but I am OK with my journey.
This song carried me through waiting for her to be “ours” , buying her clothes and Chevron bedding, losing her to another family 10 days before her birth, and dealing with the aftermath. The song is a life changer.
The year has come full circle and our “Maybe Baby” will be turning one soon. Of course, we actually named her, but before we even started the adoption process we would talk about adoption and a "Maybe Baby" that "maybe" God would gift us. "Maybe" this is what God had for us. "Maybe" we should start the process now. "Maybe" she is the daughter for us. "Maybe" and prayerfully, this will work out. In an adoption process NOTHING is certain.
When we decided we wanted to adopt her, we set aside the money (thank you TpT). We waited. The birth father told us (via text) that he had chosen us to raise his daughter. The birth mother did not want to deal with any of this. She was pretending none of this was happening. Her growing belly aside, she refused to think about the baby, make decisions for the baby. Though she did visit an adoption agency and looked through binders of portfolios. She called herself a glorified oven, baking someones baby. The birth father assured us that she would come around to the reality of the baby, and vote with him. He asked us to pray. We put a lot of stock in what he told us via text and a mutual friend. We met with our lawyer and arranged for them to meet with our lawyer. We chose a beautiful name and began preparing as much as you can for a baby who is half yours. But "our baby" went to another family. The birth mother made a last minute decision away from the closed adoption she had previously demanded to a with-visitation-rights open adoption.
Now nearing the anniversary of her birth I did not realize I would have fresh tears over the baby.
So what did I learn over the last year ?
God is good even when our current circumstances feel bad. It’s true. My son (7 and a half) asked me last week why he throws up when he is sick. Why does Jesus let us be afraid of throwing up? Why would God let him be in pain? He told me, "I prayed. Isn't He listening?" I had to explain that God never promised us a pain-free life, but He promised to always be with us and give us the strength we need to navigate our lives. Looking to Him for daily strength gives us hope, and joy, and peace.
Bearing the grief alone is kind of dumb because people have no clue what's going on, and must be asking themselves, “What’s up with her?” Even worse, other people may feel that they have done something wrong, or offended you because they know something is "off"or not right. Most people blame themselves first. Outside of my home, I tend to err on the side of silence. But the problem with being too private, is people cannot help you, pray for you, hug you, or cut you some slack.
I also learned that being real is more important than being perfect. I don’t want anyone to think I have a perfect life, but I do want to behave appropriately. I have learned that the pain I silently carry around still becomes a burden on others, but they have no idea where it’s coming from. So they lack the knowledge that just might lead to compassion, empathy, and warmth.
Putting off the pain doesn't work. Eating the pain doesn't work #plus25pounds. Nothing works, but giving the pain to God. He is the great physician. He carries us, heals us, and loves us so much that He sent his Son to build the bridge between us and Him. How foolish to not run across that bridge and into His care. There is no emotion I feel that would shock Him. There is no wound that I bear beyond His touch.
I have learned that being real, open, and honest does not make me a mess, weak, or imperfect. It makes me a strong woman, a healed woman, and a woman whos arms are soft enough to comfort others through shared pain and arms that are strong enough to pick up the pieces and carry on.
I have seen with my own eyes, how good my husband is and how lucky I am to have our son. I lack nothing. I just had more room in my heart. I am content in His plan for me and cherish what God has already given me.
So as her birthday rolls around I both raise a glass to the family that holds her, and I raise my torch. In a small, but very real way, I will always love my “Maybe Baby”. God is with me as I carry a torch for her because I was ready to be her mom and because I loved her before I knew her. It's really no different than loving the unborn child in your womb. Adoption is just a lot more uncertain. But I can tell you will 110% assurance that I needed to learn these things, because I am better now than I ever could have been if I had been spared the experience.
Happy Birthday, dear one.
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It hasn't been a week yet, but things feel like they have moved so fast. After the first time around, with a rough pregnancy and our baby spending seventeen days in the N.I.C.U., we had decided we were only going to have one kid. He is healthy, we are happy, why mess with it if it isn't broken, right? That all changed last week.
Here's what happened: The Missus came home and said that a teacher friend of hers knows a young couple. This couple, both 20 and unmarried, are having a baby. They had made an appointment at an abortion clinic, went to the appointment, and realized they couldn't go through with it. The baby is a girl. The friend of the Missus thinks we should adopt the baby. The Missus thinks we should adopt the baby. What do I think? Well, I didn't say no. I had thought last week, while we were sitting at the kitchen table having dinner, that our table seems to be missing something or someone. I have thought on more than a few occasions, that my son might enjoy having someone to be silly and excited with when we do fun family things.
So, we said we're interested. The young couple said they want to meet us. It took them forever to make a plan with us. I started cleaning out our office/exercise/guest room to get organized, but also to make way for a possible nursery. The Missus has been full of ideas for a "girl" nursery. I started to worry that the young couple might want to come see our house and where the baby's room would be, so I redoubled my efforts to get that room cleaned. Finally, things started to move forward when the couple set a day and time with us.
Now, tonight is the night. I have such mixed feelings. Having a newborn is a lot of work. What am I getting myself into and, more importantly, why am I getting myself into it? I know they will love the Missus. What's not to love? But, will they like me when we meet?
Check back soon, and I'll let you know!