It’s hard for me to write today. I’m not 100% sure why. I have lots of thoughts rolling around in my head. Thoughts that send me into blog-thinking, but then bounce me back to another place. Adoption. ADHD. Learning disabilities. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Chocolate. The Prodigal Son. How to Look Good Naked. The Absurdity of the Bachelor. Zumba. Being “out of sync” with those I love. Dizziness (as in vertigo, not being “ditsy”). On and on..... Yet, I feel compelled to write. I hope that as I type, the right words will come -the words that mean something to me, but that also are noteworthy for someone else.
|Ben summer 2008|
I guess I will start with a thought that keeps coming back to me today. While we were waiting for Ben, and then again after adding Ben to our family, someone, actually more than one someone, said to me, “adoption is the easy way to have a child.” Wow. I understand, I guess, how one might think that. After all, following 9 months of hormonal and physical upheaval with my other two children, I had C-sections, one of which was especially challenging and scary. There were sleepless nights with shifting of weight trying to get comfortable or fighting reflux. There were the moments of worry about how my babies were progressing. And, of course, there was the weight gain. For some, pregnancy can be a real bear. For me, I loved almost every minute of it and would eagerly do it again if I had the right parts.
With adoption.... oh, with adoption, things are so completely different and so not easier. With adoption, there are no flutters, no kicks, no growing belly. True, there is no morning sickness or late night trips to the bathroom, but the sleep does not come easy. The weight of the wait can, at times, seem unbearable...knowing that your son (or daughter) is in someone else's arms or worse yet, not being held enough in someone else's arms. The wait is usually much longer than the typical 9 months we expect when we are expecting. For some the wait is years. There is the fear that something will go wrong. That somehow someone will make a mistake....that your son won't really be yours in the end. There are the "what ifs" about a health history that you don't fully know. And yet, in spite of all that, there is a joy and excitement that comes in the waiting, in the discovery of who your little gift will be. There is delight in knowing that someday your family will be more complete because of a little person whom you haven't even met yet. There are the hopes and prayers that go out, across the miles (or perhaps in the same town) for the sweet little face you've only seen in pictures or imagined in your mind...and for the tummy mummy that has grown this child physically, while you have grown him in your heart. While it is amazing, there really is nothing easy about it.
|Ben, cousin Jess, and Zac|
|Ben summer 2009|
Why, you ask, does this keep bouncing around in my head today? Well, it comes to mind because a friend of a friend, a heart mommy, is waiting desperately to hear whether or not the baby she has been waiting for will truly become hers. It also comes to mind because friends of ours are waiting for a referral from Haiti. They have been working on the adoption since August of 2008. Their dossier was approved by the Haitian Embassy on the day of the earthquake, but only arrived in Haiti in April of 2010. We also have someone close to us waiting for their 4th adopted child to come home, knowing it won't likely happen until December 2011, even though the baby is born and waiting for them. When I consider these friends, that old statement, unintentionally hurtful, echoes in my mind. And, my prayers for them are born out of familiarity and shared experiences.
The thing I have held onto more than once during this journey of adoption, is something that Ken told me. Along the way, we had to make a decision that caused me to pause and shook my confidence momentarily. As I sat in the uneasiness of my own thoughts and our decision making, Ken told me of something that I pray I will never forget. He said, "God is not going to trick us." God knows what we can and cannot handle. He called us clearly to adopt. He knows His plans for us, even when they are not clear to us.
As I close, I need to say the following:
- I don't "blame" someone for feeling like "adoption is the easy way" to do this family thing. In fact, in all honesty, I don't even remember who said this to me, though I know it happened more than once. It is easy to make assumptions and say things without realizing the impact. The comment reminds me, however, that I should not make assumptions about someone else's experience unless I've taken the time to understand where someone is coming from.
- I don't expect any sort of praise for the choice of adoption. Most of the adoptive parents I know would say the same thing. When people say, "oh, it's so great that you adopted...what a good thing", my response is that it was an absolutely good thing for us. We wanted to grow our family and this is one way to do it. However, I do believe it is an amazing way to do it!
- Adoption is not for everybody, but I am sure glad that it is for some of us. Some might say, "if only everyone would adopt, there would be no orphans left in the world." While that is true, I would not ever want someone who is not called to adoption, to adopt. Just as I wouldn't want someone who is not called to be a teacher, become a teacher. We are all called and gifted differently (Romans 12). Yet, there are certainly ways to support adoption and adoptive parents, which one day I am sure I will write about.
|Ben with my brother, Steve, and my niece, Mackenzie - two of the people who speak into Ben's life and love on him lots.|