Friday, August 12, 2011
August 14, 2010
I remember everything there is to remember about this day. I remember how it felt. The day was hot. Heavy. Scary. Exciting. Life-changing. I know what I was wearing. I remember exactly what was said. I know just how I felt, in every part of my being. One year later, it's still all too familiar.
On this day, our application was "officially" accepted by the adoption agency.
I wrote a check, hand visibly shaking, for one hundred dollars. It was an application fee, a moment that meant we were just one step closer to being parents. At the time, it seemed strange that we were paying money to wait. Was I supposed to put "Baby" in the memo line of my check?
But after one year of asking, "When?" and then another year of asking, "Why?" we were ready to move on. We needed to move on. Adoption was moving on.
It would take a while, they told us. About eighteen months of waiting, doing absolutely nothing except waiting, until we could start doing something. The excitement wore off quickly and today, nearly 365 days later, we are still waiting. Some days, waiting is peaceful and familiar. Other days, it breaks my heart.
I walk a thin line between feeling broken and being at peace with our current situation. It can best be described as a glass of water filled with dirt: most days, the gritty dirt particles sit at the bottom of the glass, existing. Resting, even. Other days, someone drops a spoon in the glass without warning and stirs things up again. Disgusting things come floating to the surface that were once resting at the bottom and the water becomes incredibly murky. My brain gets foggy, forgetting all the things I told myself in that moment where the water was clear. My heart rips open in the broken places, bursting through the band-aids and feeble attempts at repairs I've made over the years.
It's hard to know what it means, really. But I do know this: God is preparing me for the last leg of my life's most difficult, trying, painful and rewarding journey. It's foolish to think that it's all rosy from here. It wouldn't be wise to think that adoption is easy or that it won't remind me of all the things that have already caused my heart to break over the last two and one-half years. I think a lot about what adoption really means, other than waiting endlessly, filling out paperwork and plunking down thousands of dollars. Really, it's not about any of that---that's just the background noise. It's about being willing to open our hearts and homes to something bigger than ourselves.
I used to think that God didn't give us what we wanted because we were being punished. For what, I really do not know. That was the frustrating part. But we are good people, I used to beg instead of pray at night. Why do you give children to such awful people? Are they really more deserving than us? This thinking turned me into someone I didn't recognize anymore---because you look at anyone who is a parent and wonder what it is they have that you don't. Or, you listen to them complain and begin to hate them for being honest. It's a slippery slope.
To be honest, I still have a green eyed monster living in my brain. I am constantly walking a tightrope between peace and anger. It's the truth. I understand that it is likely a permanent resident, regardless of where to road to adoption leads us. Some things are just forever. I need to learn to exist with my demons, rather than trying to remove them entirely.
But here's the other truth: I have more faith today than I did two years ago. Growing up, I thought I just needed to pray for something and I would get it--it was that simple. It always worked; I fell ass-backwards into a lot of really wonderful things in my life and I took it all for granted. I don't believe we exist in this world as two people who are unable to have biological children because we're being punished or because we aren't good enough or praying hard enough---it's because we're being taught an important lesson. Life isn't always fair. We don't always get everything we want. And sometimes, we don't realize that we have been praying for the wrong thing all along.
I prayed and prayed and prayed for a child. Just one. That's it. I didn't think I was asking for too much; I just wanted what I wanted--and I did not want to wait for it. I have been waiting for much longer than I ever dreamed, but I now understand that's just part of our story. I may never truly understand, but I do know this: despite month after month of crushing failure and disappointment, I still hope. Adoption is the hope we've been waiting for all this time.
I have no idea what to expect in the coming years. I do not have the slightest clue what the process will be like. I don't know how soon a baby will arrive in our lives. But, I find my peace in knowing our day will come. In the meantime, I'll be here.