Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adoption Keeps Me Up at Night

      I thought it was time to share more of my heart in this adoption process, because I want to have a record of it, and because it is always coming as a shock to me.  I am not sure what I expected.  At times, I feel a bit paralyzed with an overwhelming sense of the surreal, as in I think "this cannot possibly be our life.  why would we do this?"  At other times, I am utterly convinced that this is the path that God has us on and that I am glad about it.  (which is the truth)
      I have spent an enormous amount of time researching adoption and trying, as best as I can in my own limited capacity, to understand the many facets to it.  I wanted to hear what naysayers had to say - not because I buy into their criticisms, but because I wanted to get another perspective.  It is easy to think that everyone believes as I do, until I take the two seconds to step out of my fishbowl and see what other people (especially other people who can be cloaked with the anonymity of the www) think.  I am amazed at the vitriol out there towards adoption, but I am glad to know what it is.  I want to know what we will be getting ourselves into as best as I possibly can.
      I have read large portions of several blogs that include adoption as part of their stories.  Here are some of my current favorites.

(I just found hers a couple of weeks ago and have become slightly obsessed.  I am currently reading through an adoption series she wrote sometime last year that is amazing and very real.)
(an old time favorite of mine who is doing a special needs adoption in China right now)

      I also recently read this blog post by an insightful adoptive mother that is changing the trajectory of our own adoption story.  After reading this, I was able to put my finger on a feeling that I had been sensing.  We were getting in a long line.  It is long, because the demand for healthy, young orphans is actually pretty high in the world.  It has got us asking questions about what children are not being adopted and why.  We are currently researching different special needs and looking for ways to open up our criteria.  I don't want to be looking for perfect children to fit into my vision of a perfect adoptive family.  Orphans cannot be special ordered, which is what I am starting to realize.  We are hoping and praying that God opens us up in the right ways to welcome home the children that need us to be their parents while we are all on this earth together.  (I would also like to point out that I do not think it is wrong to wait in line - we are all equipped and challenged differently, and what may be the right path for some is certainly not for others.  I am starting to realize how absolutely little I know about life, and how I have no room or reason to judge the choices that other people make - especially when it comes to preferences, not moral issues.  This could be a blog post in and of itself.)

      All of these thoughts swirl around my head at night, literally keeping me awake.  Which hardly ever happens to me.  I am awesome at sleeping.  Some have called it one of my spiritual gifts.  But, I am sleeping less these days and spending more time thinking about the pain that comes part and parcel with this process.  As I mentioned in this post, I shy away from pain.  I can see that through this process God is teaching me how to lean into it.  There are realities about adoption that I have read about from lots of other people, but now that they are becoming my own realities, I am starting to feel the pain.

      Some terrible loss will come to my children before I know them - their mother will die or choose to abandon them because of poverty or some other insufferable circumstance that is hard to fathom from where I am sitting.  That will forever be a part of our family.  Our children will always have that in their hearts, on some level.  We will take our children out of their birth culture, and while living in America affords many opportunities and experiences that they would never have if they grew up in Ethiopia, there will always be a sense of loss that accompanies their story.

      Our children might already be in the world.  This thought undoes me a bit, because I think of the way that I always know exactly where Lily and Bella are, who is caring for them and what their days will look like.  Because I love them.  Because they are mine to care for.  Because they are mine.  These boys that we are working, praying and waiting for are ours in our hearts.  And to not know who is caring for them, where they are or what their days consist of is a hard tension to live with.  It does drive me to prayer, and I am thankful to serve a God who cares for the least of these and knows when a sparrow drops.

So that is where I am right now.  Awake, often in the middle of the night.  Thinking, praying, hoping and dreaming.

africa-sonogram

(found on a random blog via google - could not find original source)

2 comments:

Kristin Murdock said...

Love when you share your heart, Carol! Leaning into the pain -- brutal stuff.

Morgan Smith said...

oh i just want to give a big amen to so many of your sentences. see ya tomorrow maybe: