Tonight, Justin and I were taking about our particular point of waiting in our adoption process and we were discussing how if someone had never adopted before or experienced adoption in some way, shape, or form in their life, well then, they probably have zero clue of the weight that 24 hours holds. We just so happened to be speaking of people who hold our paperwork at various stages of the process who may say for one reason or another, "well I'll just put this off for a day or week or however long and will get to it soon enough," and whereas they might think things are being done quickly enough, unless they've LIVED it, they just. don't. get. the. magnitude. of. waiting. twenty-four. more. hours.
And it's not at all to say they are bad people or are not doing their jobs efficiently. It was more of a conversation acknowledging our indescribable excruciation of the thought of having to wait one stinking more day.
And then, a darling friend- who is also amidst the sheer beautiful absurdness that is adoption- tagged me in the most brilliant blog post I may have ever read.
The author goes on to illustrate the top six things adoptive parents want you to know. It starts out with number 1 saying we are crazy. And despite the fact that we do in fact have psychological testing that proves otherwise, I don't care what those results say, we are in fact 113% Cah-Ray-Zay. Boom.
But number four. Oh blessed number four. I read it twice. And my eyes swelled up with tears even more the second time I read this. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is Justin's and my everyday) bold and underlines, mine):
4. The wait feels like it will kill us, and it puts our whole life on pause, because we are so in love with our child whom we have never met, and feel like there is a gaping hole in our family. This may be one of the hardest things for people, who have never walked through the adoption process to understand. To love a child we have never met, and to miss that child in a way that knocks the air from our lungs sounds preposterous. Surely it cannot be the same feeling that a parent would feel if their birth child was missing from their home. But let me assure you, it is the same feeling. Remember the way you felt when you heard your child's heartbeat for the very first time, or witnessed the kicks and wiggles on an ultrasound machine? That overwhelming desire to protect, and nurture your child with every fiber of your being before you had even physically met her? It's the exact same thing. But we don't have the privilege of watching our bellies expand and feeling the reassuring wriggling inside of us. We just have this stretched out heart, and the realization that in this moment we are powerless to keep our child safe. We don't have the privilege of knowing that our wait will be just nine months - a definite ending point when we will see our child's face. Instead our timetable is very much indefinite, we get no guarantee of when he will arrive, and that is hard. It is so hard. We walk around and it hurts to breathe, to function, our world feels like it has stopped because our child is missing. I remember one instance when I was having an especially difficult time with the wait. We had received our referral for Jamesy, and we were waiting for a court date and permission to travel to Ethiopia to meet him. The day of his first birthday arrived - a day I had begged God to bring him home by, but that wasn't in His plans - I was in agony that day. My heart literally hurt at the thought of him not being with family for his first birthday. That day, a dear, beautiful friend, showed up at my door with a gigantic hug, and a gorgeous hand crocheted blanket for Jamesy, as a tribute for his first birthday. The gift and hug meant the world to me - that she cared and noticed the pain. I don't remember if she said anything, but the words were not what was important. My advice to you? SHOW UP. Just show up, and extend grace, love, and mercy - let them know that you see this pain, you acknowledge it, and you care.
This author totally and completely surmises why Jack Cruz is always on our hearts and minds. It doesn't for a second mean we love our precious Perry any less or we aren't satisfied with our little family of three. Our child is on the other side of the world. And whereas we signed up for this and we knew God would have to redeem Jack's story by creating beauty from ashes, it doesn't change the fact that adoption comes at an incredible cost on all three ends of the triad. (Child, Birth Family, Adoptive Family)
As we journey each day more without having that blessed court*date, we know the chances of even getting to meet our son before his second birthday are growing so so slim. We cannot even believe we went from *knowing* our son would be home by June to praying he makes it home by Christmas-by the end of the year, for that matter.
I write this-or rather repost this-information not to draw pity or words of encouragement (though please know those are always appreciated and such a blessing), but instead to try to educate. I just want y'all to know. To know the love. To know that blood means absolutely nothing. Love makes a family. And love runs so so deep. Across oceans and across continents. And we just truly can't wait until all our love is snuggled together under one roof.
Original blog post can be found HERE
friends and family who get it
friends and family who don't get it, but love us enough to learn
grace that creates beauty from ashes