There are days when I couldn’t be happier, when my thoughts are on my son; what it will be like to share all of this love in my heart with my child, what it will be like to hold him for the first time, what it will be like to comfort him when he cries and rejoice with him when he is happy, what it will be like to laugh and play and be a family together. On these days, I truly believe that adoption is a good thing, that brings together mommas and daddies an kids who all need eachother and gives them the chance at a loving family. A chance that so many in this world will never get. And that is a good thing. An amazing thing. On these days, I’ll admit, it is hard to think about the pain on the other side of this adoption thing.
And then there are those other days. The ones when I wake up and my heart aches inside me. Or the nights when I lay in bed awake for hours, questioning everything I ever thought I knew and believed about adoption, the world, God, myself. I wonder if I am doing the right things. I am doing everything I know to make sure my adoption is ethical, but what if I miss something? I wonder if I will be a good mother. I wonder if I will be able to help my son navigate through the pain and loss that adoption brings, or if I will let him down. And I wonder about another mother on the other side of the world. Even on those happy days, she is there. It would be so much easier if I didn’t think of her, but I have to. Miles needs me to. And really think I need to for myself as well. My life and hers will forever be bound together through our son. When I think of her, I am shaken to the core. I can’t help but think of my little sis, who as a single mom could easily have been in a similar situation had she not been surrounded by supportive family with sufficient resources. I mean really easily– I know it crossed her mind. And it kills me. When I see my sis with her kids, I am amazed by her stregth and determination. It’s not easy for any of them, and they may not have much but eachother, but I can’t imagine a better life for them. She lives for those kiddos. I don’t even know if my child has been born yet, but what if he has, and his mother was given the same support my sis has? What if she were given the resources she needed to raise her child? Would she make a different choice? There are details I just don’t know and may never know. Can I live with that? What if she was coerced or bribed? Pressured by family or friends or strangers who were constantly reminding her how difficult her life would be if she decided to raise him? On these days it is hard to see the good in adoption. On these days, it tears apart families and identities, it breaks hearts, it leaves families and children vulnerable to corruption which unfortunately is ever-present in this world we are living in.
And so, back and forth I go from one extreme emotion to the other. Every once in a while, it almost feels like I can grasp it for a moment–that maybe adoption in and of itself is neither good nor bad, and yet at the same time it is both. That maybe like most things in life, it isn’t all black or white, right or wrong, but instead a complex and dynamic shade of gray somewhere in the middle. Maybe in adoption, as in life, the good and the bad, the joy and the pain must co-exist, but that doesn’t mean that they should cancel out or lessen one another… Maybe you can feel two emotions silmultaneously (or three, or four!), and that’s okay. Maybe it just means that we are complex human beings caught up in a complicated situation…I can almost grasp it for a moment, and then the moment is gone and I’m feeling caught on one side or the other again. Sigh. It is so hard to trust God sometimes, but I am trying, I really am! I spent this weekend at a Women’s Conference and listened to the speaker tell about her son who survived a horrible bus accident that left 26 others dead. For a long time she struggeled with the the question of why he survived when so many others didn’t. I was on the edge of my seat. I kept waiting for her to share some sort of deep revelation, something that would help me answer the similar questions that I have been facing regarding my child and his mother. Why do they have to lose one another? Why is does my joy have to come as a result of their pain? Why does it have to happen this way? Instead, this woman admitted that almost twenty years later, she is no closer to understanding than the day she recieved the call about the accident. But she has found peace, and in that I find hope. Psalms 46:10 says “be still, and know that I am God.” It is so hard to do at times!!!! But I am slowly learning that I don’t have to always have all of the answers, I just have to trust His grace. It would be so much easier if we could see the big picture, if we could see what is at the other end of this journey. Maybe then everything would make sense. Until then, I guess that we all must just strive to be a little less of the problem and more of the solution, it whatever way we can. That is really what it all comes down to. Doing the best that we can. And when we have done all that we can, we must let go and trust Him.
As for the part that I can do, I have come away from the conference with a strong sense of calling to work with and encourage single mothers as they raise their children. I’m not exactly sure what that means yet, and I’m not quite sure where to start, but I know that this is an area where I really can do something. I know there are many women out there who, like my sis, just need a little bit of support. Who knows where God will lead me with this, but I am excited to find out!
And speaking of my sis and her beautiful family, I think I will end this heavy post on a light note to remind myself that even though we live in a crazy messed up world, there are still moments of absolute wonder. Here is a new picture of my amazing little nephew:
Or maybe blogger will be difficult and I won’t be able to add a picture of the little guy, and you will have to be held in suspense until I can post it from flickr. sorry!