Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reflecting on Adoption (long! get ready)

Today, after my crazy, busy weekend, which included the National Families Supporting Adoption conference & shooting two weddings, I had a lazy, relaxing, re-energizing day. I hung out in bed with the kids, read a little, took a long nap, and really just kicked back. Adoption is on my mind a lot lately. Not just for the fact that we are hoping to adopt again but because I feel blessed beyond measure for adoption, for our children, for our children's birth parents, and for wonderful friends who we've met through adoption that understand all that adoption entails.

For some reason, an old journal was lying on the floor in our bedroom. I'm sure the kids found it and pulled it out (The Girl loves to empty drawers lately). It is a journal that The Gent and I started right after we got engaged. I broke it open and started reading it. It really brought back so many feelings and emotions. It is so interesting to read it now, after all we have been through with infertility and adoption and to read some of the things we wrote long before we every considered adoption. I thought I'd just paraphrase a few little parts that, at the time, I really had no idea of the amazing experiences that were in store for us.

To give you a little background, right before we got engaged, we were talking about our future plans and felt like we should document all that we were feeling and wanting. Not really for us, but for our children. And so we wrote...to our children. Random things that were going on, how we were feeling, etc. We continued the journal for quite some time and I would mostly write, and every once in a while The Gent would add an entry.

November 30, 1996
entry by me
right after we were married and were talking about "being careful"
"Who knows, maybe one of you might be reading this before we know it. So, I'll just tell you I love your dad more than anything. If they say the first year of marriage is the hardest, I can't wait to see how good the second year is."

I'm skipping a whole bunch of the mushy stuff and what we were up to :0)

January 11, 2000
entry by me
talking about how spoiled our new puppy, is
"We have to spoil someone until we have a baby. We are waiting to be blessed with such an opportunity but we have not been so fortunate. Your dad is waiting for the day for me to tell him that I'm pregnant. I am scared that we will not receive such a blessing. . . .We decided that when we got married we would let nature take its course. That whatever is meant to be will be. But here we are 3 1/2 years later waiting for whatever is meant to be to be."

January 13, 2000
entry by The Gent
"We are working hard and hoping you will be on the way soon."

January 31, 2001
entry by me
"This year we have grown a lot and come to realize many things in our lives. The biggest of which is that we are not able to have children. That is the hardest thing for us. I get so emotional talking about it. I know that your dad has a hard time with it as well but he has his own ways of dealing with it. After much soul searching (and many nights of crying) we know that somehow, someday we will have a family."
"I thought that one day I would find out I was pregnant & that one day I would be able to share that special moment with your dad. Not that I have given up, just that I am frustrated. Frustrated with myself, with my body, with everything. . . I feel like I am not meeting the expectations that your father had when we got married. I feel as though we are the only ones going through this and that no one understands. I don't know where to turn. It is hard to accept the fact that I may never have a baby."

February 4, 2001
entry by me
"Why is this our trial? Your father and I have had this on our minds for quite some time now. We are always thinking of you & of how we are to go about bringing you into our home. We truly believe that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us although there are times that we lose faith. I pray that we will be able to make it through this."

"Your father has started telling people when they ask why we don't have kids that we cannot have children. For me, it is not that easy. It is hard to talk about. It is so personal, such a private thing. We will continue to search for an answer and try to remember that our prayers may be answered in a way we never even imagined."

WOW!

Those are just a tiny bit of the entries we made and the entries continue on with our adoption decision. But I'll save that for another post. Looking back at that and the feelings and emotions that we had, I can't help but wish that we could have had just a glimpse of what was in store for us. It was more than we could ever have imagined.

I will never forget the day we received an email from Dee, The Boy's birth mother, telling us that she had chosen us to be his parents.
Pure Joy

We were both at work and The Getn had called to say that we had received an email and I might want to read it right then. I did and I cried uncontrollably. So much so that I had to leave work. The Gent was home when I got here. When he heard me come in, he ran downstairs, I ran up. We met half way on the stairs in our entry way, held each other and sobbed.


I will
never forget
the phone call we received from A, Little Miss' birth mother. As we emailed back and forth while we were on our cruise, I was overcome with emotion. The Gent and I rushed back to our cabin where I shared all of the thoughts and feelings I had been having over the last few months. We held each other and bawled. We knew Little Miss was going to be coming to our family.

We had a similar experience a week later after meeting her birth parents and having her birth father call to tell us that they had indeed chosen to place her in our family. The Gent was on the phone with him and I was dying to know what he was saying. When he hung up the phone, he was completely choked up. I knew before he told me what they had talked about. Big alligator tears.
Pure Joy

Both of those are just small examples of the joy that we have experienced over the last four and a half years. If I were to write about them all right now you'd be long gone (if you aren't already :-) because of my forever long post.

I reflect on this for so many reasons that normally I keep all to myself. But for some reason I feel I should write down. No, our children did not join our family in the way we had originally thought they would. Regardless, we love them with every ounce of our beings. We know that all of the struggles and heartache that came through infertility have made us and our family what we are today. And as we put our adoption papers in again, it seems to bring up so many of the same questions and emotions that originally brought us to adoption. The difference is that we know now that our dream of having a family of five isn't beyond our reach. How grateful we are for adoption and for all that it has taught us and for birth parents who consider adoption an option for their child.