When I Think...

Today I spent a day of solitude at my favorite beach. Although it was cold, cloudy, and foggy (yes, in July), it was good for my soul. I felt at peace, at rest. It was well with my soul. I spent a fair amount of time contemplating the state of my soul regarding our adoption and processing some newer things with God. Among those newer things was thinking about when THE CALL comes...

Tonight, I've been reading some of my favorite Ethiopian adoption blogs, and came across this blog from another family adopting 2 little Ethiopians from our agency. She recently posted on "waiting" and I cried while reading the entire post!! Here are a couple excerpts...

i think of our children often. i wonder what they look like. how old they are. if they are still with their birth mother or already in an orphanage. if they have enough to eat. if they have enough love and cuddles and kisses. it is very strange to dwell on someone that you know nothing about, and yet that is really the beauty about all of this: i love my children, and i know nothing about them. my heart just feels bound to them in a way i can't really explain. i know, it's weird.

I have thought, felt, and wondered all those things...a hundred times over the past year. One of the things us adoptive parents have in common is this inexplicable love for children that we've never met and don't look like us. My heart has been bound to those children for the past 16 months. It is weird AND supernatural.

it often seems very unreal that at the end of however much waiting we will endure, there will actually be two little ones who will call us mommy and daddy. i think this is the one thing i envy about pregnant women. i'm sure it's still unreal to think that a baby will leave your womb and suddenly be yours to care for. but at least for those 9 months, your baby is inside of you, and you are affirmed everyday that this is real. and people around you affirm you too by commenting on how cute your baby bump is or asking about your due date or guessing whether the baby will have your eyes.

i guess what i realize is that many people still don't know how to talk about adoption as if it were equal to being pregnant. no, i don't want people to say they are the same because they aren't. but they are both equally valuable ways of becoming a parent. people can ask a pregnant woman a million questions about what it feels like to have a baby inside or what she thinks of public breastfeeding or if she'll deliver her baby naturally. but seriously, the minute an adoptive mom starts talking about attachment or racism or how there are 147 million orphans in the world...people really have no clue how to handle that.

i guess what i realize is that many people still don't know how to talk about adoption as if it were equal to being pregnant. no, i don't want people to say they are the same because they aren't. but they are both equally valuable ways of becoming a parent. people can ask a pregnant woman a million questions about what it feels like to have a baby inside or what she thinks of public breastfeeding or if she'll deliver her baby naturally. but seriously, the minute an adoptive mom starts talking about attachment or racism or how there are 147 million orphans in the world...people really have no clue how to handle that.if you're an adoptive parent, there are many people like me who understand the funk of the wait. i know that so much of the affirmation you have of your children is the feeling you have deep in your soul. and i know that people really don't get that or don't know how to engage that because we live in a society where pregnancy is normal, and adoption is...well, not as normal. i don't say any of this to disparage pregnancy because hey, i plan to at least try to be pregnant one day. i just pray that some day people can truly walk alongside one another in journeying to their children, appreciating the beauty and joy and validity of both pregnancy and adoption. and if you're not an adoptive parent, find an adoptive family to affirm today!

Oh, the tears on this post. My dear friend, Alicia, is about to burst with her first son later this month, and she sent me an amazing message today affirming me. She gets that the wait is hard and that I've seen so many pregnancies come and go over the past few years. She knows that I've seen bellies turn into babies who've turned into toddlers. She spoke into a deep part of me that's longed, ached, mourned, and hoped throughout this journey.

Thanks to my friends along the way who've blessed, affirmed, supported, and loved us through this journey. I will continue to wait. In the words of friend, Margaret Feinberg,

God invites us to place the weight of the wait on him.
He does not want us to wait alone, but rather wait on him alone.