Our daughter has experienced tragedy and pain that has wrapped her in a hard shell, a layer of self-protection. I wonder if she goes to sleep crying or dreaming about home, her first family. A picture of her and her mother sits on the shelf, a rare gift that most internationally adoptive children do not have. Her memories of her life in a round, thatched house with no toothbrush or underwear are happy. She tells us stories about monkeys spilling the coffee and how she and her siblings caught birds with a box and played with them inside.
Three years ago, Hot Pastor dropped me off and the kiss and fly and I pulled my luggage inside the airport alone. I remember that feeling vividly, yet I question myself. How did I do that? How did I leave my family and fly alone around the world? How did I even complete all the paperwork? That alone was miraculous.
I have another mother’s baby living in my home. We took her away from her culture, her language, everything she knew. Yes, she has things she would have never had there, but she lost so much that she can not get back. When I think of her mother, I try to think of the dreams she had for her daughter, and I want to honor them.
For almost two years, we said the word adoption, we anticipated, we imagined, we rode an emotional roller coaster. Paper after paper. Signatures and notaries, passports and shots, fundraisers. The whole process was consuming. Now it all seems so unreal at times. We did that? Really? It is truly hard to wrap my mind around, even though my heart is wrapped around these two precious children.
If you ever look at us in our church van with our African children and you think that all of this is just normal for us, that flying around the world, taking this huge leap of faith was something easy for us, that we look like we know what we are doing, you have it all wrong. We doubt, we struggle, we stumble, and we fail. It is not rainbows and lollipops at our house everyday, and we are not “the kind of people” that do this whole adoption thing. The only people I know that choose adoption are like us. Afraid, yet hopeful. Weak, yet stepping out believing God will somehow make sense of it all, that he will fill in the huge gaps left by our super-limited wisdom and ability.
Isn’t that just like the rest of life?
Totally just me, watching it snow, thinking about our life as I watch it happen around me. Probably more for me than for my readers. I would apologize, but that is what writing is for me, a way to process it all.
When I look back I see God’s hand and his provision. I lean on that for today and tomorrow. My gaps are canyons some days, yet he is enough.
It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. Psalm 44: 3