When I ordered Addison her first Christmas stocking, I also ordered two extra stockings (I would have ordered three, but Chris stopped me at two - not ready to totally commit to my 4 kid plan). Yes, I am a planner and maybe it was a little premature to order Christmas stockings for children that did not exist…but I wanted them all to match, of course! In all seriousness…the thing is that even at that point in our lives, just months after welcoming our first baby into our lives, my heart was preparing and leaving space for our future, for our dream, for our children. The possibility of Addison being our only child never crossed my mind.
The heaviness of this journey is weighing on me this week. I am tired. I am sad. Hopelessness has crossed my path once again and this period of waiting has become hazy and suffocating. It is all a part of the process…all a part of what we knew, or thought we knew, as we began the adoption process.
It has been almost 3 years since we began trying to bring another life into our home. Three long years. And with each year the world has continued spinning, although some days I wish it would stop…so we can catch up, catch our breath, catch our tears.
We know that so many of our friends, family and supporters are tired of hearing about our losses, hearing about our pain and hearing about the adoption process. We understand. We know that so many are also feeling hopeless for us… changing their once reassuring tone of “It will happen” or “I know that there is a baby for your family” to the ever so slightly less hopeful, “I think it will happen”, “It seems like this would happen for you”. I notice the difference. I notice that others are tired too.
Others ask or wonder why we continue down this path. Why don’t we just stop and be happy with the family that is already ours? Why do we continue to put ourselves through the hardships, the ups and downs, and the emotional strain of this process? Adoption is, after all, a choice. A few months ago I asked a similar question of a friend who has also been waiting to adopt for a very long time. Her response was simple and clear, “we are not complete and we will not give up until we are complete”. There is no answer better than that. We are not complete.
This hopeless week has stirred conversation and motivated Chris and I to look at how we might go about this process differently. Our talks include exploring other agencies, becoming licensed as foster care parents, trying to better “advertise” our family on our own. All of these additional paths will take our time, our energy and our hope. We don’t have any answers yet, or know which path we will take, but we do know that we will continue to look at ways to better connect with those children who may need our home, and with those moms considering an adoption plan for their child. There are many children who need homes and we just need to do a better job of reaching out to those children. We will find them and we will complete each other.
While hopelessness prevails this week and sadness returns, one thought keeps us moving forward, one simple sentence reminds us that we are not ready to give up…we are not complete. When our brains and our emotions get the best of us and the over-analyzing becomes obsessive, the simplicity of the statement, we are not complete, momentarily puts us at ease. During a week like this, maybe that is all that we can ask for.
In the face of hopelessness I will hold out that someday all of my purchased stockings will be hanging, waiting for Santa…and if I really hold on to my dream…maybe, just maybe, I will get to purchase that forth stocking…even if it doesn’t match. ;-)