Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Are Not Complete

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. ;-)


  1. I understand the sadness and pain. If it offers any release to talk to someone, please write or call. Your Grandma has my number. Always willing to listen. - Cousin Tracey

  2. Dana, Beautifully written. I will tell you I know someone from work that went through the adoption process. She lives in the state of Wasthington and originally was just looking for children in WA. After a few years, she did decide to expand her horizon. 2 years ago she ended up flying to Novi, MI for 3 weeks to wait for all of the paperwork to go through. It just proves that there is a child out there. They may not be in MI but they will come... I have faith for you. I hope this message gives you some hope. I know it took her awhile (years) but she has told me when we see each other it was worth the wait. Good Luck in your journey... and realize we all have bad days/weeks. I will continue to hope and pray for you and your growing family.


    Stacy Ambroziak-Fleury

  3. Its just a test, God has it figured all out,it will come together at the right time.Brandi <3

  4. Oh Dana, I just want to hug you and take some of that pain off your shoulders. How wearing. I so understand your quest for a state of "completeness." When I brought son Michael home from the hospital 28 years ago, I distinctly remember saying to Todd as I tucked the baby in his crib, "There, now we are complete." To the world you are wonderfully complete people. But your self image as a family and a mom is currently only partially fulfilled. Our prayers are for you to find that little person who will fill out that picture---and whose stocking you can fill at Christmas. xoxox JB

  5. If there is one thing I wish for you it is to feel complete. To feel whole. While you have found comfort in the phrase "we are not complete" I must admit that I find it disquieting. I don't know your experience and can't imagine what it feels like to be you. What I truly wish for you is to feel complete in yourself. I hope you can feel stillness, not resignation, and wholeness, not poverty, when you embrace your family. In my mind, you are complete but have an over-abundance of love. You are looking for more vessels to pour your love into. In my experience, love, for those without names or faces to us yet, can easily become sadness and make me feel isolated.

    Please try to remember that, though you may feel it, you are not isolated. But you have too much love to stop here.