I came across one again today- one of those stumbling blocks that I'm becoming all too familiar with. I've heard that this happens to families after they commit to an adoption- this barrage of opposition. Every time it rears its ugly head, its a little different from the last. A master of disguise, it morphs itself into so many forms: self-doubt, financial set-backs, time restraints, outside criticism. The list is endless.
The first time I felt it was when I told someone that I would be starting to do photography again for clients as a way of earning money for the adoption, and a stinging comment was made about my work. I despaired the rest of the day, wondering if I was being delusional in thinking that anyone would ever pay for my work.
And then there was the time when adoption costs were beginning to mount and Dennis had borrowed a trailer from a friend to pick up a piece of equipment he needed for one of our fundraisers. And wouldn't you know it, he blew not one, but two tires on the trailer. And just like that, a painfully large amount of money we had set aside for our home study costs, went sailing out the window.
Then came the time we were on a tight deadline to have our passport pictures submitted to secure our commitment paperwork for our daughter. Costco was going to be closing soon, and we were trying desperately to get out of the house to arrive in time. Just as we were walking out the door, Dennis looked out the front window, and saw that a man driving by in a pick-up had tipped the trailer he was pulling, scattering its contents all across the road. "I just can't leave him there like that. He needs help," he said simply. I truly love how helping someone in need never involves a decision for my husband. Two hours later, Dennis walked back through the door, dusty and tired, but the job had been done.... and we had missed our window of time.
Today it came in the form of a person who, over the course of many years, we have come to trust and respect.
"If she's almost eleven, and has remained un-adopted all these years, it makes you wonder what's wrong with her that they're not telling you."
"You'll see, her medical issues will be only the tip of the iceberg."
"The Chinese culture is a matriarchal society, and she will over-run your children."
"Her file is probably completely fabricated by the orphanage in an attempt to cast her in a positive light so that they can get pawn her off onto someone else."
As I listened for almost 30 minutes, with blood pressure rising, I sensed something happening within me that hadn't happened before. I wasn't hurt by his words or doubtful about our decision, I felt furious. Not for me, but for her. My mama bear instinct was raging under the surface.
How dare you talk about my daughter that way? Say what you will about me, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let you tear her down! She may not be perfect, and when she gets home we will have to stitch back together the broken pieces of her life, but she's MY DAUGHTER, and I will go to hell and back for her!
...But being the coward I am, I simply listened and calmly asked that when she gets home, that he treat her just the way he would treat any of my other children. Gah! SO.MANY.THINGS.TO.SAY! Why am I such a coward?!?
In my last blog post, I said I had nothing to prove in our decision to adopt. But today, I completely and unequivocally take that back. As a matter of fact, I DO have something to prove now.
I want to prove to him that while adoption may be a cobblestone road of broken hearts, it can still be a beautiful journey- one that changes and blesses lives forever. I want to prove to him that God is in control and in the details of our lives- and in the life of a young orphan girl in China. I want to prove to him that these unrelenting stumbling blocks that keep coming our way will someday create a staircase of stepping stones, if we push past them with faith and hard work.
This is the beautiful little girl that we are working so hard towards making our daughter. I love her with the same affection I felt towards my unborn children when I carried them in the womb for those many difficult months. Thank you, sweet girl, for giving me something to prove.