Monday, November 23, 2015

"You're just like your mother"

Following our ordeal with Ian, things didn't get easier. We considered several other children whose profiles drew us in. One was a beautiful little girl, a burn victim from Africa, with a heart-breaking story. But again, the answer was a gentle but firm "no."

By now I was terribly confused. I felt like a wind-up toy that was stuck against a wall, with no way to see where the Lord was leading us. Mila's personality wasn't mellowing out like I hoped it would as she got older. If anything, she was becoming more difficult to manage. I took a long, hard look at our finances and reminded myself that there was simply no way we could do this. And even if we had the funds to bring a child home, who was I kidding? I didn't have the emotional resources to extend myself more than I already was. Maybe this had all been an Abrahamic test. Maybe now that God knew that our hearts were willing, He would let us drop it and continue on our merry little way. I told myself it would be a good thing if that were the case. I was never cut out for this adoption thing anyway. I had heard of so many adoption stories of hardship. Why would I want to do something like that to my sweet little family? That was something only special people did- the kind that glow with patience and motherly love. And heaven knows- maybe a little too well- that I am certainly not one of those people.

But even with this new resolution, the feeling that one of my children was missing wouldn't leave me. I was emotionally exhausted and I desperately wanted to reclaim my life- the life I used to know before every waking thought was consumed by adoption. My sweet husband was also so very tired, but I asked him to bear with me a little longer. I still felt like we needed to complete the preliminary paperwork for an adoption, and begin a homestudy.  If this was what the Lord wanted for us, then at least we would have done our part in every possible way. If not, then after our homestudy was no longer current, we could put this all behind us. It involved a fair amount of upfront costs that we simply didn't have the money for, but I felt like we needed to take this last leap of faith and show the Lord that if this was what He wanted for us, then we would exhaust ourselves in our attempt to be obedient.

Ever being the wonderful man that he is, he agreed to indulge my persistence yet again. I love that man.

The mountain of paperwork to fill out and the things we had to do to prepare our house were overwhelming. One of the first things we had to do was to sit down and narrow down our search. What ages, gender, and special needs were we willing to consider? Up to this point, I had left that door wide open. Some months before a friend had suggested that it might be helpful to narrow down what type of child we were looking for. We had bounced all over the place inquiring about boys, girls, sibling groups, all sorts of special needs, and children of all ages. I still had no idea what (or who) we were looking for, but it had to be done. There was no way the agency would know which children's files to send us to review if we didn't even know ourselves.

As Dennis and I sat down to review the list of special needs, the process of elemination was surprising painful. The list was long as we went through each one discussing the dynamics of our children, the accomodations of our house, and the amount of time we could realistically devote to a child with those needs. The process of checking boxes or leaving them unchecked felt ruthless as I thought of the hundreds of thousands of faceless children waiting behind each unchecked box. I hated doing it.

Towards the end of the list was one special need- a medical need that would require on-going management and that had a laundry list of unknowns. Dennis shook his head, "Not that one," he said. "Leave it blank. I don't even want to go there."

I reminded him that we weren't committing to a child with this special need, but simply saying we would consider it.

Again he shook his head, "Nope. Leave it blank."

We argued back and forth for a few minutes, and then pulling out my Latin card (that I keep tucked away for special moments like this), I rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever..." and checked the box.

"You're just like your mother."

"Why, thank you."

I love this amazing lady. Anyone who knows her knows that she can move mountains, so anytime I am compared to her, I consider myself a lucky lady.