Full disclosure: I’m already annoyed with the interface.
If you had asked me 10 days ago how I would be feeling this week, I would have guessed, “Excited! Pumped! Giddy about what God’s doing in our lives. I am confident we are on the right adoption path.”
If you asked me today, I would answer, “Blah. Conflicted. Guilty.”
I think two big things in my life collided and resulted in this state of mind, but that’s just a theory.
First, Wednesday was the first anniversary of Grandmama Helen’s passing, which means she’s been on my mind a lot lately. My thoughts have been everywhere from funny memories to the sadness and frustration I felt during the last conversation I can remember having with her (there were more, but I don’t remember them) to wondering how she would feel about our plans to adopt (I was told she was probably rolling over in her grave; good thing I don’t believe that happens) to everything in between. Lots of laughing. Lots of smiles. Lots of tears.
Second, DSS orientation was Monday night (more on that later – not bad, just a separate post). I have been counting-down-the-days-excited about orientation since the day we registered. It was the first big step we could take toward adopting. I should say second. The step of faith to accept the call to adopt was the first.
In my mind, attending orientation was like the key to unlock the door to our application and home study process. We knew we wanted to walk through the door, but we couldn’t until we attended orientation. Because of that, I just knew I would race home, grab a black ball point pen (the most reliable of pens), and start filling out the application. I promised Joseph I wouldn’t ask him to work on the application on his birthday (the day after orientation), but I pictured him loving me so much that we would work on the application during his Star Wars marathon, smiling at each other over paperwork and the sound of Jawas. Minions. Ewoks. They all sound the same to me.
For days prior to orientation, I had a growing feeling of uncertainty about the path of adoption we were taking, and that feeling intensified during and after orientation. Please don’t misread that statement. I wasn’t wavering about adopting, not a bit. I was feeling conflicted about adopting through DSS versus another avenue.
I knew going into this that adopting a newborn through DSS was unlikely. I knew there was a chance of adopting a baby, but that baby would very likely be at least a few months old. We were told during orientation that children under the age of five who are legally free to adopt are rare. Babies who are legally free to adopt are VERY rare. (These statements apply to children in DSS custody.)
So, I realized adopting a newborn through DSS wass unlikely. What I didn’t realize was how sad that made me feel.
I’m being sincere when I say the possibility of never conceiving, carrying, or birthing a baby has never felt like a great loss to me personally. My longing to be a mother is huge, though, and I’m excited about becoming a mother through adoption. Because it doesn’t bother me that I may never carry a baby in my womb, I was caught off guard by the growing sadness I felt over the possibility of never mothering a newborn. Never swaddling a teeny, tiny baby. Never changing itty, bitty diapers. Never falling asleep with eight pounds of baby cooing under my chin.
Just typing all of that ushers in the guilt. There are so many children who need forever families. Joseph and I have a lot to offer as parents. We want to pour God’s love and grace into little ones and invest in their lives. I want so badly to look into the eyes of my children and say, “I love you. I chose you. I adopted you. You’re mine,” just like God said to me through Jesus. So what does a few months matter in light of all that?
Honestly? Right now, I don’t know.
Joseph and I are prayerfully considering three options: 1) Continue with DSS and trust God to change my heart or to have a newborn for us. He can do both. 2) Transition to adopting through a private agency and adopt a newborn. This would be a huge leap of faith financially, but we trust God’s provision, and we aren’t afraid of fundraising. 3) A combination of the first two options. We would continue on with DSS while also starting the process with a private agency. We know we could end up adopting multiple children that way, but we’re open to our children bring close in age. This could even be how God answers our prayer for twins.
For now, I’m asking God for clarity, guidance, and joy. I’m asking specifically that He’ll use the women’s retreat that starts in a couple of hours to do those things.
He’s already renewing the joy. I took a friend’s advice to sing to Jesus, to ask Him to fill me with a new song that He’s writing. (Thanks, JS!) I even had a 30 Second Dance Party with Jesus that lasted more like 4 minutes. It was good for my soul.
I’m asking for a strengthened relationship with the Lord. Through all of this, I want to get to know Him better.
Also, until/unless we receive direction from the Lord otherwise, we’re continuing with the application process with DSS. Things can take a while with DSS, and we don’t think it would be wise to pause while we’re seeking clarity and direction. God may even use the process to give us clarity. We had our fingerprints scanned (super cool) on Wednesday, and we will sign up for training once DSS has been assured we aren’t criminals (I’m totally ok with this process!).
I put my Remember bracelet back on. During this season, I need to remember all the truths about God and all He has done to prove Himself trustworthy.
If you made it this far, will you join us in prayer? We are so thankful for each of you lifting us up as we journey toward adopting our babies. We’ll name the babies after all of you.
1) I hope I didn’t come across insensitive when I said it doesn’t bother me that I may never carry a baby. I know so many of you have walked or are walking the long, hard road of infertility. My heart breaks with you. Please know that.
2) I believe Grandmama Helen now has a heavenly perspective on adoption. If she knows what’s going on here, she’s far from rolling over in her grave. She’s dancing in Heaven.
3) I realize that newborns adopted domestically through private agencies need forever families just as much as a teenager through DSS or a sibling group of eight or a little girl in China or a little boy in Uganda. These babies’ birth mothers have taken the brave step to carry their babies rather than aborting them, and I would love to adopt all of them. I would also love to adopt a few sibling groups, a teenager, and a little girl from India. This is a whole lot less about me than what God is doing. I trust God has known our children since long before He spoke the world into being, and He will lead us to them.
4) This took me roughly three hours to write. I miss being at home with my Mac.