April 24, 2014 by greenhouse04
Today is our Adoption Day, the second anniversary of the adoption of our children.
I am once again amazed at what happened that day two years ago. I am so thankful for my children. My heart is filled with joy at the thought that they are my children.
But beyond that it’s been an emotionally complex day.
The first thing I did today was say goodbye to Baby M. when he left for a visit with his birth parents. As he left we got the news that there’s been a “hiccup” in his mom’s case, so her visits have been reduced dramatically. And we’re still waiting on the paternity test, which will change the direction of M.’s case one way or another.
Then, I was updating links on my blog, and I came across a post I’d written exactly four years ago, on April 23, 2010. I wrote about the inevitable goodbye I faced with Jake and Ellie, our current foster kids. Little did I know, I was writing on the day that two years later would become the day we welcomed Eddie and Emma as our forever children.
I am eternally grateful that I never have to say goodbye to Eddie and Emma. But at the same time I can’t forget their birth parents, people who did have to say goodbye. I can’t forget that Eddie and Emma had to say goodbye to their first families.
Eddie and I watched the video of their adoption this morning. He remembered that day, and he remembered the face of Susan, one of the case workers that worked with Eddie’s mom before his case changed to adoption.
I explained that Susan had tried to help his Mama J. fix things in her life so Eddie could live with her again. I said that she and judge decided that he should live somewhere else, so we adopted him. I told him that we are so glad he’s our son now, but that it’s very very sad that he can’t live with Mama J. anymore.
Soon after this, he got really sad. I held him for a while, stroking his back, and felt really sad, too.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, which seems fitting as it’s also the week we adopted. I am infertile. I don’t like to use the word “infertile,” however. I like “barren.” It seems to describe my emotions about my inability to have children so much better.
My barrenness is something I will never, ever get over. It’s something I don’t think about often now that we’ve adopted, but when I do think about it, it hits me in the gut. Adoption hasn’t taken away the pain. Having adopted children of my own does not lessen my desire for biological children.
I would never change the fact that we adopted. I wouldn’t trade Eddie and Emma for seven birth children if I was given the choice. They are no less dear to me than a birth child would be. I’ve also come to the place where I can honestly thank God for my barrenness. It’s forced me down roads that I would never have traveled, and opened my eyes to things I never would have seen.
But it’s still so, so hard. I have to admit that at times I envy even the women who miscarry, because at least they can get pregnant. At least their loss is seen and acknowledged by others. At least they have a genetic child waiting in heaven for them.
But a barren woman isn’t sent cards or flowers. She can’t name her child or erect a grave marker. Being barren is like suffering terrible grief and loss. . . in a void. The loss isn’t the loss of something that was there, it’s the loss of something you always thought, always dreamed would be there. It’s the loss of something shared and highly valued by women all throughout history. It’s the loss of something beautiful that God created women to do. It’s being empty and dry and alone and . . . barren.
All these feelings ran through my heart as I held Eddie. We were both rejoicing that today marked the beginning of our forever family, but we were also both grieving over what we’d lost.
Today, on our Adoption Day, I look back. I remember our first foster children and our goodbye. I think about my kids’ goodbyes to their birth families. I’m hit all over again with the fact of my barrenness.
And then I look back to that joyous day when God brought four broken, grieving people together and made them into a family.
I also look forward. I think about Baby M. and the uncertainty of his future. The “hiccup” with his mom and the paternity test results run around and around in my mind. Will he stay or will he go?
And then I look forward to many years (Lord willing) of parenting Eddie and Emma without that worry hanging over me.
The past is past, and the future is always uncertain. So mostly, I look at today. Today I’m the mom of sweet, curious Eddie and of tender, independent Emma. I’m also the foster mom of rolly-polly, smiley Baby M.
And today, despite my barrenness, I’m whole in my Savior. I’ll never, never, never lose Him. And He’ll never, never, ever lose me.