There have been people who have said that they've seen an incredible faith displayed by our family throughout the past ten and a half months. I'm just here to say that there has also been incredible doubt.
Doubt, initially, that we were doing the right thing.
Doubt in the legal system.
Doubt that we would win.
Doubt that we would lose.
Doubt that I'd survive this.
But doubt that my Lord is in this thing with us, never.
On a bad day, I'm fighting fear.
I'm afraid because I've heard my God say no before. And I know that if he says no there will be a reason--a very important reason--why. But knowing it and feeling it are two very different things. Living it, another thing altogether. I'm panicking under the weight of what I'll do if the answer to this child staying in our family is, simply, no.
I shouldn't panic. It is not the Lord's will for me to panic. Anxiety is not trusting in my Savior with all my heart. I trust that he knows the plans he has for me. I trust that they are plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I trust that some day, regardless of the outcome, it will all be okay. But I'm caught wondering how. I know, intellectually, that if we lose him I will keep breathing. I just can't comprehend how my lungs would possibly remember how to function. There would be so much trauma to my heart that I fear my lungs would be devastatingly compromised.
But I do believe that there would be a peace that passed all understanding. My Savior, who defied death, said himself, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."*
On a good day I allow myself to imagine us standing before a judge in Utah as he finalizes our adoption, as he gives validation to what we already know: We are a family. On a good day I picture Matthew when he is Garrett's age. In my imagination I see him propel himself into our bed on a lazy morning. I see his curly head poke up out of the covers. He grins and burrows into my side, "Can I cuddle, Mommy?"
On a good day I see a vision of him at ten, diving under the Christmas tree for his last present. I see him at sixteen, smiling behind the wheel of a car. I see myself hyperventilating but that's really neither here nor there. I see him with a diploma. I see him on his wedding day and I long to dance with him. And then I see him holding my grandchild. On a good day, my dreams are full of hope and opportunity.
On a good day I am not worried about his birth father visiting next weekend. I'm not afraid of what will happen. I'm not the least bit concerned that he's bringing a family member with him. I'm not scared about how he'll react when Matthew smiles a gummy grin at Troy and shouts, "Dada!" On a good day I believe that it will all be okay.
But last night I lost sleep thinking about what could happen. Last night I was afraid. Last night, I had doubts. Last night, as I fitfully tried to sleep, I prayed for Matthew and, eventually, I prayed for sleep to consume me. And finally, at 2:00 am, with my mind still reeling in a thousand directions, I rested.