There are a lot of FEELINGS right now.
Example: I'm FEELING like Ebola might kill me dead. And everyone I know. I don't live in fear but bleeding from the eyes is not, actually, the way I'd like to go. I'd like to go out like Elijah, you know what I'm saying? Just, like, walk outside and hop into my fiery chariot and shout, "Adios!" Although, given that Elijah was not Spanish, or Latin American, I do not think he yelled such a thing. Still. If such an exit is not a possibility for me, I think I would enjoy slipping peacefully into eternity while I sleep. Fall asleep in this world, wake up in that one. Ideal. Excessive vomit, a high fever and the aforementioned eyeball bleeding, not ideal.
Example: I'm FEELING Jewish. I'm as Euro-Mutt as they come but something happened a year ago when we went to Israel and I feel desperate to go back. This is weird because it wasn't my first time. Maybe it was sharing it with my children. Maybe it took twice to really get under my skin. Maybe that Mediterranean sun was just too good. I don't know. The other day, a friend of mine posted a ten minute video she'd found of some women shaping challah bread. I watched the entire video, riveted to the screen. It's not because I'm thinking of opening a bakery but because, in the video, the women talked and laughed and I couldn't stop listening to their Hebrew. The light, the lilt, the sweet words. What used to sound to me like a harsh, throaty language, now sounds, somehow, like home. I think it's because it's how my Savior would have sounded. When I feel His presence is He whispering, "I love you," or, "Ani ohev otach," or a language of Heaven that I haven't yet heard? The video did, however, make me attempt to bake challah bread, which I did yesterday. My husband was...flummoxed. "You're baking bread?"
"I'm pretending to be Jewish," I replied. And not, like, Jewish-waiting-for-the-Messiah but Jewish-the-Messiah-has-come-and-now-I-want-to-speak-Hebrew-and-live-on-a-kibbutz-at-the-Sea-of-Galilee-and-bake-challah-bread.
I had all kinds of problems with the dough rising and declared myself a Disaster Baker but then I consulted the Internet and determined that the ridiculously cold temperatures of Utah October were preventing the humidity and warmth loving yeast from doing its job. I stuck it in the microwave with a cup of hot water and that totally did the trick. I created a tiny little Hawaii right there in my kitchen and my dough was happy. So I've now successfully baked challah bread. (Don't judge me. I know it's like the easiest of all breads to bake.) Now...to learn Hebrew.
Example: My BABIES are leaving me. For real. In, like, little more than a decade. I only get these guys for a couple handfuls of years. Just. What? And, in these precious years I have left with them I yell because WE HAVE TO LEAVE FOR SOCCER RIGHT NOW SO THAT MATTHEW CAN SCORE FIVE GOALS AND WHY ARE YOU BOTH STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BEDROOM WHIPPING EACH OTHER WITH YOUR SHIRTS? GET DRESSED ALREADY AND GET IN THE CAR! How, exactly, do we balance forming them into men who can make it places on time while focusing on the joy found in the fact that they are still children? Can someone older and wiser help a girl out?
But, yeah, Matthew totally scored five goals.
Example: Sometimes adoption is hard. Sometimes I think Matthew feels things deeper than even other adopted children his age. Maybe it's because it's just so obvious that he's adopted. (Yes.) Maybe he's just a sensitive child. (Yes.) Maybe it's just who he is. (Yes.) It's often at night that he struggles. I know it's partly the fact that everything hurts worse when you're tired and also, perhaps, partly that he's trying to prolong actual sleep and gain extra minutes of snuggle time. But he usually chooses the bedtime hour of the day to talk about wanting to go visit his mom. "Why can't I see her?" "Why can't we get in the car and go there?" This doesn't happen often, but when it's does, it's gut wrenching.
Last night, for the first time, he asked the question I've been dreading and hoping wouldn't come for awhile. Years. Decades. Ever. "Why didn't my mom want to be with me?" I'm not a crier and even typing that sentence makes tears spring up in my eyes. Because shame on adoptive parents that feel personally attacked by that question. Because shame on parents who won't allow their children to talk about ALL the feelings they feel. Because it's impossible to explain to a five-year-old that his mother made an agonizing decision. Because his primal wound sees it as rejection. Because he can't understand that she wanted him. Snuggling there with him, holding him in my arms as he clung to me with snot and tears and saliva smearing my shirt, I responded the way he needed me to. "She loves you so much. Some day you can see her and get to know her but she lives really far away right now." But inside I thought, "Get in the car. We'll go. We'll do whatever it takes to help your heart RIGHT now."
And so I did the only thing I could think to do. I told him that I've hugged his mother and that he can hug me anytime he needs a hug from her. Then I walked down the stairs, opened a chest where I keep blankets, pulled out the blanket she made him when she was pregnant. It's so soft and fuzzy and perfect. Then I climbed the stairs and wrapped him in it. Troy stayed with him until he fell asleep.
Adoption is wonderful and incredible and amazing and I wouldn't trade a moment of the journey, but sometimes it's hard.
Sometimes it makes me feel all the feelings.