I still remember listening to that voice mail...the one that said there was a birth mother who wanted to meet us.
I still remember standing in the middle of the mall in Oregon, hearing that she was a girl and she would be ours.
I still hope for the day when another phone call will come, when another mama has chosen us.
I remember getting ready for him, shopping for baby outfits with trucks and bears and baseballs.
I remember taking the boys to buy her outfits at Carter's.
I hope I get to buy hair bows and pink again someday.
I remember sitting by her side when our son was born. His chubby little body emerging from the only place he'd ever known into this wide world with all its possibilities. I cut the cord. I held my son.
I remember sitting by her side, just days after she'd birthed our daughter...still. We were empty. She was empty. No cord to cut. Later, I held my daughter, wrapped entirely in a pink blanket. And then I buried her.
I hope I get to hold another living, breathing child of mine and feel the magical moment of a life just beginning.
I remember the days and weeks and months and year of legal proceedings and prayer and despair and stress and devastation and joy and love. And then, the judge who officially made him ours. And it was worth it.
I remember the days and weeks and months of joy and pain and prayer and despair and stress and devastation and what ifs and whys and love. But then, there is a little girl for whom all has been revealed. Heaven is her playground. Our Father is her daddy. She is ours. And it was worth it.
I hold on to hope that there will not be death or months of legal proceedings. I believe that there might be just joy and prayer and love. And then a judge who will officially make her ours. And it will all be worth it.
This is adoption.
It is loss. Every time. For someone. Or for everyone.
It is hope. Every time.
It is beautiful.
It is painful.
It is a picture of how our Father in Heaven longs for us to be His. How He waits for us. How He never stops pursuing us.
I would die for him.
I would trade my life for hers.
I would endure trial and tribulation for a chance to love another one the way I love these others.
People asked us what we were thinking. Some told us to consider the cost. We tried to separate our feelings, to look only at the little man in our arms. Matthew. Only, ever, Matthew. Does anything matter if we didn't do right by him. My goodness. What if we hadn't fought for him? He is worth every dollar. He is worth every moment. He is my son.
It would be easy to go back to that place over a year ago and walk away. The cost was devastating. And, ultimately, we lost her. I've tried to separate my feelings. But I held that little girl in my arms. Kate. Only, ever, Kate. Does anything matter if we didn't do right by her? My goodness. What if we hadn't taken the time to love her? To show the world that her life--however short--mattered? She is worth every dollar. She is worth every moment. She is my daughter.
What are we thinking? We consider the cost. We consider our climbing years. We try to separate our feelings. But ultimately, I cannot let go of hope. Only, ever, hope. Hope. Does anything matter if I let go of that? My goodness. What if I give up? If she is out there, somewhere in my future, she is worth every dollar. She is worth every moment. She is my daughter.
This is an adoption story--completed but always and ever changing.
This is an adoption story--completed but always and ever left wanting.
This is an adoption story--at the beginning, with nothing but empty horizons that we hope are one day filled.