"Why are you crying?"
"Are you sad? Are you sad these things aren't for you?"
"Are you okay? Why are you crying? Do you just like crying?"
I'm crying because this is one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had. I'm crying because I wish there was another way. I'm crying because I'm scared. I'm crying because I know that none of these things will make her cry less. I'm crying because another woman wants to give me her child. I'm crying because I can't have a child of my own. I'm crying because I will miss her once everything changes. I'm crying because I'm terrified none of this will actually happen. I'm crying because I'm terrified all of this will actually happen. I'm crying because I need to tell her what I really think of her and my words are failing me. I'm crying because I wish things were different. I'm crying because. I'm crying. I don't know why I'm crying.
Sometimes there are moments. Moments in life that don't seem real. Moments that you know will never happen again. Moments that are extraordinary. That you know few people get to experience. That you never ever want to forget. Moments where there are no words to capture the sacredness of what is happening. To really reflect on the magnitude of what is taking place. And that you are somehow a part of it all? To say that it's overwhelming doesn't even scratch the surface.
I've been having a large number of those moments lately. They've happened in my home, at work, while driving, and even at Walmart. That's right. Stinky, chaotic, crazy crowded Walmart.
One of them happened on a Saturday morning about 8 weeks ago. When my phone rang and someone told me that there was a young woman looking to place her baby with a family. In 8 short weeks.
Another happened about two weeks after that. When I sat in a Starbucks in Prescott across the table from a young sweet woman who told me that she was seriously considering giving me her baby. Giving me her child.
Then there was the night that I went to take the trash out and stumbled over a small pink bag on my doorstep-- and when I brought it inside to open it, an anonymous 1000 cashier's check fell out with a simple tagline that read: For baby.
And what about that phone conversation about a week and a half ago. When that same sweet young mother told me over the phone that she wants me to be the first one to hold her daughter. That she wants me and my husband to have her first moments on earth in the nursery with her together, alone.
And the moment this morning when I read the letter she wrote to her daughter, with tears streaming down my face. Entrusted to me to give to her when she was old enough to understand why her mom made the choices she did.
And then again today when we drove from the Walmart parking lot, and my husband couldn't understand why I was crying. When my emotions got the better of me when I considered that the hour we had just spent compiling a hospital care package for this young woman was an experience that both simultaneously broke and blessed my heart.
I don't know about you, but these are all first for me. I've never had someone offer to give me their own flesh and blood.
Imagine that for just one second. Imagine someone saying that to you. Offering to give that to you.
.......................What do you say to that?
These are not normal, every day occurrences for me. I pretty much feel like I'm watching all of this happen to someone else. And in those moments. When our sweet momma says those things to me. Or asks me if I will give her daughter a letter for her one day. It's like that moment where no one else is around, and something profound has just happened, and you look around and say..."did anyone else just hear that that????"
No one escapes from this unscathed. Adoption. It either guts the man and woman willing to choose another role in their biological child's life other than parenting, or guts the man and woman who open themselves up to hope with the very real possibility that they could be let down.
Someone ends up with a broken heart.
And in the moment where I was staring at the pile of warm fuzzy socks, lip balm, pj pants, lotion, books, and magazines-- I realized that it could be her. And you know what? That broke my heart. Because I've grown to love her. I've grown to love her and to admire her. Deeply. I don't know that I could ever make the sacrifice that she is planning to make. She inspires me. Challenges me. Encourages me.
Today has been a weird day. And that's probably part of why none of this makes sense or leads from one coherent thought to another. I found myself aimlessly driving around this evening and as I talked to my husband while he was on break at work, I told him that I felt a little lost today, but I couldn't figure out why. He pointed out that it's probably because we are in limbo.
(we) were committed to experiencing the pain of loving a child (we) might lose if it meant a child who has lost so much could experience the gain of (our) love."
And he puts it best when he explains exactly how we feel, "As my wife and I began the foster care process with a three day old baby girl we had to make the same decision for ourselves - that we would rather experience the pain of a very great loss if it meant this little girl placed in our home could experience the gain of a very great love - no matter how long she stayed with us. We would embrace the heartache of having to let her go if it meant she knew, if even for a short time, what it meant to truly be held onto. We can't let the fear of loving a child who might leave deter us; we must let the fear of a child never knowing love drive us. A different kind of fear. A better one. "
And what Jesse and I decided that night is that no matter the outcome. No matter the potential devastating, disappointing heartbreak that may lie ahead, we had to try. To take the biggest leap we've ever taken. Because none of this was about us. I'd prayed for two years to find a baby on my doorstep. For one to suddenly fall from the sky. And now that it seems as if one has, we have no choice but to embrace this mentality-- " In the end, our call is to fully love these children while we have them and accept the costs we may incur as worth it for the gain they may receive. This is nothing more than what Jesus has done for us. He joyfully laid down the infinite value of His own life so that we might know the immeasurable worth of being fully and unconditionally loved in Him. Foster care is a beautiful expression of the Gospel. It demands a selfless, costly and potentially painful love for the sake of a child gaining much as you willingly give all. As we labor to love with the love we ourselves have received from Jesus, we do so in a cloud of uncertainties and unknowns, but with the confidence of one guarantee - it's always worth it. Always. " http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/blog/foster-care-loving-a-child-that-might-leave#.VG5K3Ev1alc=
I don't even remember where I started with all of this. It's been a very long, very strange day. It started with discussions about names with our birth momma. And now at the end of it, I'm going to make sure my ringer is on, and pray that if tonight's the night, God will give me what I need to do what He's asked me to do.