Laying in bed last night, fully awake and completely unable to tuck my thoughts away, I wrestled with God. I asked for wisdom, for signs, for comfort. I foolishly argued the logic of any of this...like God was going to get into a spitting contest with me, of all people. I got up, I lay back down, I wandered the house. I never did get to sleep...
This morning dawned a new day, my tired eyes feeling gritty, my head foggy as we all tend to get with a lack of sleep. I got up, got moving, got busy. What else is there to do? I had a lunch date with a new friend, someone I don't know really well but who turned out to be God "with skin on" in front of me. I didn't share the current drama of our lives, wanting for a couple of hours to escape it all, to think of other areas of my life that are growing and changing rather than to wallow in what is essentially an ongoing dialogue that has been carried on at one stage or another for the past 10 years of my life. Yea, you'd never know it from this blog but, believe it or not, I actually get tired of adoption talk.
I spoke with our agency rep today, who is so truly honest and straight forward, and very much out of control of this particular situation. We may have discovered a work around, but won't know for certain for a couple of weeks. I know that, regardless, we are close to the point where many of our documents are due to expire. At this stage I hold out no hope for anything.
In the midst of this, I received so many emails and blog comments, and even a few phone calls from those closest. Couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone on the phone though, it seems like emotions are a bit too close to the surface and while I so appreciated hearing caring voices it was impossible to pick up the phone and open up about this. Somehow, in writing, it is easier...less likely to result in tears. I have many emails I have yet to answer, and the few that I did I am afraid contained far less than my usual warmth (or maybe I am assuming I convey warmth in my regular emails!). Thanks for all the care you have shown, for the encouragement you are offering. You have no idea how much it helps.
Then, I sat down while the boys were showering this evening, and grabbed the latest issue of Reader's Digest, the April '09 edition. I had read half of it and set it down a few days ago, and figured I'd finish it off before starting "On the Banks of Plumb Creek" with the boys. There, much to my surprise, within the pages of the magazine I have read since childhood I found words which so closely echoed my own from the past. The book excerpt this month is "We Still Have Love To Give" which is about a family who lost their 15 year old son due to a heart condition, and later ended up adopting 2 children from Vietnam even as they were still working through their grief.
The mom, Pam Cope, says "What would his future be like if we didn't adopt him? Saying no to him meant he'd likely stay at the orphanage for the rest of his childhood, never getting a good education or enough to eat, never knowing that somebody loved him completely. Without us, his future was hopeless."
She then goes on to speak the words that really had me in tears, "And what would my future be like if we didn't adopt him? I wanted to live a life of meaning and grace. Despite all we'd been through, I felt God had led us to Van. We had a choice: to walk through this door and find new meaning in our lives or ignore it and experience tremendous regret.".
"...or ignore it and experience tremendous regret."...there it is, isn't it? If we quit now, even if ultimately we find we are defeated in our efforts to get the girls home, how much regret would I live with the rest of my life? How often would I find myself asking "I wonder what would have happened if we had followed it through to completion...would we have them here today?".
We have no choice, really. As much as I might not want to keep going, as hard as this is and as terribly frustrating and heartbreaking as it is, there is no choice, none at all.
For I am a mom. This is what mom's do. We don't quit, we don't give up on our kids...even if they live 12 time zones away.
So thanks God for all the hard times in my life, for the moments when I was oh-so-weary and never thought I'd make it. There have been many, and I have grown from them, I have learned to pick myself up, dust myself off and trust in You to keep going.
Thanks for the many difficult tasks...on my hands and knees painting handicapped parking signs on the ground at 3:00 AM as rain threatened, and thanks for the bloody fingertips after working 8 hour days in an office then going to detail cars with Dominick until midnight all so we could pay our mortgage our first couple of years here in Montrose. Thanks for working 7 days a week for months on end when we were saving to bring Matthew home. I am grateful for the years of struggle with Josh which taught me much about perseverance. I never imagined I would see any reason to say thanks for the multitude of truly troubling times and sorrow-filled nights which others know little about. I see now how the various trials and challenges created in me a resilience that I might not have otherwise had. Thanks for giving me a mom who stuck by her own child under the most difficult of circumstances long after many would have thrown in the towel...from her I learned as well.
Thank you for nurturing and supportive friends, thank you for the blessing of this family I exist within, thank you for my daughters who wait patiently. Thanks for forgiving my despondence of yesterday...it still lingers and will for quite awhile, I am sure, but slowly it will lift, of that I am also sure.
Thanks for talking to me today in so many ways, through a beloved magazine and even more beloved friends.
I promise I'll keep on going until You slam the door shut, lock it and throw away the key. If You don't want them home, You are capable of stopping it all at anytime, and I will welcome that should You know that this is a mistake for us and our family.
And in the meantime, I'll do what mom's do...I'll keep on fighting for my kids, all of them.
Just don't leave me alone, OK?