Tuesday, June 10, 2014

But Still...

This weekend's sermon at church caught me totally off guard.  Our pastor was speaking about Pentecost Sunday and the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and relating it to the birth of a young infant boy she witnessed a few years back.  She said she knew immediately that this child's spirit was there, fully formed and the room filled with it.

Never before have I had the yearning I had that very instant, it reached inside of me and grabbed hold so powerfully that I never could have explained it to anyone else right then.

I mother five amazing, wonderful children, but I wasn't present for any of their arrivals.  I have never witnessed a birth, never felt that sense of spiritual arrival with the first breath taken, never heard the first cry of another human being...heck, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have ever even held a newborn in my arms.  I can't compare that moment of spiritual arrival with the young people they have turned out to be, I can't say, "From that first cry, I knew he would be a fighter!" or "She is as sweet today as she was her very first moment of life."

It is a loss I have never really felt to be a loss until that moment this Sunday morning.

Perhaps I have elected not to dwell on the unchangeable.  Maybe I have been so focused on what we do have that I don't want to consider all that we have missed.  Well, truth be told, I have often thought deeply about what our children missed as they grew in orphanages, for we have to deal with the aftereffects of that period of time in their lives.  I have never really given much thought to all that I have missed, and maybe I am just beginning to perceive it as a true loss.

Years of night time peeks at sleeping angelic faces.
Months of cuddling with baby lotion scented tiny little bodies.
Firsts...first words, first lost teeth, first smiles, first skinned knee, first everything that happens when young.

It is so strange sometimes, to feel so incredibly connected to other human beings, and yet no absolutely nothing about years and years of their lives.  It is odd to be asked questions at doctor's offices and have to give a casual shrug of the shoulders as you respond that you have no clue.  It is haunting to see scars, or witness day to day cognitive challenges and have no answers as to why they are there.

We make up for it, though.  We walk laughingly into the uncomfortable, we tolerate the thoughtless questions...like today when Angela had to get a blood test and the technician asked where she was from, and what school she was an exchange student at.  There Angela sits, a little vulnerable from having very few needle sticks in her life and scared about what is to come, and she looks over at me with a helpless look, as if she didn't even know how to respond to that one quickly when her mind was occupied with a bit of fear about what was coming next.

We do our best to work through it with humor and maybe, on a good day, a little bit of grace.  Again today, we were shopping and there was a Sample Lady who was cooking something for customers to try.  It was going to take awhile, so I told Angela I didn't want to wait.  She started giggling and batting her brown eyes at me, cracking me up when she said, "But Mom, you have only had me four years and have had to wait for almost nothing for me my whole life.  You have gotten off the hook! Can't you make up for it by waiting for me now for 3 minutes to get the sample??"  I busted up, and yes, we waited, arm in arm with no one around us understanding what we were laughing about.

Despite the loss, there is so much we all have gained.  However, acknowledging the losses on all sides is important, too.  There is, of course, the profound loss that birth parents experienced.  The losses the kids have suffered are tremendous, too.  That may be the reason why I have pushed aside my own feelings of loss experienced through adoption, because the losses of the other parties seem much more profound than my own.  After all, we gained in the long run, didn't we?

But still...those little tiny baby fingers that never wrapped around mine...that cry that only newborns make the first couple of weeks of life that I never heard...the gap toothed smile of front teeth missing and the temporary lisp that accompanies it were never seen and heard.

The breath of life still came though, and I remind myself of that.  The Spirit's soft blowing skimmed across our home and the people in it, bringing us together in unique fashion, and filling us with something quite special.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

But still...

Church Birthday Celebration...Angela and Kenny were AWOL when the camera was out!!

1 comment:

chicks3 said...

You will get to experience all of this when you get to be a grandmother! It is worth the wait.