**Warning, if you are looking for one of my banter-y, witty posts, this isn't it. I have something serious in my heart today. Thus, the outpouring is serious. Read with that warning.
Have you noticed the prevalence of adoption in TV shows lately? Maybe it’s just me. After all, my radar is up. I am pretty much thinking of adoption every moment so it makes sense for me to catch it. But some of my favorite shows lately have had adoptions in the storylines. No, I don’t mean the Glee adoption that had those of us who have ACTUALLY been through some of the process shake our heads. Really, Quinn? You just nodded your head and your baby was swaddled and sent to the adoptive mother? No paperwork? No home study? No court proceedings? Nothing? Now, I am not the super genius when it comes to this stuff but I for sure know that is not how it happens.
No, I am talking about the ones that make it a little more real. The ones that make my heart ache with the way it happens and I can see this being kinda sorta like my life. A little. For instance, let’s talk about Parenthood. If you aren’t watching Parenthood, I am sad for you. And I will admit, they did skim right over all that paperwork and moved right along to the pretty book of family pictures and the match process. It’s the sexier part, right? They also include some extra drama for flair. But the way it’s worked out (spoiler alert) Julia’s coworker just so happened to get pregnant and agree to an adoption. I think on the surface that seems illogical but I am saying anecdotally I think that happens more than we realize.
Even more realistic, though, we viewers are watching the birth mom struggle with her decision. She knows she will struggle to raise this child. She’s young. She’s single. She finds a family who welcomes her and agrees to raise her child. Which should make her feel good. But clearly, it’s not that easy. And while those of us in the adoption world “get it” for the most part, seeing the portrayal of this has just gutted me.
Last episode, the young woman went to birthing classes with the adoptive mom. They have formed a special relationship and are going to do the birthing process together. It all makes sense on paper. But when the young woman hears how it will all be worth it when she looks into her child’s eyes and sees the love they will share, it’s too much.
She leaves the class. And I blubber into hysterics on the other side of my TV screen. She’s doing the right thing, right? Giving her child an opportunity, a chance? But it doesn’t make it hurt less.
My mind has wandered a lot lately. And wondered. Specifically, about birth mothers. Our situation will not, at present, look like Parenthood. The IC* we have in our hearts is from Africa. We may meet his mother or family once. It will be hard. It will be painful. It will also be a blessing to see the beautiful woman that is strong enough to let us parent her child. I hope and pray the Lord will prepare my heart for that moment, if it happens. International adoption brings its own set of challenges. One of which is the whole “we won’t have the kind of birth family relationship we would if we were adopting domestically” thing.
That being said, the Lord has been very present with us in the past few months and we feel stronger than ever that this will not be our last adoption. Chances are our next home study will be with a domestic emphasis. That whole process will bring with it the opportunity for more interaction with family. To experience the heartbreak and the hope over and over.
Either way, as my heart longs to hold my little boy, there is a woman on the other side of the world who will long for the same thing. Only, her longing won’t be fixed in two years. Or three. It’s a pain that I will only understand dimly. But it hurts me so much to know this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. That our creator made us to be in community and this whole separation and hurt thing isn’t meant to be. Makes you long for more, doesn’t it?
I don’t have a neat and tidy way to end this post because it’s not about a neat and tidy topic. Instead, I’d like to call you to prayer. Thank you for so many of you who pray for us. We can truly feel the outpouring of support from all angles. It’s astounding. Will you also pray for the birth moms? The dads? The grandmas and aunts who will only have their imagination to picture what that kiddo may look like as a teenager? The ones who will always feel the pain and the pull? Thank you friends.
Jesus, come quickly.