Last evening I sat at the pool and visited with an old acquaintance, also an adoptive mom, about her recent "giving up." She'd given up on her body years ago, really. And she has recently given up the hope that she might be able to adopt another baby. She will be the first to admit that it is because she and her husband are both picky and once they get down to the three qualities they agree on, there are precious few opportunities to adopt left. But I still feel sad for her.
She is the woman who pointed out that (and purchased my first copy of) Max Lucado's Just in Case You Ever Wonder is perfect for the adoptive family because it never says "when you grew in my tummy" or "the night you were born" it says instead "the first time I saw you," and "Your first night with me." Granted, the people in the book are all quite white, but you can't always have everything.
So last night I was checking in on Mary, who I thought would probably have info on her latest Ethiopian adventure. And she did. And I played catch-up when I should have been sleeping. And I got all nasty jealous of her. And this morning I was going to post the title "Who I Want to Be" and just link to her page with her very colorful, very cool family.
And this morning I felt wretched. Because I have four wonderful kids. And maybe when Eldest is 19, I'll have 10 wonderful kids. And M. probably won't. And I have other friends who would give their eye teeth to get pregnant. But when I try to explain how I want to adopt again and keep getting thwarted because I get pregnant (which if you aren't preventing, shouldn't be much of a surprise, but you know...) I sound like an ungrateful wretch.
I'm not. Not really. Well, I am, but who isn't? I absolutely adore my kids. All of them. Even the ones that are carbon copies. And I wouldn't trade any of them for another kid out there.
I guess I'm frustrated because I'm super selfish. And I'm beginning to see life after potty-training and carpooling and play dates. And if we adopt another "brown" baby, will Eldest really even pay him or her much mind. Will he always care that he doesn't look like anyone else? I know I can go through foster care and bring home an older child. And we may some day. But Hubs is pretty addicted to the tiny ones. And I lived enough years of foster care to know that they can bring an awful lot of pain into a home. That doesn't negate their need or their value, I'm just being gut honest. I'm terrified to bring in an older child who could rip the innocence from those God has already put under my care.
But even if we start the process now and get placed in say, a year, Eldest would be eight. Is that relationship going to be close enough to be what he wants, or does he really want someone he can play ball with? Same for Princess who insists she needs a sister. She loves Charming desperately, but she wants someone with whom she can play girlie things. If we start from teeny, she'll be out of girlie things by the time there is enough age to allow for real play. And she already said she wants someone older. She thinks we should just drive over to the local orphanage and find one. If only it were so easy in the States.
Ugh. I'm not making any sense.
I know what I want to say and I'm not saying any of it.
See, I'm torn between two worlds. The world of my heart that has a rainbow of color for children and the world that lives in THIS world. The one that thinks huge families are ridiculous and irresponsible. The world that makes nasty comments disguised with a laugh. I live in a world that knows there are people hurting because they can't get pregnant and my own world that wonders if I should prevent a future pregnancy so that I can adopt again when I promised myself that I would never prevent again until I was CERTAIN I was finished. And the world that knows the people around me think I should be finished. And my own brain telling me that it's okay to be finished. And the part of my heart that would be so sad to be finished. And the part of my soul waiting for God to tell me I'm finished. And the part of my self that knows we only have one seat left in the minivan and that no one wants to babysit anymore.
So am I selfish to want to adopt again? Should I just remotely adopt some more through World Vision? Why does God give some people the desire to adopt and not the time or resources? What is wrong with me?
Besides the fact that I'm an ungrateful wretch who should be pleased as punch to just give birth again should I be given the opportunity and quit thinking about what I don't get to do in the adoption arena...except for what it would do to Eldest. (Enjoy the ones you have, Jamie....)
That's it. I'm writing the book. The one you haven't heard about, but has been percolating. I'm going to do it. That way I can go through it chapter by chapter and quit trying to get all my thoughts out in a far-too-long blog post.
I have days where I wish God would just hit me over the head with his plan for my life and say "This is what you are supposed to do". It would make my life so much easier.
I think you just wrote the book jacket teaser. If I were literate I would know what the name of that is.
Tell me about it, Mommy.
And Nurse Boy, I think they call it "back cover copy" (and you must be literate, because Frodo informed me this morning that YOU have more books than his daddy. That's saying something. I also think it is an untruth.)
I need the cliff notes post on the status of your family, because I haven't been reading long enough to know. I guess Eldest is adopted? Are the others biological?
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