Saturday, June 18, 2011
I am pregnant with a four to eight-year-old
Adding to your family through adoption has some commonalities with birthing children. The waiting period before your baby/ child arrives is still a waiting period. I don't go to the bathroom as much, and nobody asks me about her date of arrival while I'm in line at Target, but she's coming nonetheless.
When I was waiting for Justus, I very much felt prego. Well...in some ways. When I was pregnant, I threw up. A LOT. I was super sick and my body rejected pregnancy on every level. This is not why we chose adoption after we had Emma and Jax, but it sure confirmed for us that God had been leading us in the right direction. Our world came to a stop when I was pregnant with Emma and Jax, and I lay in bed or by the toilet, depressed, miserable with what felt like a stomach virus that would just NOT go away. (Young ladies, who have yet to birth babies, don't let this freak you out! This is not the norm! You'll be fine.) Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. Every second! But God had begun a work in our hearts before we ever said "I do" that we would add to our family through adoption.
So with three-year-old Emma and two-year-old Jax in tow, we brought home baby Justus. During that waiting period, I pulled out the baby clothes, washed and folded them, and put them in his drawers. We had the infant car seat ready. We did all of those things that waiting parents do. I threw up less, but I was keenly aware that Justus' birthmother, who had chosen us for her baby boy, was carrying him all the while. When we brought him home, we brought home our son, and we could not have felt prouder of him! The waiting was over. This was the part I knew how to do. The baby stuff.
Treston had a different story, and we didn't get him until he was four months old. There was a very short waiting period with him. We got a call about our Treston, and two weeks later- PRESTO! We had our beautiful baby boy with us. He was foster-to-adopt, but somehow my brain shut out the word "foster" almost immediately, and I felt like the emotional, brand new Mom bringing him to church for the first time. He was ours. I cried and held him and marveled at how much I loved him already.
Now we wait for Ella. This waiting period is very different than any other. We've been in this paperwork adoption phase for so long, I think people have quit asking me about it. Somebody recently told me they knew we were in process, but they never thought we would actually bring home a child. Me too, kind of! The day we got the call about our match with Ella, I was shocked! It was one of those phone conversations that went in slow motion almost for me. We were actually swimming at our neighborhood pool. I'm watching my kids splash and my husband throw them in the air, and it feels like a normal day. But it wasn't. It was the day she became real to us. I remember the slow-mo moment waiting to hear her name, waiting to hear that she was deaf, waiting for every detail our social worker had to offer. I felt a little pregnant. I had this amazing secret! No one in line at Target next to me knew. But I knew. I had a daughter named Ella. It was the first thing I thought about before I opened my eyes in the morning, and the last thing I thought about at night. I have a daughter named Ella.
As we wait this time, we are not pulling out car seats and baby swings. We've never adopted an older child, and it's a new world. In our preparation, we are sending documents, searching flights, making hotel arrangements, dealing with visas and passports, and gathering every sweet morsel of information we have about her and trying to guess her age. But my questions definitely outnumber my answers. We have just five short weeks to prepare her room (she is sharing with Emma), Rusty will build her a bed, buy her some clothes (hoping we get something that actually fits her), and most of all, SIGN, SIGN, SIGN. Our world is about to change. In the waiting, there is joy, anxiety, questions, anticipation, preparation, and a lot of prayer.
I'm so thankful for my Savior who is here with us, in the waiting.