In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Bitter in Bittersweet

Now for the bitter . . .  "The Goose."  We are just a few days shy of our one year anniversary of our referral for little baby N.  He turned one a month ago and has now spent all but 10 days of his little life, laying in one room, in one crib and in the arms of multiple caregivers.  He has nobody to call "mommy."  He has nobody to call him "son."  He has nobody of his very own.  The stories from the region where he lives are, as someone else with a child stuck there put it this week, "incomprehensible."  What the people in charge of these precious little lives are doing is so unjust and so incomprehensible that even if I tried to share some of the personal stories, it would just sound trite.  There is no other word for all of the families and children in our situation, other than heart breaking and even those words don't hold a candle to the real emotions behind it all.  

Every day I wonder what we would do if N cleared???  If that did happen, I would be calling young and old, short and tall, those of all faiths and asking for prayer.  I would need an angel to come down from the heavens (with a large check in hand, no less) and tell us that we should and are capable of bringing N home.  I kinda feel like Maci is doing so amazingly well, yet I still feel like bomb has gone off in our house and many days, it still feels like survival is the name of the game.  I'm just not sure we, as a family, could make it through another toss up, without some time to gather our feet underneath us.

I have found it easy to tell people that I'm just not sure we could move forward with Goosey at this point, but if I even give myself over 60 seconds to think about it, or if I try to take any pictures down, the tears pour out.  Big-Huge-Ethiopian tears (those kids have some serious tear ducts, btw).  We have decided to do a couple things, though.  We decided to keep our homestudy updated, but at the same time, we have decided to live our lives as if our family is complete.  We've spent the last two years, scrimping, saving, holding back, not taking trips, saving vacation time, and basically putting our lives on hold. . . . in preparation for a child and now it is time to start letting the line out a little and enjoy moving forward from here.

One of the many difficult parts of the whole Goose business, is wondering where God is, in his story.  I mean, if our story just started with Maci, then we would be sitting in our house, saying things like, "The wait was hard, but God is good," and "she is so amazing and God knew that she belongs in our family."  It would be easy to give God the glory and other Christian phrases like that.  BUT - that is not where our story began.  It began with Goosey and he hasn't moved an inch since we first saw his picture and there isn't much promise that he will move anywhere in the future.  It is hard to say, "God is good," under these circumstances.  It is hard to believe anything about God under these circumstances.  Even if I feel like our family is complete, what about Goose?  He has no family.  What will happen to him?  The last family that went over a couple months ago, still said that he doesn't use his legs.  If he had come home when he should have, he would most likely be a thriving little one year old right now, but his chances at a "normal" life seem to be diminishing.  So, is God good?  What it came down to for me, was, "did he die and come back to life or not?"  It's the crux of the Christian faith.  If I believe that is true, then I believe the rest is true.  If I don't believe that He rose again, then I don't believe the rest.  It's all or nothing and I just can't help it . . . I believe that Jesus died and rose again and that He is who He says He is.

I have stopped trying to figure out why our story went as it has or why there ever had to be a "Goose" if we were supposed to get Maci this whole time?  I doubt that any of it will ever make sense to me, this side of heaven, but what I know is that we will continue to treasure the responsibility to pray for Goosey and we will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS love the little guy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Sweet in Bittersweet

It is a bittersweet Mother's Day.  Mostly sweet, so let's start there.  We went to Pagosa Springs to see Dave's mom and extended family for Mother's Day.  It was our first attempt at a family trip and I am officially announcing it as a victory.  It was filled with fishing, paddle boating, the Malt Shoppe, family meals, and a birthday party and not one of those events was cut short by a poorly timed temper tantrum.  Maci just seemed to know that family was surrounding her.  Therefore, it didn't take the typical hour to warm up to all the new people she met.  Of course, at our family dinner, it also helped to have a 9 week old puppy (not ours, of course) to break in the squeals of laughter.

I wasn't sure how this weekend was going to go, but I was certainly ready to get out of this house for better or for worse.  "They" say that when you adopt, your family should cocoon and stay close to home as much as possible for the first few months.  My intent was to do that.  As it turns out, if I actually did that, I think I would find myself cocooning alone at someplace with a name like "Whispering Pines Home for the Not So Stable."  As much as I love our house and neighborhood, I shudder at the thought of staying home with my 3 young kids for days at a time.  It is within these very walls, after all, that most meltdowns occur.  For that, I am thankful.  It is better for them to melt down here, then in the grocery line or on the front steps of the Department of Human Services, but I needed to catch my breath somewhere else this weekend, after what was a pretty ugly week.

There is one area where my kids are very fair and where they are really good at sharing.  They are very thoughtful about sharing tantrum time.  Isn't that sweet?  Maci likes to scream loud and often, but she keeps it short, which we appreciate.  Leah spaces hers out a little more, but she has the extenda-cry down pat and Spencer is a real saver.  He goes a couple of weeks, but then he lays a big one down, which he did this week. I still feel like I am recovering from that one.  That being said and bring it back around to the sweet part of Mother's Day.  All three kids did just play together for 45 minutes without one cause for parental intervention.  That was a present of great proportion and the sweetest gift of all.  (Although Dave's present was pretty awesome.  If you stop by, you'll have to ask to see the cookbook the was made personally for me).  Well, now that I just wrote about the sweetness of the day, I don't really want to talk about the bitter just yet, so I think I'll save the bitter (Goosey) for tomorrow.

For now, thank you MOM for believing in this journey.  Thank you for accepting Maci as your grandchild. Thank you for walking with me in all of the craziness of adoption and for reminding me of how great God's love is for not only our kids, but for me as well.