Leaving church Sunday, someone walked up to Tab and I and asked how the adoption process is going. I replied, “I feel so frustrated.”
A few weeks ago, we were sent an email from our adoption caseworker. The email contained a picture and a brief description of a little boy who is/was up for adoption. We were told that our home study had been submitted and to email our caseworker back if we were not interested. We didn’t email back. 🙂
Weeks went by, the deadline for caseworkers submitting interest in this little boy came and went. I followed up with our caseworker to see if she had heard anything, nope. Silence.
Another week went by, we received an email from our caseworker saying that we had not made the initial selection process. I felt gutted. So many questions filled my mind:
- Were we not picked because of hold old Tab and I are?
- Were we not picked because of the age different between Wyatt and this little boy?
I knew I couldn’t dwell in the land of why too long… so instead I kind of shut down.
It’s been about a week since we found out that we weren’t selected. This morning, I feel like I am waking up from a haze. With my mental fog clearing, I can tell that I’ve been distant with those I love, mourning someone I will never know.
There is something about a picture and a description that opens your mind to possibilities and dreams. Excitement about what could be is good; checking out when things don’t go as planned, not so good. I am learning through this adoption process. Learning about:
Trusting God when things don’t make sense / have gone off the rails
Strengthening my own personal mental armor / being stretched
Yes, I am still frustrated about the adoption process. But I realize that the word “process” is key. The process, the journey if you will, is helping prepare Tabitha, Wyatt, and I for the day we change from a family of three to a family of four. While my pessimism towards the process tells me that that day could be awhile off, I have to admit that I have no clue / it’s all out of my hands. Next week could bring a new email, a new child to dream about and consider.
Daily, I have to give this process to God. Let go. Let Him do His thing.
Until next time,
We often treat our children as if they are invaders in our home. Pillagers of our everyday items (free kitchen cabinet content removal) and destroyers of all that is good (throwing ALL media off shelves onto the floor). I don’t think much about it now, but Tabitha and I fought against the invader mentality. Instead, we invited our son into our spaces.
The Cabinet Battle
When Wyatt was little, he liked opening the kitchen cabinets and throwing the cabinet contents out onto the floor. Typical little kid stuff. Tupperware, pots and pans, you name it, all over the floor to trip on. Our Solution: Tabitha gave Wyatt his own kitchen cabinet. A place where we could intentionally put just a few things for him to pull out. This created a boundary we could enforce, as all the other kitchen cabinets were off limits. A small mental shift that made our lives much easier in those early years.
Bottom Line: Invite your children into the kitchen, let them play in their cabinet while you cook.
Welcome to the Living Room
- Walk over and play with us for a moment. I could easily eat some plastic cheese and then he would move on.
- Grab us to come play cars on his large car mat.
They Grow Up
- Put some carpet square samples from work down to define his space. We’ve found that the carpet squares work great as area rugs with a little Gorilla Tape holding them together.
- Bought some bean bag chairs.
- And put a TV/DVD player for gaming and movies. (I will note that nothing is connected to the internet in his space. All about smart parenting, people.)
Sometimes I want to feel like I can talk out loud. I want to talk about what it’s like not being able to have more children. How years upon years can go by and nothing happens… and how bad that hurts. I want to talk about the lies that constantly swirl around about not being whole… the lie of being a failure for not being able to produce. Whenever my wife and I open up about where we are, people say the most insane/insensitive things:
“You should be quiet, you already have one.”
“You should focus more on others.”
“You should come up with a plan to adopt and be ready to start next week.”
Why can’t others just listen? Why can’t we mourn together? Why is it so hard to just pray and be?
Eric Schumacher wrote a post yesterday titled “Dads Hurt Too: A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage“. Made me cry. Even though my wife and I haven’t experienced a miscarriage (that we know of… there are different types of miscarriages), I get where he is coming from. I’ve heard the same lies:
Comparison pointed a paw at our living children—three of them, then four, then five—and demanded, “What right have you to mourn a child you never knew, when you have all these?” Comparison thrust the faces of friends before my own—friends who could not conceive, friends without a living child, friends whose children died in the crib or in college—and mocked, “You mourn, but not as those who have no kids. Others are worse off; stifle your sorrow.”
There comes a point where you feel like you should just be silent. The hurt experienced from opening up and talking in community not worth the price.
- Why do we, as Christians, go silent when others who are hurting pour their hearts out?
- Why do we act like we have no power when we claim Jesus lives in us?
I feel like I should be able to talk, especially around fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and yet I can’t.
Well, I finally did it. I finally:
- Sat down and planned things out
- Scheduled a guest
- Edited (I may hate Audacity)
- And Posted
All that said, I would like to introduce you to my new podcast project, The Long Hall.
Take a listen to the pilot episode and tell me what you think in the comments below.
A few days after ordering curriculum for homeschooling–yes, we are doing it!–, the boy came home from school:
“I learned the word for the middle finger today.”
“What word is that?”
He proceeded to utter the f-bomb, which actually sounded funny coming from his mouth. After I finished laughing, I reminded myself that I am the parent. Time to put the serious face on.
We talked about how cuss words have no power of their own; about how our American culture gives them power. How there are some words we do not say in our house. This is one of those words.
As if children learning cuss words, at a young age, is a natural occurrence. A sort of twisted cultural rite of passage.
Loss of innocence will happen, is that what we are saying?
My own childhood, as a homeschooled student, taught me that we do not have to accept what is “normal”. There is always another way.
Yes, childhood innocence will fade away. Growing up does that. Yet, we do not have to accept the norm. We can dodge, we can roll, we can allow kids to be kids.
Our job, as parents, is to help our children process and navigate the world. That world does not have to be dirty nor uncouth.
What has happened does not have to be what happens. Innocence doesn’t have to be lost.