Last night without Evelyn

I could see clear progress the last few weeks, before the court’s decision to entrust Evelyn to us for good. 

I honestly thought the delay was pointless and will do more harm than good. Especially now that we had developed a tight relationship with our daughter. I tried to be so efficient. It’s in my DNA. My practical experience in the adoption process caused me to feel impatient. The worst part is that I felt justified.  

Our matching process during the first adoption was vastly different than the second. Theoretically, or legally speaking,  not much had changed. We had a different case manager, we had been certified and waited for two years to be matched, and we had some experience as adoptive parents. Our first daughter was longing to meet her sister. 

As we finally met, we soon got tired of traveling back and forth hundreds of miles. Our relationship and interaction evolved differently when we brought our daughter into our world versus playing together at the foster home. 

When the corona virus pandemic hit and every human interaction was suspended. The unknown was debilitating. When will we see and hug our daughter again? Will our certification expire before we can adopt her? Jackie would sometimes cry because she wanted her sister with her. It was an honest cry. One morning, right before the lockdown ended, she had a nightmare. She woke up crying. She had dreamt her sister died before we could bring her home. 

I don’t talking on the phone. I sincerely dislike any kind of chit-chat. But guess what: for Ivy I got down to chitchat business. We FaceTimed every other day and talked about nothing for two months; eventually we got the idea to read her stories, play virtually with toys, eat the same kind of fruit at the same time. Jaclyn would highjack the conversation and make Evelyn seasick moving the phone dancing and showing off the toys and the room. 

We eventually went to see her. I’m not one for reunions… but as I mom, I went all in with courage and honesty.  

Evelyn is wise beyond her years. She knows. She understands. She cooperates. But she will read through most adults with incredible accuracy. 

We’ve had our doldrums waiting for the tedious trips back and forth. But nothing energized us like a few hours spent with her along with Jaclyn. 

On the off days, if two or more days went by without visiting or calling, we were out of sorts. All of us. Irritable, depressed… with a hint of ungratefulness or letting ourselves go, in the relationships we did have with the immediate family. 

This past week, we’ve turned a few corners, laid the foundation for our time all together. I could see it clearly and I was in awe. Because I let go of control and let God do the work as He sees fit. I have faced my darkest fears. A couple of weeks ago my mind was so scrambled that the only reading that made sense were the Proverbs. They were my familiar anchor into God’s word. It is the scariest but also the most freeing prayer to ask God to show me my sin. My mind was so cloudy with emotion that I didn’t know for sure anymore. And sin can be so deceptive, so easily justified, so well dressed. 

Through Proverbs, God paved the way out of my emotionally entangled maze. Through powerlessness, frustration and hope, responsibility, feeling stuck, confusion… No, I didn’t sit still, but I prayed with all my strength that God would lead the way. And give me hope and peace and clarity. 

We planted seeds. The seeds of truth in both our girls. We talked about what’s to come and what is going on. And to our delight, days, weeks later, we heard them speak the Truth, internalized, with such clarity… I often doubt we were so clear with them, but we must have done something right. 

Evelyn said her home is in Cluj, and she will spend the night in her own bed. Many weeks ago she would cry at the thought of spending the night away from her familiar home. Heartbreaking tears at night… Her foster mom said she woke up at night crying that she didn’t want to leave her foster home. …That is what I was most afraid of. But a few days ago, my fears faded away. Miraculously. And I could be confidently present, serene. 

Tomorrow Evelyn is coming home forever. It’s a bitter-sweet moment. I was fully aware of how emotionally charged her transition would be, even before I met her. I know. I know full well that there will be heartache …for her, for the foster family. But in the end, it’s a good kind of healing pain. If we sit with it, patiently, and let it pass through us. 

It is better to be missed than to be wished away. It is so much better for everyone to have shared such altruistic love for two years, and long for her foster family, than to close this chapter with  dread. 

If it had been in my power to speed up the process, I think I would have done it. But God in His mighty wisdom took the matters into His hands. My hard head and hard heart took a while to accept that He was in control. 

Adoption is miraculous. On one hand it can be exhausting and a lot of work… but it is so gloriously fun and joyous.