For two years I felt powerless (much like we all feel right now in an ever prolonging quarantine). So stuck. Helpless. All I wanted was to hear of progress on my daughters adoptability.
At some point, my frenetic emotions were suffocating.
I did the best I knew. Whatever was in my power. And that was to ask questions. Knock at the highest doors. I couldn’t rest on the generic assurances. With a heavy heart I admitted to myself I lost my trust in the big picture system.
Though not long ago, in the second part of the process, the people in charge proved to work with integrity and dedication. The confusion I struggled with made it even harder for me to process the indefinite wait. We longed for our youngest daughter to come home. Though we had no legal claims over her.
I wrestled with God. I pleaded with him. I searched my heart. I asked for his clear direction as to what He wanted me do. Then. I abandoned my heart into his care, and continued to hope, pray, pursue… and eventually I embraced the present. With faith. At peace.
What a journey that has been.
At some point I wondered if people will ever feel as I feel.
Weirdly enough, this quarantine gives everyone a taste of waiting. Waiting endlessly on someone to decide for us to freely meet up with our family again.
Eventually, we met her. She was well loved and cared for. She is perfect to us. We courted each other, learned each other, gave each other space and then the deal was sealed in all our hearts. So easy. It only seemed fair after such a long wait.
We were ready by the second week to bring her home. We updated all our files. With our first daughter, our papers submission was delayed by a week, trying to get her medical certificate issued. Even this was excruciating to us. So I tried to plead to have all the mandatory meetings and reports checked. Over the weekend I was restless. My mind kept running scenarios and lines of persuasion for our case manager to move the next meeting a week early. I don’t like it when I get so worked up. I fear I don’t trust my intense emotions anymore. I didn’t understand why she so stubbornly scheduled us a week and a half later. I wondered if I should write an email or call. I know they don’t like it when we put it in writing. It forces them to reply with an official response.
We had picked our girl from the foster mom. We were planning to spend the day together. My mind wasn’t present so I had to deal the turmoil in my mind, my heart, my whole body. I called the case manager. I was clear, serious, as persuasive as I could. She was unmovable. She even said clearly no and i couldn’t process it for a moment. We sat there. In silence. Over the phone. All that heavy tension. Wasn’t gone. And I didn’t know what to do with it.
I eventually said I’ll think about it. I was devastated. And I couldn’t understand why this was such a big deal. Bringing her home full time would be delayed by just one week. It was not a big deal. I tried to convince myself.
I hung up. I felt like sobbing. I don’t get worked up like this. Looking back I think it was a premonition. But also looking back at Ivy, seeing her serious eyes, she must have felt my stress. At home she came and petted my head. And encouraged me to look up. So I thought to myself, it’s not worth wasting a beautiful day with my daughter, brewing imaginary worry and frustration with the delay as I saw it. They say we’re impatient. Like every parents they come across. They judged my pleading through the lens of our two year wait. Of course we are impatient. But what’s an extra week after two years of patience?
We had the following evaluation. And it was great. I decided to play along. I wish they listened to me as well as I listen to them. At least. I wish they understood my anguish.
The hard part? A few days later, at the end of that week, the adoption process was put on hold. We could have made it. But we didn’t. Now a month of separation has gone by. From social distancing to self isolation to quarantine to emergency situation and the army on the road, making sure people stay at home so a pandemic virus wouldn’t spread anymore. From two weeks delay, to a month, to how many Months?
The primal wound of an adoptee is abandonment. How did I end up as part of the problem? How can we begin to focus on healing when as we speak, we cause further pain and confusion by staying away?
I fell asleep crying my heart out that God would do a miracle. And so I let go of the anguish. When it comes again (because it will – if this gets prolonged), I will cry it out to God again. I know I have a free pass to offload my heart and my pain to Him. My Father. My King. So I take Him up on the offer. And it’s the best gift – the privilege to pray to God.
I was tempted once again to wish upon those who caused this delay, to feel a fraction of my sorrow. But I couldn’t. My heart wouldn’t let me. I thought with such clarity that, as a child of God, I can’t wish upon anyone such crushing sorrow. It doesn’t fit. It doesn’t work that way. So I forgave them.
But something strange happened. Nobody asked for my forgiveness, but I decided to close that chapter of pain. By forgiving everyone. Including myself. So, as I would recall facts, actions or inactions, people and conversations, I would decide silently in my heart to forgive. Over and over. Every day. Including the last delay. I was tempted to brew it in my heart as “should’ve-would’ve-could’ve”, “what if” and so on. But that would mean living in the past and causing myself further pain. A pain that started to define me. A pain I started to know so well and love. My past year’s identity was linked to the pain of waiting. I could throw myself the best pity party in the adoption world. But I dislike pity. I truly do. It took me a few days to feel the joy of freedom from resentment. A few days of letting go of alternative scenarios of the events leading up to the shutdown of the country and the world.
God tells us to forgive. Not for anyone’s benefit but our own, first and foremost, as an exercise of choosing freedom.
I pray for a miracle when my feelings get so achingly intense. I pray God would soften hearts and cause the people in charge to think of solutions, for us to be reunited with our children. Whatever humans can’t fathom, God can. Always.