The title means two things, two new things that are going on around here. First, tomorrow we sign the papers for our house! Our new place :) Our apartment is currently filled with boxes and I'm looking at bare walls with naked nails still stuck in them. I called the utility companies to have things turned off and then turned on at their respective places. Now the move feels real!
And the second thing is that we have moved to a new season of life in regards to growing our family. As we're literally moving to a new place, a new house, we are also moving to a new season of life: Adoption. We made our decision and are already moving forward with the agency we chose. We're sending in the initial paperwork and the first fee and will start classes at the end of this month. We are pursuing a domestic infant adoption.
The decision at once brought new excitement and anticipation, and also mourning and missing our baby. Classic grief once again popping up where I guess I didn't expect it. A sweet question from my husband about our baby and I'm once again crying those deep, mournful tears into our bed. "I just wish you were here."
I'm also mourning the loss of my dreams and hopes of having biological children. I don't know if I can even articulate why. Ryan and I do think it's possible that we could get pregnant one day (this isn't about us "giving up"), and of course God could bless my womb at any time he so desires. But he hasn't given us that gift yet and it is very obvious to us that he is leading us toward adoption. The natural response of my heart and mind as we step towards adoption is to mourn the fact that the baby we will call our own will not be our biological child. There is great loss there, even as it will be so wonderful to bring our child in to our family. There is so much to wrap my mind around as I process all of what that means. I know that process will be deep and extensive, and that it is also healthy and normal. Stepping towards great joy, while also processing loss and grief.
Adoption won't cure our loss. And it won't erase the pain that infertility has seared in to my heart. Adoption will write a new chapter in this story, but it won't be ripping out the pages that came before it.
But....I am excited (admittedly a very lame sounding word, but what else can I say?) to bring our child, who God has chosen just for us, home through adoption. The reality that we will really seriously have a baby snuggled in our arms at the end of this process is so insane and has definitely not totally sunk in to my brain yet (I guess that's similar to when you just find out you're pregnant and can hardly believe what that really means!) But I have already started to day dream about what he or she will look like and how it will be to meet them for the first time and what it will feel like to bring them home to stay and the story we will tell them of how God made us a family. This time there is no 20% chance, no maybe, no "possibility". This time we get our baby. And that thought makes me smile and light up inside! (Ok, ok obviously nothing is really guaranteed in this life, and adoptions can fall through and sad things can happen, but I'm just going with what the normal expectation is.)
There are so many complex issues that surround adoption and we are just starting to dip our toes in to that very, very deep pool. We have so much to learn and so much to process. Books and blogs are very helpful right now. At bedtime we're reading a great book to each other that I found at the library called Baby We Were Meant For Each Other by Scott Simon about he and his wife's story adopting two daughters from China after going through failed infertility treatments. It has funny parts that we can relate to all too well, and very beautiful, touching stories about their relationships with their daughters (A part we read last night about the mother hearing her daughter cry Mama! for her in the middle of the night brought tears to my eyes). I especially appreciate that it's written by a man, a father, from his unique perspective. I also just bought and barely read the first few pages of Adopted For Life by Russell Moore and so far love it! He relates the adoption of children to how we are adopted by God the Father, and highlights poignantly how adoption is missional and biblical- and basically just the gospel displayed! :) (Comment now that I've finished the book- I definitely need to say that I don't agree 100% with his theology that we have been adopted by God from Satan (exact words he uses). This is called the "ransom from Satan theory" and I don't agree that it's biblical. We were alienated from God the Father by our sin, and the price that Jesus paid for our sins was paid back to the Father, not to Satan, to free us from sin and death. Satan was not the one to hold control of all sinners and demand some price for their freedom, making God sacrifice Jesus so as to adopt his children back. God's wrath was satisfied in Christ crucified and that opened the way for us undeserving, not-blood-related, not-heirs, totally black-sheep kids to be adopted in to His family with full blood-family rights. He chose us and called us and claimed us as his own. We were adopted from a place of complete lostness and darkness, NOT from Satan. THAT's what I think the biblical adoption language is saying. I think at times this author makes too big of a stretch to make the adoption analogy fit and unfortunately it creates some theological inaccuracies, in my opinion. Sorry that was such a long comment, just thought it needed to be said.)
It's a weird place in life where I do feel very in-between and not settled yet, but I'm so expectant about where we're going.