In November of 2005 and December of 2006 my children were born to their first mom. Too much of life happened to them between then and the time they were placed in to our hands in May of 2009. It wouldn't be until October 12th, 2010, that the courts finally caught up with our hearts and they were forever home. I had to look up the year the adoption was finalized because I couldn't believe it had just been 4 years. There are ways it seems so much longer and life before P & L is hard to remember. In another way it was a bit refreshing to think it's only been 4 years and that we've come a long way in a short time. It's no wonder some of the struggles we have gone through in the past year and I am once again reminded of the pain and grief that the redemptive story of adoption is birthed from.
There is not a single thing I would change. I read back over the blog and the emotions gurgle to the surface of the back of my throat and my eyes sting with tears. I am reminded how hard we fought for their momma to be their momma. I am reminded how sad it made me that she felt she couldn't and how angry it made me that she didn't have the skills to be. I am reminded how deeply it hurt that the system had failed yet another. I am reminded how much I loved and respected her and how it conflicted directly with my all too human judgement's at times. I remember my inability to understand that her life experiences could have only led her here. I will always be thankful she chose life for them and selflessly broke the cycle. I am reminded how small P & L were, how brave, how open and willing to accept our love. I am reminded how scared and mad and filled with an intense sadness they were that it seemed to seep from their souls. I am reminded how immediately I loved them as my own. How much the originals welcomed them in and protected and embraced and hurt for them. I am reminded how very much in love I was watching my husband father the fatherless.
Becoming a mother to two grieving children is the hardest thing I've ever done. Stepping in to the place of a mother they loved....they still love. Truthfully, sharing their love with her has been hard. I often tell them they have enough love in their hearts for both of us and they do but it's only honest to say that their are moments that has stung a little. The juggling of emotions that comes with this journey never ceases to surprise me. One moment I can be crushed by the weight of the burdens they've carried and yet others felt normal frustrations at the fallout that creates in their lives. This journey has brought me the greatest moments of joy and taken me to the bottom of a cavernous pit I didn't know was there. Our adoption story has made me feel utterly alone at times and others surrounded by God's love for us, often shown by the amazing friends and family in our lives. It has left me questioning the brokenness of this world and in amazement at it's beauty and grace. It has given my children a family at the loss of their first mom. It has given me more than I could ever measure.
I had no idea what to expect then. I still don't. I have a sign that hangs in the kitchen that states "never a dull moment" and it's obnoxiously true. Each stage of development greets grief differently. But at the same time, each new day is one more day they know the security of a family, the gentleness a father should bring. The hard has been so so hard but the alternative isn't an option. She was their first mom but I am their last. Lord, help me be the mother these children need me to be. I am incomprehensibly thankful that we gave our yes to God...that when it made no earthly sense at all...when the finances weren't there....when we already had a full house with 3...when we were in the middle of facing a layoff... that we just trusted God to have us. I am so thankful that this time I didn't blow it and let my fears win or my intellect or my feelings of self doubt. I am so thankful for stepping out in faith, for giving Him our whole yes and for jumping feet first in to the craziest ride of our lives. Happy Forever Family Day, Family.
What an honor it is to be their mom. All 5 of them.