Friday, July 13, 2012

Faith vs. Fear...

My words of faith are strong and clear.  But that's not to say they aren't challenged by fear.  Because they are, and often. 

I want my messages to be positive, but, at the same time, I think it's important that I'm real.  I’ve gained so much comfort from the honesty of other mothers and waiting mothers in the infertility/adoption community.  They've helped me to feel that I’m not alone in some of the fears and doubts that I battle.  This journey can be so isolating.  I think it’s important to share feelings, both positive and sometimes not-so-positive. 

At the most recent infertility retreat I attended, the topic was about the journey and how it’s transformed us.  One of the exercises was to view our own childhood photos, while our leader, Nicole, led us in a meditation.  She guided us to think about our young selves compared to our today selves: what brought us joy then vs now, our strengths then vs now, what we might say to ourselves then vs now.  Like most of my meditation attempts, I drifted from the goal.  I didn’t think of the little girl in the photos as me.  I thought of her as the daughter I always dreamed I'd have.  The daughter who would look like me.  And then… I thought of the loss of that exact dream.  I cried in group that day.  But like Nicole says, it’s not a successful class until someone cries! ;)   

While I’m confident that adoption is right for us, I still grieve.  And, while I strive to stay positive and focused on the excitement of everything, I still fight fears and doubts…  

Are we doing the right thing?  Is this what we really want?  Is our profile good enough?  Will we be chosen?  What if the birth family isn’t great?  What if the baby isn't healthy?  What if the baby isn't cute? (I know, terrible to say out loud.)  What if I don't bond?  Will I love the same?  Will I still feel a void?  Do we want a lifelong relationship with a birth family?  Can we handle the potential challenges of raising a child who was adopted?

I have to acknowledge these fears.  And maybe it’s ok to have them.  Maybe it means that I’m in a place of risk and challenge, rather than hiding and avoiding. 

A recent service at our church was on making courageous choices and having faith at life’s river crossings.  Our Pastor spoke of how nothing really happens while standing safely on the river bank.  Nothing exciting, no miracles, no memories made, and no way for God to show up and do something spectacular.  The miracles are in the river, not safely on the shore! 

Our journey has led me to this edge, and I am fearful, but I can’t let the fear hold me back.  I am stepping into the river.  There may be trouble, but I have faith that there will also be a miracle.  I know I will end up safely on the other side, where adoption's wonderful and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sugie and me, late '70s / early '80s

Thursday, July 12, 2012

About Waiting...

You know, I'm actually pretty content with the waiting so far.

I'm surprised. Maybe because I only have the IUIs and IVFs and TWWs to compare it to. I was a completely consumed mess during the infertility treatment cycles. My work suffered, I wasn't able to sleep, my heart raced all the time, I literally struggled to catch a breath most days. But it's no wonder, is it. The treatments don't allow you to forget or to be contented.  Supplements, acupuncture, daily self-administered injections, constant doctor's appointments complete with blood draws and invasive ultra sounds, inconceivable financial stresses, obsessing over every symptom, and the reality of knowing it might all be a waste.

With this adoption, though, I can breathe more easily, knowing, at least, that I've done all that I can do. I'm done… Paperwork, home study, background checks, references, profile,… And God knows the desires of my heart (I’ve made it very clear!).  Now I (try to) spend my energy (most of it) thanking Him for what I know is to come... The blessings.