Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Little Blessings.

Adoption is such an incredible thing.

It's amazing how quickly your heart swells and opens to this new little person. How it feels like you know them and they know you, from that first touch. The feelings are instant. The love is permanent. I guess that's what makes it so scary - the risk of losing something that has already taken up solid residence inside of you.

I still don't know exactly how God does it - how he makes the connection so strong. So crazy fast. How He makes a teeny stranger feel familiar, as surely as if you had grown them in your own womb.

But He does.

Ask any adoptive parent and I'm willing to bet they'll tell you a slightly different version of the same story.

I remember so clearly that drive from Albuquerque to Arkansas ten years ago to meet Sophie at the hospital. I remember giving myself a good talking-to along the way. "Hold on. Wait." I remember the firmness with which I lectured myself. Wanting to remain cautious and detached. Almost angry in my determination not to feel. Warning my heart to hold back until things were more settled.

During the drive, I couldn't help but think about that first meeting with Seth. Holding him in her hospital room in that blue chair by the window right after he was born. Watching the light shine in on his few golden tufts of hair. Looking at his teeny fingers wrapped so tightly around mine. I recalled in cruel detail how the feelings grabbed hold so fast. Thoughts of losing him were still fresh. Everything was still so raw - broken and exposed. Being only six weeks past the Supreme Court decision, missing him still consumed us. Even when I tried to deny it, it was still all I was. During that long drive, as excited as I was to meet Sophie, I thought mostly of Seth. The tears were hard to keep in check as memory after memory after memory of our too short year with him mercilessly flooded back.

I kept thinking, "What in the name of all things sane are we doing? We're nuts. Officially."  I recall blurting out to Russell at some random point in the drive, "There's no way we're strong enough to ride this (bleepin') rollercoaster again!"  Then I picked a fight with him about dirty floor mats.  Just to be mad at something else.

I remember the resolve. Nevermind that we'd already named her, I absolutely would not bond with this baby until we knew for sure. I would be an excellent caretaker - caring and nurturing. Loving. Giving.  But I would not be a mother. Not until we made it through the Ten Days. Not until after the hearing before the judge.  Not until it was official.  Sure. Signed.  Stamped.  Filed away.  Heck, maybe I'd wait until she was old enough to point to her parents and declare them as such...give any judge who tried to take her away the finger.  Maybe then it would be safe to unlock my heart and feel again.  Until then, the ground was too shaky.  I would not stand on shaky ground.

Not this time. I would protect my heart first. End of story.

It was a good plan. Maybe even an excellent plan.

In theory.

I remember walking into the hospital room and dad standing up from the rocker to hand Sophs to me. This sweet, warm, wiggly little bundle. I held her. I unwrapped her to take a closer look. I gazed upon her sweet rosy-cheeked face and into her eyes. I saw her fit just so - into our little family. And that was that. The plan exploded in a poof of Good Intentions Vapor. The strong wall crumbled, despite how solidly I thought I had built it.

I was in love.

It was ridiculously obvious to everyone in the room. Written all over my goofy-grin mom face...

She's beautiful. Be still my wildly thumping heart. We have a daughter.

Right then I felt it...

God had given us our rainbow.  Hope.  Wrapped in a fuzzy pink blanket.  Eyes full of promise.  Pure joy. 
Thank you, Lord.


Val said...

Beautiful story!!! Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you included the pictures. I love the one of Russell holding Sophie. She looks like she's smiling. This, to me, is the best writing you've done. The way you describe your feelings....well, I am there with you. I didn't try to listen to the song, but not only for slow computer reasons. It wouldn't have explained the time any better for me; you had already done that. Love, Mooms

Melissa said...

aww. that was so sweet, you write so beautifully. the picures are beautiful too

Anonymous said...

Sweet Kristy,
We are almost on the opposite side of the country, but your words reach my heart every day. This post is one of your best. Raw, real, honest. You are a true wordsmith. Coming to your blog is a daily indulgence...a little treat I give myself just for fun. Whether I'm moved to tears or laughter, it's always time well spent. Hugs!

Kritter Krit said...

Thanks, guys. Some very, very nice comments. I appreciate it. =)

Jennie said...

My brother and sister-in-law had several "almosts" before they finally got Jake, and boy, was he worth the wait. I know it must be so heart-wrenching to go through what you've been through, but you are so inspiring and I appreciate you sharing your story here.

Shayna said...

Kristy, thanks so much for posting this. I teach an anthropology unit in one of my advanced ESL classes, and the topic of adoption comes up in one of the chapters. I've been meaning to tell you, because you and Russell and Sophie are precious to me I sometimes use your story (no names, of course) as a personal example of adoption. Many of my students are from cultures where adoption is rare, or where it's sometimes done but taboo to talk about. Some just don't understand why or how a person would raise "someone else's" child - it's always an interesting discussion, and I hope I can open up their minds to that new idea of how much love there can be without a genetic bond.

Kritter Krit said...

Aw, thanks, Shayna. =)

Amy said...

Ahh! Adoption is on my heart always! I loved this. I obviously agree with everything you wrote.. You wrote it so well!

Three cheers for adoption!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kristy, thank you for sharing your journey. She is lovely...and very loved.


Anonymous said...

If you only knew what reaction you get when you start writing.... especially from me, another one not able to have children - scared to death to adopt for the exact reasons you mention - knowing how common it is for something to go wrong, having seen first hand the hurt and heartache when something does go wrong...... but how beautiful you tell the story when all goes right..... love to you and your beautiful family. Give Sophie a big hug - from me......


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, touching story. Your strength and faith amaze me!!


Sarah said...

Beautifully written, as always. Sophie is so special! It has been amazing to see God work in your family through these past seven years. You are one amazing mother.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Kristy, this is the most beautiful story! i am still crying!

~Aunt Kathy

Anonymous said...

When am I going to learn not to read your blog at work. I either end up crying or laughing and people think I'm crazy.


Carla (Choosing His Joy) said...

This made me cry and it made me think of my parents and how they felt when they first laid eyes on and arms around me.❤️

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