Earlier this summer we got the news that T----, a wonderful little boy we wanted to adopt and had asked to be matched with, had been matched with another family.
Munchkin and Twinkle were quite concerned, and immediately began a campaign to figure out where my “hurt” was. They sweetly offered me an ice pack, my Zyrtec medicine, a blanket.
I tried to find words to explain that they would understand. But (wisely, I could now see,) we had waited to tell them about their new big brother until we were matched. Which now, we weren’t going to be. So there were not really words that could describe my loss to a pair of anxious toddlers.
After talking to some wonderfully kind friends and family, I can tell you that the loss is similar to that of a miscarriage. I will never get to meet, to hold this child that I loved, whom I was prepared to mother. Although I am so grateful that my loss is not caused by death, that T---- is going to grow up in a loving home, that does not make my separation from him less complete. Short of heaven, I will never be able to watch him grow, do all the things I hoped for him.
Hopes and plans are hard to lay down. Weeks after I felt like I had recovered from the emotional loss, I was still stumbling up against the plans that I had made for our life with T----. We had 6 weeks between asking to be matched and finding out that we weren’t. And while I was deliberately not making overt preparations – painting his room, picking out bedding, etc., in my mind it was settled. The yellow room was “T----‘s room.” Life was going to be crazy and wild with three boys so close in age. ‘Stache and I talked about baby names, wondering if T---- was really his name or if it was just a screen name for the photo listing. I kept one of the tabs on my laptop open to his photo, the one with the big smile, and often I would click over to it, just to see his face and smile back.
It has been hard to fully realize that T---- is not supposed to be ours. It has been strange to realize that when we adopt, when we have that glorious “Gotcha Day” where we meet our child for the first time, that child will not be T----. It has been difficult to accept that this news means we are set back in adoption process. Not that our (eventual) adoption is delayed, but that now we have longer to go than we thought we did.
When we found out about T----‘s match, there were no other children in our age range on the Hong Kong listing. This is a good thing. I’m glad I didn’t get off the phone with our social worker and immediately latch onto another child while I was still reeling and grieving. But now, still, there are no children on the list in our age range, and so we are waiting. And waiting and waiting for the list to be updated, which is not done on a consistent basis as different organizations update on different schedules. Which is hard, from this end.
I am not a graceful waiter. ‘Stache is the champ. Having set his feet on a path, he does not (hardly ever) waver, regardless of the length or rockiness of said path. The decision has been made, which renders discussion irrelevant. I (at least compared to ‘Stache) tend to waffle. To sift information, reevaluate whether we need to reevaluate. Has the situation changed? Is the HK program really the path God laid out for us, or are we continuing down this path out of habit? Is the fact that we have our funding mostly done a sign from God that this is the right plan, or am I limiting God by saying he couldn’t send the money needed for a different, probably more expensive progam? Gah. Living in my head is exhausting sometimes.
But knitting is something that often calms my brain down, and when I was freshly hurt and confused, knitting helped me through. I dug in my knitting basket for a project that I’ve been working on a long time, a little green knit dress, made of a soft, airy yarn. (I occasionally will do a project that is destined for the “someday” bin. I’m not particularly bothered that I don’t currently have a little girl to wear that yellow sundress, or a size 7 boy to wear that sweater that was a perfect use of a particular bag of yarn. It’ll all get used someday.)
And as I was knitting those long long rounds so the little toddler that wears this dress has a nice twirly skirt, I was able to exhale. Able to let go of my idea of what our family was going to look like. I could realize that it would be nice to have a little girl to wear this green dress. And that was obviously different from T----, which meant that different from T--- could be ok.
Whether we get a boy or a girl, big or small, it will be more than ok. It will be wonderful.
I want badly to know how long I have to wait. Trusting is hard.
But our future is known by God, and his plans are good.