“So far, no morning sickness…but the paper cuts are terrible!”
While cruising the internet I saw a t-shirt with this saying and I had to laugh. Unless you have traveled down the adoption road you probably can’t fully appreciate the truth behind the humor. When Toby and I began to consider whether adoption was something God was calling us to we attended an informational seminar on adoption. We were surprised, as were many others in the class, how candid the speaker was about what we could expect during the adoption process. She didn’t pull any punches and really laid out the reality of the adoption process. She made it clear that the process to adopt wasn’t quick, easy, or without effort. As she explained the steps we would need to take, one of the women in the group spoke up and expressed her frustration over the “hoops” that she was expected to jump through just to prove that she would be a good mother. The teacher listened to her and then answered her concerns with an interesting response. She told her that to enjoy the blessing of a child we must first go through labor. For the woman who is adopting it will not be a physical labor but it will be labor. For the adoptive parent that labor comes in the form of appointments, interviews, paperwork, classes, and waiting…. waiting for that phone call to come in that tells you that they have a child for you.
Since that time I’ve thought a lot about the wisdom in those words. Having been blessed with children both through traditional labor and the labor of the adoption process I’m not sure which is the more difficult. Although very different in the ways they test your strength both require you to go through the pain to enjoy the blessing on the other side of that pain. I have seen the similarities in other ways as well..
In August when we received the call informing us that we had been chosen as the adoptive family for Tyler it was much like finding out I was pregnant for the first time. I was giddy with excitement but also frightened by the unfamiliar path we would have to travel. When Tyler first moved in with us it was comparable to the first trimester of pregnancy. Everything is so new and we were all going through the growing pains of change. Although exciting, the first trimester was the toughest as we acclimated to our new “normal.” Then in no time at all we were into the second trimester..the “morning sickness” was felt less often and I found myself thinking, “Hey, I can do this!” Things became easier. There was less conflict, more trust, and the bond continued to grow stronger. Now, here we are into the third trimester of our “pregnancy.” I feel like a pregnant woman in her final weeks who just wants to give birth and finally hold her baby in her arms. I am looking forward to our approaching court date when Tyler’s birth certificate will confirm what I already know in my heart..that he is my son..grown under the heart of another woman delivered into my arms by God’s grace.
My baby: 58 lbs. 6 oz/ 42 inches long. 🙂
On Wednesday we met all of our co-op friends at the park for our end of the year picnic. Soon after the kids had run off to play with their friends I had one of the other moms approach me, place a princess crown on my head and declare it the start of my baby shower. I was so surprised. I had no idea my friends were planning a shower. I was incredibly touched by their thoughtfulness and their desire to celebrate this special milestone in my life. As I began to look through the gift basket that they had prepared I struggled to hold back the tears. The basket was put together with such thought. In it there was a gift card to a restaurant so Toby and I could enjoy a night out, a gift card for a massage, many beauty/pampering products, loving notes, a book of inspiration, and beautiful gifts for my home. I don’t know when I have ever felt so loved. I think what touched me most was their acknowledgement and validation of this “pregnancy” that means so much to me. I am incredibly blessed to have such dear friends!
As I near the end of this “pregnancy” I know that this is just the beginning of the journey. Although we have bypassed some of those early struggles and challenges like sleepless nights, cutting teeth, and potty training there will be other challenges to labor through in the years ahead but there will also be blessings…wonderful, magical moments that will make the many hours of painful labor well worth it. I think that teacher had it right when she said, “To fully enjoy the blessings we must first experience the labor.”
“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him..” – 1 Samuel 1:27
Due date : July 23, 2013