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Foreign Creatures

Heartaches

adoption, thoughtsJessica4 Comments
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On Tuesday we got a text from our agency that they haven’t been able to get in contact with the birthmom and that they’re hoping for a response by the end of the week. That moment I felt so heartbroken. I felt that that was it. Our son wouldn’t be coming home. Our would be son, the boy we called our son will now be an unknown, a stranger.

Yesterday our agency called to tell us that they still haven’t heard anything from the birthmom. Baby was due Oct. 26, we assumed she went to the hospital Nov. 2 because the hospital’s social worker said they couldn’t disclose anything. It was then up to the birthmom to let our agency know what has been happening - but she never called. There’s still no clear answer as to what happened. We assumed that she just changed her mind so we called it done yesterday. We were put back on the adoption waitlist. We were back to where we started.

For the past month, we’ve been saying everyday that this could be the day baby Lee will be born. As the days came closer and then past the due date, Aaron was more hopeful and I was less hopeful…but both feeling anxious. I didn’t want a baby shower and I didn’t want to tell people his name for the fear that this adoption plan would not go thru. I hate that I was right…that I needed to guard my heart in case it didn’t happen. These past 2 months have been so difficult. I never felt so many emotions in such a short amount of time. I would be so hopeful and joyous then an hour later, I would feel my heart aching in anticipation. My eyes have been bruised for crying so much this week. The only thing that stopped me from crying was knowing that crying would make my headache more severe. I was grieving over the loss of a child that was never truly ours.

I want to move on and to not feel sorrowful anymore. I believe a part of that process is to share my feelings into words. That my words and feelings will be out of my head. I also want to share our experience so I will not have to repeat our story for those who ask and who have questions. Because I know once I open my mouth about baby Lee, I will cry.

Much of the pain we’ve been feeling is thinking that we were going to have a child and preparing our hearts and house for him. Another part is because we wanted to let our family and friends be a part of our adoption journey. No matter how careful we were in guarding our hearts, we didn’t think we would feel this sense of sadness.

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Physically preparing for baby Lee

We prepared our work and church life. Aaron didn’t schedule himself to serve and I told the high school ministry that I wouldn’t be coming back until January. We came up with a work plan and a babysitting plan for the rest of the year. We got our paid family leave documents ready and had a hospital bag in our trunk.

Once we found out we were matched late August, we told ourselves we wouldn’t start buying things until October - just in case something happened. We prepared what we needed and started a registry for our family and close friends. I did a mass clean up of our library room, which would be the nursery. We bought everything we needed - crib, stroller, baby formula, carrier, and just everything. We set up all the furniture, made pillows, artwork, had our friends help us set up the crib, and I bought the cutest, hippest clothes from H&M and Zara…even though he wouldn’t fit in it until he was a year old. I’ve always wanted to buy baby clothes even before we were matched. And now that we were matched, I had the freedom to buy baby clothes. I researched cloth diapers, what detergent we needed for them, and washed and cleaned all the clothes and items that will be in contact with him. We finished the nursery room 2 weeks before the due date. We were so ready. All we needed was our son to come home.

Emotionally preparing for baby Lee

We didn’t want to get too excited too early, which was difficult for us. We were so excited to be parents after 2.5 years of waiting to be parents. I wrote a letter to the birthmom that I hoped to give her when the baby was born. I wrote that we’ve been praying for her, what his name is and how we came up with it, and that if she ever needs to reach out to us, we are here.

As it came closer to his due date, we dreamt how we would have him for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That we would not be able to travel and take trips for the next couple of months…and that gave us so much joy. We wanted to be home with the baby and bond with him. We were looking forward to taking him to church and loving him. I would imagine holding him in my arms and joke with Aaron the different ways I would hold him with the new swaddle I bought. I would pretend to change him in our Noah’s basket. I would occasionally walk into the nursery, turn on our dimmer lights (that my dad helped us install for those late night feedings), open drawers to make sure we have all the items we needed, and leave the room to tell Aaron how that room will soon be occupied by a baby. My heart was ready and open in caring for a child who’s DNA was not ours. I feared I wouldn’t be able to bond with him but even thru that fear, I was excited to finally be a mom.

Rooting for us

We first told our immediate family that we were matched. We then slowly told our close friends and then to the people who knew we were adopting - my coworkers, my Sunday School co-teachers, and even the pastoral staff. We wanted people to know and to not be surprised one day when we show up to church with a baby. We wanted people to pray for us. We wanted people to know of God’s goodness to us. We wanted people to know that adoption is so special to us and we wanted to share the joys of it (and now the challenges and difficulties of it). I was excited that our baby will be born the same season our other friends were expecting. That we will be parents together and have our kids in the same grade.

Around the due date, our friends would ask us if we had any updates, if the baby is here yet…I loved knowing that they cared, that they wanted to be a part of this journey with us. I felt so loved…but as the days went by without hearing any updates ourselves, I’ve dreaded hearing their concerns and questions. We had a whole team praying and rooting for us. The difficulty now is knowing that we have to explain to our family and friends that there is in fact no baby. The baby that we have been joyfully priding over and ready to show the world, is in fact not here.

Loss of a child

I was never pregnant nor did we ever miscarry. I don’t understand the feeling of losing a child who was in me. But I do still feel a sense of loss. I shared that I felt some sense of loss the 2nd call we received from our agency. I cried that time from thinking that we could be parents in a 2 day span. But in this case, I felt like we were going to be parents for 2 months. Because we physically and emotionally prepared for this baby, and then he never came to us…I feel empty.

If we were to bring home the baby, the birthmom would have this sense of loss. There’s no win-win in this situation. We need to be hopeful to know that the child is where he’s suppose to be.

Now we rest

We’ve been spending the past couple of days sharing our sadness, eating out, going to Disneyland, and sharing our lessons from this. This weekend we plan to put away all the baby stuff away into the closet and to move the crib from our room to the nursery. We’re still not okay. But I’m hoping writing this will help me thru this process. I plan to take it easy, to take a break from work, and to create art. Maybe even take on a new project. Not sure. I’m heartbroken. But I’m trying to find hope in God. To remember that He is faithful. That I don’t need kids to be happy in life. That that’s not the end goal.

Aaron and I have each other. He tells me it’s okay to cry and to tell him that I’m sad. He told me he loves me more than ever. I am confident that thru this difficulty we will be fine and will love each other and God more. We knew this adoption journey will be tough. Not this tough, but tough. We know that some people won’t understand why we chose to adopt first. Even thru all this, we still want to adopt. We just don’t know what our next plan is.