Wednesday, September 21, 2011

anguish and joy

One year ago I blogged about the events of the previous year. In particular, flying out to Virginia to love on a baby boy which we didn't get to take home with us. But, if you know our story, then you also know that this baby boy was not the first baby we were supposed to take home with us. In fact, he was our fourth. (Read the story here if you desire).

Honestly, these days I don't think about those four children too often. I guess it's just that I don't have time. But, part of me wants to think of these four children. At a moment in time, I strongly felt that each one was ours. Of course, I know that this brokenhearted road led us to Megan, and that without all our heartbreaks we would have never found her. But... I still wonder. They are all turning 2 or have recently turned two. I wonder if they are such a ball of fire as our Megan. I wonder if I would love them as much, if they would end up having such stunning looks, and such a delightful personality as our Megan. I wonder, if we had any of those other children, if they would melt my heart the way Megan does.

Sometimes I think I should just get over it. I mean, it's the past, right? I know that we needed those experiences to help us find Megan, and I know that Megan is meant to be in our family. However, when I think of all the pain we went through to find her, my heart starts beating and the tears start rolling. Maybe I am not crying for those lost children; maybe I am crying because I remember the pain. Oh, the pain was awful. I don't like to think about it. I don't even know why I am bringing this up. Maybe I just feel like crying today.

Anyway, so it's been two years now since were were in Virginia. It was in Virginia that we lost one little boy, but heard the news that we would gain a little girl. And, that little girl was Megan. The Agency was saving Megan for a family that had been through a lot, and we became that family. I am just so grateful that we went through all of that anguish because it led us to Megan. All of that anguish is something I need to remember. In the moments when I am fed up with Megan's antics, I need to remember how special she is. When she is hitting her foster brother or getting into mischief I need to remember how much we wanted her. When she falls on the floor in a fit of rage, screaming because I won't let her color on the wall, I need to take a moment to remember.

I remember waiting in the hospital parking lot for hours, wondering if this was really going to happen. I remember sitting in the back of the car on the way home, looking at my beautiful child, not believing she was mine. I remember her little newborn sounds. I remember lying next to her on the floor, telling her I was her mommy. I remember the instant love that flooded over me when I first held her. I remember going to church and bawling my eyes out in front of the congregation, so thrilled to finally be a parent. I remember writing up my first blog post about Megan. I remember the sleepless nights where I slept on the floor of her room. I remember being so tired, but so happily tired because it meant I was her mother. I remember the newness of it all. I remember the excitement, the generosity of others, the kisses with which I smothered her body. I remember how tiny she was on the changing table.

Now things have changed. Megan will be two in a few weeks and she is full of spunk, personality, and rebellion. The hugs have depleted, the kisses are fewer, but the love has grown tremendously. Life has changed so much in the past two years, and it will continue to change for years to come. I don't know how many children we will foster, and/or how many children we will adopt. I don't know how many years it will take, and I don't know why things are the way they are. Every child we adopt is based on another person's agency. We have no control over anything. All we can do is trust in the Lord, and that's our goal. If we do that, we will be taken care of and we will receive whatever children the Lord has in store for us. The future is daunting. I am just so happy to have Megan as a constant child in my life. I know that sounds strange, but as a foster parent it doesn't seem strange to me at all.

Megan is ours and always will be. And that's the way I like it.


Christa Jeanne said...

Oh, Harmony, what a beautiful post! I can so relate - not on the adoption, but on the trail of disappointments, hoping something will work out wholeheartedly... only to be left emptyhanded time and time again. Just because those chapters close doesn't mean I don't think back on those possibilities and wonder - if I'd done XYZ differently, could my story have a different ending? I'm still friends (even if only of the Facebook variety) with just about every guy I've dated or just liked since high school - and even the ones who were into me when I didn't feel the same way. Across the board, almost all of them are married, and most have kids. Seeing them progress while I'm still in Singlesville can be a punch in the gut, but your post is such a sweet reminder that the joy DOES follow the anguish. It takes a lot of patience and faith and hope, but the payoff is worthwhile. Like you said, when life depends on others' agency, all we can do is to know the Lord is over all. And that is enough.

Sarah said...

I still think about our almosts too, all the time. They are in my heart, even though they never made it to my arms. I still think about the twists and turns that might have brought a different ending - and that different ending is unimaginable now. Because Carly is the missing piece, just like your Megan.
I totally get it, I'm right there with you. How lucky we are to know what this terrible joy feels like.

J, C, and E said...

This is Jeff,

I just want you and Jared to know How much Christa and I appreciate your sacrifices. Every time I think of your experiences, I think of that call you made that Friday morning. Your trials lead to your choice that lead to our blessings. I still don't know how we can ever thank you enough!