The grand plan of adoption
I don’t know how I’m going to stand it when she’s gone.
The Girl’s habit of joining us in our bedroom started when she was very small. Where The Boy reset his bio-clock easily and fell into a comfortable schedule, The Girl fought it every step of the way. It took creativity and ingenuity to stay a step ahead of her, because every time we thought she had finally gotten her sleeplessness under control, something new would disrupt it again. She’s also one of those folks who functions at a high level with less sleep than others. The net of it is that The Girl’s nighttime escapades became a part of our everyday life, including her crawling into our bed or dragging me into hers.
Now that she’s older and her sleep patterns are under control, she still loves to spend time in our bedroom, watching TV, talking, doing her nails, and such. For a mother and daughter, moments like these are incredibly intimate, perhaps made more so by how ordinary they are. They are the times I know I’ll miss the most when she takes her next life-step and leaves for college. I told her that last night, and she smiled and said she knew. I took that to mean she understands how important these evenings have been for me. I think they have been for her, too.
Being with the kids like this always bring my children’s separations from their first mothers into clear focus. I don’t think I’m different from any other mother in sensing the poignancy of such moments. They are precious, the kind of deep-down-in-you-heart precious that you take forward through your life to sustain you through the hard times. The Boy’s mother, The Girl’s mother may have shared such moments with children they’ve had since they gave birth to them, but they’ve never spent them with The Boy and The Girl.
I wish they could have. I wish The Boy’s mother and The Girl’s mothers could have some quiet evenings filled with TV shows and chatter with them. Every time The Girl drags her covers into my room, I am reminded of the tremendous responsibility I have to honor these women who gave my children life, and to encourage The Boy and The Girl to bring them into their lives.
It's also why, when I see things like this:
We believe that God is in control of our agency and your adoptionor this, paraphrased from the original from a prospective adoptive parent blog I stumbled upon recently:
We are thrilled for this new mission God decided for us
Please understand: I’m not saying here that God’s presence can’t be found in the experience of adoption. It can, but not in the typical place, the love we adoptive parents feel for our children. I think God’s presence in adoption is in the question Why? and all those that follow when you ask it.
Of course, when you start asking these questions, you end up at that point of hypocrisy at which you have to question your own happiness, which is why I think many adoptive parents won’t go there. It's easier to believe that adoption is a part of the celestial plan, particularly when you can find a few passages in scripture that use the very word. Those of us who suggest otherwise are often perceived as attackers, which causes the "attacked" to close ranks. The result is what we often see in the adoption community: we all talk to others who share our beliefs, and nothing changes.
Why did this adoption happen?
Was it the only possibility for my children’s mothers?
Could I have done anything to prevent their separation?
Can I do anything to prevent other separations in the future?
If you believe, deep in your heart, that the adoption of your children was God's plan, consider this:
I don’t believe that God ordains any human being to experience this kind of pain.
Imagine the women and men who gave your children life waking each and every day of their lives with the image of their newborn baby in their minds, along with the grief and numbness that must surely accompany it. Don't just let the thought flit through your mind: sit with it awhile, imagine an entire day in the life of a woman or man who lives with this loss. Then imagine a lifetime of such days.
If you're having a hard time with this, hold your child in your arms and think of what it would be like for him or her to suddenly be gone, just like that. Think of what it would be like to wonder where he or she is, day after week after month after year. You remember the little body in your arms, maybe you have a photo or two, but you have absolutely no idea where he or she might be.
Now imagine that you weren’t born to the parents who raised you. Imagine that you want to know who gave you life: their names, their background, and their talents. But someone who apparently knows you and them better than you know yourselves has decided that, by the sheer accident of your birth, being told that you don’t have the right. Everyone else gets to know who they are, but you don’t. Imagine waking up every day wanting this simple information, and being told that you don’t have the right. Imagine a life consumed by the search for the simple facts that everyone else takes for granted, and by guilt for even wanting to know.
I do believe that God is watching our response to it.
Edited to add, with thanks to Dawn, this. It is a must-read, an incredible example of how we turn adoption into anything we want it to be (in this case the convenient alternative to abortion), all the while ignoring the reality of what it is.