Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hindsight is 20/20

Sooooo.... I have been thinking a lot about it. If I went back and lived our adoption again what would I do differently? How would I handle it if I could go back and do it over again? How do you NOT go crazy when half your heart is in another country? My baby girl was away from me for one full year after I saw her little face. One year after I gave my heart away she came home. It was the longest, most painful year of my life.

There are no easy answers to these questions. Honestly, some of the answers I am about to give might have ticked me off if I had read them on someone's blog a year ago. All I can do is tell you my thoughts and what I would do differently. Everyone has to come to their own decisions about these things.
One- the most important thing.... TRUST. There is a huge difference between having faith in God and trusting God. Faith is the knowledge that God can do something. Trust is letting Him take the wheel. Trust is closing your eyes and falling knowing that He will catch you. Trust isn't the absence of heart ache but the absence of fear. If I could go back I would not just have faith in God- I would trust God.
Two- I would let my friends in more. I wouldn't pull back and quite life! I would let myself recieve help and support. I would tell people just how broken I was. I wouldn't be afraid to not be okay.
Three-Frankly, I would be more open to getting some kind of counseling or getting on supplements. The whole year my husband was telling me to go see someone. I kept telling him I was fine and everything would be fine once the adoption was finished. The truth is, that level of stress was more than I should have tried to handle on my own. I felt overwhelmed and sad most of the year. It bothers me that I lived a year of my life that way because I was afraid or felt weird about needing help. The fact is that I still felt a numb sort of sadness even after Zoe came home. It had nothing to do with her. I just had trouble rebounding from the deep stress involved with our especially difficult process. My pride got in the way big time.
Four- I would recognize that this was MY problem and not so much about Zoe. This is a hard one to hear when you are in process. I kept feeling like Zoe was hurting or feeling abandoned. The truth is that God gave her a foster family who loved her very deeply. She was happy and loved and healthy. I WAS THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM! I wanted to say she wasn't okay because the situation felt so unnatural to me. It was not truth though. I have asked her a lot about her feelings during that time. She says it was sad when I had to go but she was very happy. She loved where she was and did not in any way feel abandoned. She knew we loved her and would be back. It was me that had an issue. My Zoe was fine.
Five- I wouldn't try to be Zoe's Mommy before God gave me the title. This is the toughest one to swallow. Honestly though.... this revelation helped me the most. It made me bawl my eyes out but then gave me deep peace. Unfortunately I didn't get to this place till late in the game. You see, when I was putting myself in a "mommy" position it was a lie. I wasn't her mommy yet. I was putting pressure on myself to be something that I had no way of being. I could NOT be Zoe's mommy. Yet, I felt I SHOULD be. Sooooo constant TORTURE. The position I held for that year was more like an aunt or a grandparent. I would visit and play and bring presents. I would even discipline and take care of her. BUT she knew and I knew that it wasn't forever yet. That is what Zoe knew and she was OKAY with that. She knew I was the sweet lady that visited a lot and that someday she would live with me. She wasn't tortured or feeling that her mommy abandoned her. I didn't hold that place yet. Mommy is a position not a title and I didn't hold it yet. As incredibly difficult as that was for me to grasp- it was deeply freeing. I was like a grandma.... go have fun and enjoy it- but do not try to be a mother yet. The moment I went on that pick up trip I was MOM and it was right.
Six- I would get really busy serving others. It is so easy to crumble in on yourself when you are so stressed. Reaching beyond myself would have forced me outward.
So that is my view on it all. Again, these are just my little bitty opinions. I just want to share them in case they might help. I KNOW the deep fear and sadness that many of you are facing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love to you waiting mommies, Angel


Bekah said...

Thank you so much for sharing the lessons the Lord taught you through your painful year of waiting. A friend of mine recently told me, I don't know why you are having to wait so long to bring Eloisa home, but I can't wait to hear the rest of the story." I will look back one day and be able to tell others what the Lord taught me through this time and we will bring Eloisa home and I can't wait to tell others the rest of the story!

Amanda said...

Your story is so wonderful. I've been looking back alot lately and processing our journey. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. I have my daughter. My heart is mended because part of it was in India. I can't wait to hear of your next journey.

Lou said...

As usual you say just what I need to hear just when I need it. Your words ministered to me today when I really needed to be ministered to!


Tricia said...

Angel, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Wow - I didn't realize you had a direct route into my head & heart! Church this morning was about the AMAZING GRACE of God - Grace:
G od's
R iches
A t
C hrist's
E xpense.

I need to TRUST that God will bring Sofia home. I do need to admit that this is seriously the MOST stressful thing I have ever endured & let people in....I need to admit that Sofia IS OKAY without me.....I need to realize that although my heart's desire is to be Sofia's mommy NOW, I cannot fulfill that role quite yet. And I need to seek out & minister to others.

Wow, sorry for the novel. I cannot express to you the PEACE I feel....and the support in knowing that you have MADE IT THROUGH this journey and yes, there is hope for me!

Coveting your prayers,

Kerry said...

Amen. It's so easy to look back and see these things...if only we had this vision in the midst of the storm.

Jennifer & Derek said...

What an awesome post. As I am beginning my second Guatemalan adoption I have been thinking about how much I stressed during our first process. I do not want to be the same crazy person I was then. Thank you for writing this, I can see God speaking to me (and many others) in your words.

May we find peace in God and know He is in control of the rest.

Kelley said...

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. What you said is so important for us "newbies". It is difficult to see when you are "in it".Thanks for being real and authentic. I do trust in God and am basically only along for the ride!

Lucinda Naia said...

Thanks for sharing these insights. I'm still in "preparation" mode and I have no clue why I seem to be waiting. Your words on trusting God instead of having faith really hit my heart. I also needed the recognition that I'm not yet a mom. I'm going to be a mom, but I'm not yet a mom. Big difference.

Hugs to you!

My apologies if this is duplicate - I tried posting and I wasn't sure if it went through so I logged on again.