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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Follow-Up Post

I promised a post about my "deep thoughts and turmoil."  I'm sure you've all been waiting with bated breath...maybe not but here it is, because recording these things helps me process them and I enjoy looking back later.  I also hope that somewhere out there, there is someone who might need to know they aren't alone in what they feel about a change of plans.

First of all, like so many changes in life we've gotten used to the idea of having a baby now and are so thankful for this blessing for so many reasons.  I won't apologize for being unsure at first, it's natural to struggle with a major life change you never saw coming, even if it seems to others that it would be your dream come true!  But I'm thankful to be on the other side of that (though I will admit I may never get over the "oh my goodness we are starting ALL OVER from SQUARE ONE" thing;).

I have never liked to be a stereotype (which is, ironically, stereotypical of my generation- ha!) and so being "that" couple that got pregnant while trying to adopt was...not my first choice.  More importantly though, I didn't want those comments, the ones I've already gotten, the ones I'll tell you right now- DON'T MAKE because no one wants to hear them:
#1- "You just needed to relax."  Nothing is more insulting to a person who has struggled with infertility than hearing this.  If you think about it, it's easy to see why- basically you're saying that by wanting something so badly, she sabotaged her own efforts.  In other words- it's your fault you didn't get pregnant until now. Ouch!  Plus, this is just untrue.  If it were true, women in high-powered positions would not get pregnant, women in war-torn countries with hardly any food to eat would not get pregnant.  It has (almost) nothing to do with just relaxing.
#2- "Now you don't have to adopt, isn't this better?"  No kidding, word. for. word. I've had at least one person say this and many others imply it.  I get it, I do.  If you aren't "into" adoption, you might see it as a second choice.  But as I've said before- it was not our second choice.  It was the 2nd step in our personal process for building our family.  We felt it was a good idea, for us, to have bio kids first, but it was/is/never will be our second choice or last resort.  This comment hurts me for my friends that have adopted and have their kids home and are so in love and so certain of this plan for their lives- please, even if you don't get it, just don't say it.
I feel like I should add that I don't honestly remember who has/hasn't said these things to me.  I am not offended by them so much as I find them a bit predictable and insensitive.  I usually try to give a response that will cause the person saying it to think a bit, but I don't go home and cry or hold a grudge.  I understand that these things are said out of a lack of empathizing with the situation and/or just not knowing what else to say,

So here is what I know(the list is short).
-There is a plan for this baby.  This baby is not here just to teach mom and dad a lesson about how we are not in control.  This baby, as someone else so eloquently put it in an article I read recently, "has been part of the plan since time immeasurable."  While I'm sure that we are meant to be reminded of Who is in control, I also know baby #3 has a WHOLE life, whether short or over 100 years long, full of relationships and people he/she will impact besides just our family.  I don't know why our adoption was put on hold right now, except that I know for a fact that there needed to be room right now for this pregnancy and this baby.
-And yes, I said the adoption is on hold.  That's because Andy and I still believe 100% wholeheartedly without a doubt that we are meant to help with orphan care.  Somehow.  Perhaps we're back to the idea of refugee foster care, maybe it will be an older child later, maybe it will be helping others financially with their adoptions, most likely it will be in the form of another curve ball we could never even think of.

Unwittingly I came up with a pretty good metaphor as Andy and I tried to sort out our feelings the first night after we'd learned about our little surprise.  I said: "It's like you're going on vacation.  Which is great, and you're planning to go one place so you make plans, pick activities, and get excited.  Then you find out that you are actually going somewhere totally different.  It's still vacation and it's still great, there are great things to do in this new place too.  But you have to get used to the idea of the change.  You might be bummed to not get to experience the things you'd started getting excited about, and you also might plan to visit that place another time.  You don't stop wanting to go to that first place, and perhaps there is even a feeling of missing out, but you allow yourself to get excited about the new destination."

We were excited to have a biracial family.  We loved that idea for us and for all our children.  We were excited to adopt a child we were as certain as we could be would not have a good life or people who wanted it.  We had decided to adopt an HIV positive child and (I, more than Andy, but he was coming around) were excited to become advocates for a group of people that is hugely misunderstood.  We had a picture of our family in our minds and in it was a little blank spot with a shadow of a brown-skinned child (or more than one) who's features we had yet to make out clearly.  That picture has changed a lot but our hearts haven't.
My husband is a pretty amazing pilot, but Praise the Lord- God is even better.  We trust him to get us to the correct destination and I know that when we look back on the memories of this new destination, we won't be able to imagine life without this particular detour :)