Many have asked us how our phone meeting went with the expectant mom on Wednesday. I have had a really hard time figuring out a good way to answer that question. It seems that adoption is full of so many conflicting and paradoxical emotions that it is hard to describe.
Really, the conversation went a million times better than I could ever could have dreamed. From our end, we seemed to have a very natural connection. She asked us a lot of great questions, and had great answers for the questions we asked her. Considering the fact that we were getting to know (over the phone) a young woman with whom we may end up having a lifelong relationship, and doing so under such awkward and high pressure circumstances... It all went remarkably well!
The conflict is this: how in the world do we love this girl, support her, root for her, and then walk away with her baby?? Don't get me wrong, it's not at all that I don't want to parent this child if she continues with her adoption plan... I just don't know how to not be heartbroken about it all.
Adoption is like that though... It's beautiful, yes, but also messy. From something being taken from one, it is given to another. The moment a baby transfers from one mama to the next it is both tragic and joyful, an end and a beginning, a loss and also a gift.
I don't even know how to process these feelings I have that vacillate from excitement to fear to guilt to sadness. I have been accused of being an empath. (You know who you are Abby Hanson) and I am realizing more and more how very, very true that is about me. I absolutely cannot separate the paradoxes. I can't just feel excited about the possibility that we will welcome a baby boy into our family in the next couple of weeks, without also acknowledging what that means for his first mommy. The grief and sorrow she would most assuredly endure, while we are celebrating him joining our family.
This is why I am so thankful that Bethany Christian Services does such an awesome job counseling and advocating for expectant parents. I am thankful for the awesome ladies that we are working with to navigate all of these conflicting emotions and all the ups and downs. I am thankful for the heart these women have for protecting these little lives and all the people who are willing to love them.
More than anything though, I am thankful that none of this is up to me! I am thankful for a very sovereign God who loves this baby more than either of his potential moms! I am thankful that He loves me and that He is absolutely wild about this young woman... And that He will not abandon her for one single second. I am thankful that this decision is hers to make, and that while she seems sure now... God is still good and He's still enough if she changes her mind.
The desire of my heart is to have an open adoption. I want to spend this life taking the risk of loving others well and pouring myself out instead of always trying to figure out how to fill myself up. I would risk pain if it meant I would grow through suffering rather than stay small in the safety of my own self-protection. I know that navigating an open adoption is tricky and can be downright miserable at times... But I can't imagine the opportunities it would create, to love, serve and minister to this girl. And after just one conversation with her, I realized that I want to see her succeed just as much as my heart longs to parent another child.
If she continues to move forward with this adoption plan, I will brave all the paradoxes of fear, blessing, loss, grief and rejoicing... And I will choose to love not only this baby, but his mother, his first mother, the one who gave him life.