Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday...

third son of mine. This year you turn 12. A decade plus two for you. It does not seem possible that the little guy who entered our lives in 2000 could possibly be the young man who enters the kitchen each morning. You had boundless energy then, and you still do today.

You came into our lives like a whirling wind of change. For almost three years, your dad and I had tried unsuccessfully to build our family through adoption. Pregnancy was not an option for us at that time because of tragedy that had gone before (James). All of our efforts at adoption thus far had been tinged with various levels of sadness as well, and we had become resigned to the idea that God would bring no more children to our family. It would be me, Dad and Chess.

Honestly, I was hurt and resentful about this. The picture God was painting for my family did not match with mine.

I called an adoption friend of ours that week and poured out my heart to her. I was sitting in the green striped lawn chair, watching Chess ride his big wheel. We cried on the phone together, and she reminded me to remember how God had more than once answered the hopes of our hearts in miraculous ways.

She encouraged me to call an agency in Florida. I was more than reluctant, knowing that our last several ventures had all ready dipped into savings. Even the "minimal" application fee she quoted seemed like the price of an island. I told her I would think about it and we hung up.

The next day I found myself dialing the number. It was a Monday morning. Maybe I thought it was a fresh start type of morning. But after talking on the phone with the very nice lady, I found myself even more discouraged at all the labor of adoption. I ended the conversation with her only agreeing to consider their application, without a promise to mail it back.

Life progressed all week as usual. Friday morning while sweeping up Chess' breakfast from the kitchen floor, the phone rang. Very nice adoption lady was on the phone. My first thought was that this was the follow up pressure call to get on their waiting list. I was ready with a quick no, but she kept talking about you, your situation, your need for a family and then she  ended with, "So, would you be interested in a 26 month old boy?"

Huh? 26 months, 26 months, all ability to do a little bit of math flew right out of my head as I tried to picture that in years and development and did she say, "26 months!" Finally, I could only muster a response that I had to call Husband and would call her back.

While dialing your Dad, I was sure he would dismiss the idea as impossible and that would be that. I could finish cleaning the floor. Catching him at work, he listened to my rambling story and said, "I think we are interested. Find out what they need from us."

Couldn't anyone understand that I was trying to maintain a spirit of hurt and resentment here? Hope and promise were treasures reserved for other people. I was sure of that. Hurt and resentment were a great part of your life as well. Hope and promise were not truths you trusted in either. You and I were about to walk a path of restoration, and neither one of us had any idea how hard, or how rewarding it would become.

To be continued...


  1. Hi! I find your story very compelling. But when I put on my editor's hat, I feel I should let you know that your chronology is a little confusing, which makes the story hard to follow (for me, at least).

    You tell us that your child will be 12 this year and that he (what is his name?) entered your life in 2009. You speak of Chess, but we don't know how old he is or if he came into your life through adoption as well. And then you begin talking about the adoption of a child who was 26 months old, who couldn't be the one who entered your life in 2009 who is now 12.

    Sometimes when a story is so intensely personal and emotional, we don't see that all of the beautiful details in our heads are not being fully and clearly transferred to the page. And sometimes a simple transition sentence helps clarify everything. Perhaps a suggestion would be to add a line early in the post that says something like:

    "First there was just Dad and me. Then we were blessed with Chess (explaining how and when he came to be). Next there was ... (and then this would be the second child). We didn't yet understand that our lives would be filled with more--with you (and then this would lead to the story of the 12-year-old)."

    Outlining the chronlogy up front will help us follow you with greater clarity.

    My hope is that you will receive these comments as they are intended, with a sincere interest in hearing your story. I would welcome your comments in return.

    All the best to you,

  2. Hey, I'm no math whiz....but him going from 26 months to 12 years in one year seems a bit much! ;)

  3. Oh, heart squeezing in empathy and anticipation of the rest of the story.

  4. Your last paragraph contains such a familiar state of being to so many---the nurture of hurt and resentment. I love telling and hearing from others how the magnificent works of God break through all that and cause us to hope and trust Him, again and again. Eager for the rest of the story, Elle....