Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Circles Part 2

Thank you all so very much for your comments on my last post. It blesses me tremendously to know that others care as I wrestle through all of this, can relate, or can offer another perspective on the topic. I especially want to thank my friend Michelle and a new commenter Deborah for sharing as an adoptee and a birth mother.

I finished the book* a couple days ago, and it had such a beautiful ending that I have to share - although I am sorry to give away the ending of the book (I guess this is a spoiler alert for anyone who may end up reading it, although it is certainly not the kind of book with a huge surprise ending :)).

I'm not sure what kind of adoption this would be classified as, but the author and her husband had a relationship with the birth mother during her pregnancy, sent cards/ letters (and pictures?) throughout their son Zac's life, and they did have a visit when he was two years old. Their agreement was that when their son was older and more emotionally mature he could make the decision about whether or not to meet his birth mother, but when he was fifteen years old she died (so heartbreaking).

Zac and his parents attend her funeral, and Zac meets his biological relatives, which includes 4 siblings who were raised by the birth mother. Over the course the day, they find out that the birth mother was addicted to - and over dosed on - prescription pills, and that her two oldest children are alcoholics. I felt like the author did a beautiful job expressing love, compassion, and tenderness for this family while also contrasting their life - and their son's life. It was a very emotional and vivid chapter.

"Zac was quiet as we drove home. Finally he said, 'I don't want my life to change. I like it just the way it is.'

'Do you want to keep in touch with the kids?' I asked.

'Someday, maybe. Not now. I'm not ready for all that.'

I had to ask. 'Was it hard to meet so many new family members all at once?'

'Mom,' he said, 'you're my family. You and Dad and Tera - you're my family. God worked it out exactly right.'

And he had." (Woodward 192-193)

I bawled, but this time with very different feelings than I had had at the earlier parts of the book. I loved what he said about his family, but the part that really melted my heart was when he said, "God worked it out exactly right." Wow.

Yesterday, I felt like the ending of this book and your comments were ruminating through my mind. I was first struck by how unique every adoption is - different birth mothers, different situations surrounding the adoption, and different adoptive families - that make each adoption story utterly unique. Just as with raising a biological child, there are many unknowns that are scary, but with adoption there seem to be even more variables that can make it seem scarier...but it can also be very beautiful. There is heart break or suffering, but I believe God works through those things in very powerful ways, and I imagine that would be magnified through adoption.

As I was preparing dinner last night, a thought popped into my head. In my last post I described the heart break and suffering I see in adoption...and how scared I am of that. But as I chopped an onion, I thought, "Who better to a parent a child who has suffered the loss of a parent they may never know (or at least be parented by), than I who lost a child I never got to parent. I can relate to and understand those deep-rooted feelings."

I am not saying that somebody who has not suffered through infertility should not adopt, but I suddenly saw a unique gift that I might have in the situation....that on some level I may be more equipped to love and parent a child who has also lost an unknown dream. I think one layer of my fear peeled away as I thought about this, because I think all along I felt like my infertility made me needier and thus less-qualified to parent an adopted child; in my heart I was scared I was indeed going to be a baby stealer.

This moment felt like an amazing gift from God; an answered prayer that God would do something to remind me he is there and he is working. I felt a tiny bit of healing, and so I thank God for this encouragement that he is working in me. I see a long road ahead of me, and I certainly don't feel "called" to adoption yet or like I am ready to move forward with it, but if that is his will for me he will get me there.

*Some have you expressed an interest in reading the book I am describing (Inconceivable by Shannon Woodward), and I do highly recommend it. However, please know that it is a Christian book, and she focuses the last half of the book on her faith and the healing work God does in her life - I just don't want somebody to pick it up and feel surprised about this.


Mellow said...

God is working in you, and healing you. He has great plans! I can't wait to watch them unfold, and see the wonderful things He has in store for you. :) Sending you a great big HUG!

Leah said...

I love your insight into this book and adoption. Infertility is a huge loss. And because of the loss you are feeling, you will undoubtedly bring extra compassion to any situation you deal with, including adoption.

It's so hard when we are going through something so difficult to realize that life is a journey. Sometimes, we are so anxious to get to a destination, but life isn't a destination. We will never get there. Instead, life is about the joys, the trials, the losses, the gains that we will all experience on this journey called life.

I can't help but read your story and look to your future. I obviously don't know what it will hold, yet I see your future full of so much peace and happiness. I see you someday looking back at this most difficult time in your life and seeing all the positive that came out of it.

I do think that things happen for a reason. However, we will never know those reasons unless we are open to treating every situation as a lesson. And you are definitely doing that.

Thinking of you! said...

love, love this post!
I was tearing up reading about what the boy said and about how you realized who better to parent a child who has suffered the loss of a parent... I think you're going to be an amazing mom Hillary.

jeanna said...

You truly amaze me with your strength as a woman and in God.

RMCarter said...

You made me cry at at my desk, right into my pasta salad! ;) As always, thank you for your inspiration and example. You touch so many more hearts than you can even realize.

Christina said...

I actually picked up the book based on your recommendation. I'm looking for a book on IF from a Christian perspective, so this is great. Thanks for being so candid with your thoughts. I've enjoyed reading your blog so much. I am totally rooting for you, and praying that the Lord will continue to reveal Himself to you.

Kasey said...

Hi, this is the first time I have commented here. A couple of years ago I came across this blog. She did some infertility treatments, then moved on to adoption. Her story is closely tied to how God helped her through. As some point, completely randomly I stumbled across the birth mothers blog
and reading the archives together to see the relationship these women built around the love for their son is pretty cool. Their story is one of a very open adoption.

Melody said...

I just love your spirit. You are an incredible source of inspiration to me. This post was good for me. It actually inspired me to post something I had written but was too afraid to post regarding Sophie's adoption. I feel threatened at times and sometimes have the exact same feelings you have described in this post. But for some reason your post has given me the courage to post a conversation Soph and I had regarding her adoption. Thanks for being so very real.

Michelle said...

LOVE YOU!! You have an award on my blog!!

Jess said...

That is a great perspective that you have received from reading this book. It sounds like God placed it in your hands when you needed it most. Whether or not you are being led to adopt, I know God has some crazy exciting things in store for you. And a baby to love and cherish and hold.


Michelle said...

Where did you find this book? I can only find it used on Amazon. I didn't read this entire post, because I think it would be something I would want to read!!

Aussie Girl said...

Hillary, I feel more than I can articulate about where you are in your journey to conceive, because as you know I am going through the same thoughts and feelings after similar experiences. I do want to share some encouragement I've received recently. I've been listening to The Grand Weaver audiobook by Ravi Zacharias and one thing he said about calling struck me and I was reminded of when I read your last 2 posts.

He said that God has created us as we are (barring the effect of sin in our world and lives). He has created our personalities, our minds, how we think, he knows our experiences, our hopes, dreams, frailty... He said God places things on our hearts and in our minds as part of calling. He also said that God asks us to trust first and then He will give us confirmation of His calling in hindsight (he gave an eg of Moses and the promised land but I can't remember where from). I think it's okay if you feel unsure as to what next. God may be calling to you wait (aaargh, wait! But we infertiles are well practiced at that) and maybe to listen to Him through prayer and meditation. All three things, IF treatment, adoption and waiting are good, and any would be a good choice.

I am confident that God works through all things for the good of those who love Him and to bring glory to His name. I continue to pray for you. (sorry for such a long comment, I hope my intention was clear and loving)

Christa said...

Hi Hillary - I just wanted to stop by and let you know I've been keeping you in my thoughts these days.

Also, I gave you a blog award so if you want to check it out, come on over to my blog.... :)