Honestly?

Have you seen what I decided to name this blog?

I had a sudden thought recently: I’m not sure I’ve been all that honest.

I mean, I have. About life 10 months after gotcha day. About what attachment and connection look like now, after we’ve been together for nearly a year.

But one of my observations about adoptive families is we tend to be prolific bloggers leading up to travel, or gotcha day, or airport day, and then after we’re home… nothing. Radio silence. Or if there are posts, they’re either few and far between, or they highlight the positive and gloss over the challenges. (There are a few notable exceptions for which I’m exceedingly grateful. Kara’s is one.)

I know it’s partly because we’re trying to find our footing as we graft in another member. We’re engaged in the exhausting and never-ending work of family adjustment, cocooning and attachment, as well as going through reverse culture shock as we try to reconcile our life at home with what we saw in our child’s birth country.

But I did the same thing. I did have more time in Africa to write (oh, the luxury of African time!), but there’s another reason I stopped writing when I got home: fear. Fear of my own thoughts and feelings, fear of saying out loud what was swirling around deep in my heart. I didn’t want to write it down, not only because I was scared of what readers would think of me, but also because I was scared to explore it. When I did post, I might have alluded to my struggles, but I also talked myself out of them. And it was more than just seeing the beauty in the struggle.

For the each positive thing I highlighted (that Benjamin was surrounded by love, or saying yes to the moment, or how God taught me to trust), there were a hundred internal conflicts. The four to six week break between blog posts was how long it took me to find something I wanted to share. Because the other stuff was too hard, too raw. Sharing that would have felt too vulnerable.

But that’s exactly what I say I’m all about.

So I’m committing, today, to going back and exploring what happened over the last year. I’m diving back into the dark waters I sometimes felt I would drown in. We’re coming up on the first anniversary of our gotcha day, which was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I’ll go back there. I’m going to go back to the first weeks in Africa, when it was hard to look at my son without crying for what I didn’t feel. I want to look at the panicked thoughts that bubbled up, uninvited. I promise not to gloss over them. I will be able to reflect and share what I’ve learned since then, but I’ll try not to tie it up too neatly.

Because we haven’t arrived at some perfect point, even nearly a year later. We’ll always be on this journey of love, sacrifice, brokenness and wholeness. But if we don’t explore what the brokenness meant, then how can we see the healing clearly?

I’d also like to invite those adoptive parents who are reading to consider sharing your story. If you’d like to submit a guest post, I’d love to read your words. If they’re right for my blog, I’ll publish them here. Please share this blog with your adopting friends, wherever they are in the process. I’d love to learn from as many of you as possible.

I just want to be honest.

 

Linking up with Michelle and Emily today.

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10 comments on “Honestly?

  1. Heather says:

    Beautiful! Simply, utterly, wonderfully beautiful! I love your honesty. I love your re-commitment. I love how God is using you to to be a forever family! You can do it! And the honesty, the real life that will come from your blog is what so many parents will need and want. Permission needs to be given to be real, because life is not always a bowl of cherries. I will be praying for you! ~Heather

    • That’s exactly what it felt like when I found those blogs that were honest about every part of adoption — like I was given permission to feel what I was feeling. Like I wasn’t alone. Thanks so much!

  2. Elisa (@AverageAdvocate) says:

    Happened to run across this (Some Girl tweeted something, so I posted something, and I saw you among countless others posting something, etc…). I just wanted to say I thought this was beautiful. Your confession was raw, which is what is seems you are confessing you have not been being. I have never adopted, although it is a dream of mine. I know there are a lot of adoption bloggers out there, but I’ve always wondered the same thing- post adoption, do they just become parent bloggers? Or do they stop blogging? What is adoption anyway, besides making someone your own? And if so, then they are just normal, like everyone else? You might feel proud of yourself for adopting, but later…what happens later? Or do people even care? So, was they hype before the adoption meaningful? And, how does one then encourage others who don’t care about adoption to begin to care- at the most basic level? I guess these are just some of my questions, which of course aren’t really what this post is about. But it triggered them again. I consider you brave for still trying to document your journey, even when you might feel like “just a parent” now, rather than someone on fire to be an advocate for adoption. Regardless, my God guide you on this journey, and as you write let it encourage others. Take care! And if you ever want to write on the basics of adoption for my blog, shoot me an email. Thanks!

    • Elisa, thank you for this comment! You just gave me about 10 more blog post topics.

      I love hearing the thoughts and questions of someone outside the process who has observed and wondered what happens later. Really, really good questions. I think adoptive parents wonder those same things, and then in the thick of what comes after, we forget we wondered them.

      You’ve given me a lot to think about. And I would love to do a guest post sometime!

  3. brian miller says:

    nice…funny i was just talking about this this morning…we are launching a program at church to help create pathways and support for those seeking to adopt and we spent a good bit of time centering on honesty and making sure that people knew all sides of the story through out…

    • Thanks Brian. I’m glad you focused on honesty and looking at all sides of the story — so, so important, especially for church/orphan advocacy groups.

  4. wow. you don’t know what this means to me tonight. we’re facing the fact that we might need to adopt our god-sons, and it’s terrifying us. thank you. thank you.

    • Wow, Emily. I’d love to hear what you’re interested in hearing the honest truth about, even though what you’re facing is different than what I did/am. From someone who isn’t there yet, but is looking at it approach. And especially a situation like this — when you haven’t necessarily been dreaming and planning for it.

  5. Jules says:

    “we’re trying to find our footing as we graft in another member.” Such a great metaphor, friend. What amazing. raw, truth to offer as nectar to so many.

  6. keri says:

    i am not sure how i found my way to your blog…lol….but i just started writing again about our post adoption journey after taking a year off…..here is one post i wrote………..it is an amazing community…………..always looking for others sharing the journey!!!

    keri

    http://keridwp.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/i-love-him-to-pieces/