Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Facing a closed door
This is the post I wrote a week ago and couldn’t publish until I knew that I knew it was over. Hope just wouldn’t stop until the very end. Now we know for sure, and I can gently place this dream at the feet of Jesus and say goodbye.
In the last two weeks, we’ve learned that our other adoption, the beautiful African dream that started it all, the one we’ve been doing nothing but waiting for the last two years — won’t come to be. It’s a long story, but practically, emotionally, just all the way, it’s over for us.
I’ve told myself (and others) that it’s been a long time coming, that it’s bittersweet because it’s shifted so much and we’ve lost our footing anyway and we didn’t know what to do and it’s almost a relief because at least we have a clear way forward. I’ve said all of these things. But then a simple miscommunication with my husband this weekend, a benign thing that I otherwise would have let roll off, leaves me undone. I’m sitting in the minivan in my garage, all three kids buckled in the back, crying over the next couple hours’ plans.
The reality is that I’m paralyzed because I don’t know where to go from here.
When I didn’t want to confide in my closest friends, when I wanted to crawl under my comforter that afternoon and stay there, I recognized it.
It’s not the same, ever, of course. Grieving for my dad was like drowning. I didn’t know that I would ever come up for air, and it did take a long time.
Grieving for a baby that will never be mine, that was never meant to be, maybe (whatever that means), letting go of a country I’d fallen in love with though I’ve never stepped foot on her soil, is different. I’m capitulating first, feeling later. But when I give myself a moment to pause, it’s all oddly familiar: The utter exhaustion. The impulse to withdraw. The anger.
That’s where I am today: Angry and tired. Even though we have another great option right in front of us, one that we’ve been warming to slowly for the last year or so, though there will be an adoption and it will just look different than I’d imagined, I’m not there yet. It just feels overwhelming. I thought I had already climbed this mountain, but I blink and look up and suddenly we’re back where we started 30 months ago. I know it will be right later, but today I need to grieve for Rwanda. I miss my baby girl from Rwanda. Can I just miss her for a little bit?
When we’re facing the unexpected, blind trust and unfeeling motion forward, away from the disaster, isn’t the answer. A paradigm shift deserves respect. The truth is that we’ve been thrown. Having hints of it coming perhaps makes it less of a blow, but when it comes we are wise to leave room for it, to let it be what it will be, to feel what we feel and say goodbye in our own time.
Goodbye, Rwanda. I loved you.