Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a new story: part three

To read parts one and two, click here.

As I wondered and prayed about my deep connection to Waverley's story, I began to wonder if the adoption piece was significant.  Eric and I hadn't talked about adopting since that plane ride back from Ethiopia, but I began to wonder if the Lord was using Wavy's story to reawaken that dream of adding to our family though adoption.

I want to take a moment to do my best to honor Matt and Molly.  It may seem odd that witnessing what can only be described as "an adoption horror story" would make us consider adoption.  In fact, when I told Molly how instrumental she and Matt have been in our journey, she wrote back, "I am honored at your words but cannot see how we would have ANY positive influence on people looking at adoption.  A few others have said that and it BLOWS MY MIND.  So to God be the glory forever and ever. Amen."  That response in and of itself captures the humility, grace, and kindness with which these sweet people operate their lives.  And it was their attitude of humility and faith that caught our attention, not the circumstances of their tragedy.  The circumstances by themselves are sobering, discouraging, tragic.  But it was Matt and Molly's response to those circumstances that really intrigued us.

From the beginning of their battle to be Wavy's parents they were convicted and convinced of one truth: Waverley is THEIR daughter.  They were never fighting to parent someone else's child.  They were fighting to parent THEIR child.  And if you could know Matt and Molly's hearts today, you would know she still is their daughter.  She always will be.  They just don't get the joy of having her with them.  Molly can't stop being Waverley's mommy any more than I could stop being Lila's mommy.  From observing their story unfold, I learned this: adoption has more to do with a decision rooted in love than it does a judge's ruling.  In other words, Wavy wouldn't have become Matt and Molly's daughter when their adoption was finalized, Waverley had been their daughter since the day they held her for the first time.  That understanding showed me that parenting by adoption is no different than parenting by childbirth - the moment you hold your baby, it's all over.  You'd give your life for the sake of that tiny person because he or she is your child.  And that reality is what made my heart spring to life with hope for that kind of childbirth.

So, one night I casually mentioned it to Eric.  I think something along the lines of, "You know, I've been thinking a lot about adoption ever since I heard about Matt and Molly losing Waverley.  Do you still think about adopting someday?"  His answer was something like, "Yeah, sometimes.  But after Lila, it's hard to imagine doing it any other way."  I understood.  But I wasn't totally satisfied with that answer.  I asked him if he would think about it some more.  And I found myself praying a familiar prayer, "Lord, if I'm hearing you right, confirm it through Eric."

A month or so later Eric and I checked in with each other on the adoption thing and he said, "I could see us doing it, but if we did, I'd want a baby girl."  Cautious Husband.  Again I understood - if we weren't going to make our next baby, let's try to get it as close to our first parenting experience as we can.  We've done baby girl.  We know how to do baby girl.  Let's just adjust to one thing at a time.  We kind of left it there for a bit.

Then in January, we went on a retreat with the Gathering.  The retreat's main focus was teaching us how to hear the Lord and respond in obedience.  We were challenged to think about moments in our life recently when we felt like the Lord was trying to grab our attention.  The first thing that came to my mind was my reaction to hearing Waverley's story.  Throughout the retreat we were taught to examine these "kairos moments" and try to discern what the Lord might be saying and what he wanted us to do about it.  I felt like God was saying, "Just ask a few questions.  See what happens!"
view from Trail West where we had our retreat.  not too shabby, eh?
I pulled Eric aside and told him, "I think we're supposed to look into adopting.  I'm not saying we definitely should, I just think we're supposed to start asking some basic questions and see where that takes us."  Awesome husband that he is, he agreed.  I began brainstorming questions to ask and people to talk to.  

Check in tomorrow for part four!

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