Six days. Six. Six days.
I may be freaking out a little bit.
We are wrapping up the last few must-dos. We bought a new crib mattress (Lila had pretty much destroyed hers with her crib acrobatics - it was a hand-me-down so it was already a little worn), ordered the rug for Faith's room, I have been arranging and re-arranging the furniture and I'm having a very small shower tomorrow. (We're calling it a Faith Shower - because of her name (duh) and because I felt like part of choosing faith over fear and stepping out onto the waters was putting some action behind my hope.)
I have been thinking so much about Faith's birth parents these last few days. I weep when I imagine her birth mom holding her, trying to memorize her face and fingers, counting down the last of her days with her baby girl. I grieve when I think about how hard this will be for Faith - how confusing and traumatizing it will be to be ripped from everything she knows. Everything will smell strange, look strange - even the language will sound strange to her. She won't have a single familiar face. Imagine how terrifying that would be for a little baby. It's heartbreaking to think about.
This may sound strange to you if you are not familiar with adoption or maybe even if you are, but I really wrestle with the idea that we are not Faith's best option. How can I say that we are her best option when joining our family necessitates a severe trauma in her young life? I can't.
The best case scenario for Faith's health and well-being would be for her birth family to be able to give her the support and care she needs. Could they? I don't know. And it's not for me to make that call. Only her birth parents can decide if they can give her what she needs. There is an ever-growing part of me that hopes - for Faith's sake - that they decide they can (even as I hope - for my sake - that they decide they can't). I really, truly believe that it would be best for her to stay with them if they can give her what she needs.
It is so strange to reconcile that belief with my longing to have her as my daughter. The only way I can do that is to remind myself that I don't get to choose if she is placed for adoption, but I do get to choose to adopt her if she is. If she is going to be placed for adoption, I think we are a wonderful fit for her. We will love her with all of our hearts and we will do everything we can to give her a happy, healthy life. I am giddy at the thought of having her as our girl.
And yet in the next moment, I grieve all over again for the losses in her little baby life and the losses her birth family will experience. It is no small wonder that I am losing my ever-lovin' mind with these things swimming circles in my brain!
Here's where I've landed in all of this: adoption was not in God's original plan. In God's original plan (and I'm talking the Garden of Eden plan), parents and children would not be separated from one another whether by choice or lack of resources or illness or death. Families would remain intact. Mamas would be able to conceive without difficulty. Adoption is not God's first choice. But it is his beautiful response to the already broken world. It's his way of restoring families.
Hear me: I'm NOT saying that adoption is a lesser choice in this world. Adoption is tied for my favorite choice for building a family! I'm saying that I do not believe that God's idea of a perfect world - a perfect forever happiness - would include mommies being unable or unwilling to care for their children and children separated from their parents. It would not include moms giving birth to their children in stressful or unsafe environments. I would not include a family longing for children and unable to have them. In fact, in God's perfect world, the word longing would not even exist! There would be no need for such a word that suggests that you do not have what you desperately want or need!
I'm also saying that God, in all his grace and mercy has seen our pain and brokenness and through his magnificent creativity provided a way for everyone's needs to be met: the Mama without the resources to care for her child, the child in need of a family, the parents who long for sons and daughters. I'm saying God is good and brilliant and merciful and loving because he always finds a way to right the wrongs.
I'm saying it's wrong that my hoped-for daughter will have to lose everything in order to gain a family. And I'm saying it's wrong that her birth family won't get to see her lovely life blossom and bloom.
But I'm saying I'm grateful that we get to be a part of a big story. That we get to be a part of God's great plan to make wrong things right. I'm saying I'm overjoyed that our longing to have more children can complimentarily meet the needs of another family. I'm saying that I'm in awe of how God could take a Chinese family and an American family and make them irrevocably one - united over the love of and devotion to one sweet and perfect little girl with a beautiful name and a bonus chromosome.
T-minus 6 days and counting...
P.S. This post from Under the Sycamore (maybe my favorite blog) wrestles with a similar view of adoption and the orphan crisis. It's worth a read. Be warned: you might cry and you might feel moved to change your perspective or even take a step toward something big. If you do, call me. I want to talk to you.