Monday, June 2, 2014

Our Desire to Adopt...Again!

Photo Credit: Mindy Newton Photography
If you've been reading my blog for some time, you know that over two years ago, my husband and I adopted our son, Noah.

I remember visiting the hospital just after Noah was born. His birth mother graciously allowed me to feed him his first bottle. After the nurse placed Noah in my arms, I remember asking her to show me how to feed him because I was so-o-o nervous.  I wanted to make sure I did it just right. I remember holding Noah, all bundled up in a receiving blanket and hospital hat--and fighting back tears as I looked into his eyes. (See how my cheeks are sunken in. I'm trying to keep it together; I'm trying desperately not to full-on weep there in the hospital room, in the presence of Noah's birth mother.)

In those first moments--seeing Noah for the first time, holding him, and feeding him--I fell in love.  I fell in love with this precious little one--a little one I didn't carry in my womb, a little one I didn't have pulled from my belly---but a little one I knew God had chosen just for me.

I remember leaving the hospital that night and going back to our hotel room. I was filled with mixed emotions.  On the one hand, I was so excited to have held and fed Noah. I remember calling my parents in California and sharing the good news: He's here, he's healthy and we got to spend time with him! One exclamation point is not nearly enough to really convey how thrilled I was--ten is more like it.  Smile.

But when I climbed into bed that night, sleep would not come.  Thoughts swirled in my head. I loved this little one, but I knew he was not mine. At least not yet. At the time, I did not think much about whether Noah's birth mother would agree to let us parent him. (It would be a day or so before those worries roared in my mind.)

What I thought about, instead, was baby Noah. I worried about him--almost obsessively. (If you don't know me well, let me tell you: I am a worrier by nature.) I didn't like it one bit that I was lying in that hotel bed. I wanted desperately to be at that hospital--holding that little one that I hoped to call Noah. That I hoped to call my son.

The mama in me had definitely been awakened. I wanted to be feeding him. Kissing him.  Staring at him. Smelling him. Even changing his diaper. I thought, Is he in the nursery or with his birth mother? Is he being cared for? Is he being fed every few hours? I wondered, What is he doing right now? Is he sleeping? Is he crying? Is he eating? 

Eventually, I reminded myself that worrying was not doing me any good. The reality was I had no control over what happened at the hospital. I had no control over Noah's care. I had no control over whether Noah's birth mother decided to let us parent him.

But I knew one thing for sure--he had captured my heart. 
Nearly two and a half years have passed since that day, and Noah still has my heart. (A bigger chunk of it, if that's possible.)

There is a longing in my heart, though, to love another child. Another little one whom I will feed and kiss and tickle and teach and listen to and read with and hug. A little one whom I hope to call my daughter.

Even before Noah joined our family, Brian and I had talked about wanting at least two children (we initially discussed four kids, but after having trouble getting pregnant, we figured two was much more realistic), mainly because both of us have siblings and we want Noah to have a sibling, too.

Recently, after a lot of thought and prayer and discussion and financial "planning" (that is to say, working overtime and saving and working more overtime and saving), Brian and I have decided to begin the adoption process again.

I know you can't see me sitting here at my computer, so I'll just tell you that I have a HUGE grin on my face right now. 

Kind of like this one. (I took this photo on the day Brian and I packed up our car and drove to Nevada to wait for Noah's arrival. I remember taking this shot with my camera phone, thinking, This is the last time I'll be in our home and not be a mom. Next time I'm here, I'll be holding a newborn baby. A baby who will one day call me mom. Oh, how those thoughts thrilled me!)

Brian and I are excited and optimistic and hopeful about adopting again, but we know that finding the right match may take some time. It could be a year or more before we match with a birth mother and even longer before we meet our new baby.

We're also nervous. Definitely not as anxious as we were with Noah's adoption. But nervous, nevertheless, about how the process may go. Nervous about not knowing what kinds of issues we might encounter down the road.  

That "not knowing" part is hard for me.  I like lists and planning and being prepared.  But I'm trying to accept it for what it is: this "not knowing" is something I cannot change, and is just part of the adoption process. 

There are a lot of instances in life where we don't know how something is going to go, how long it will take, or if there will be issues or complications.

When I feel shaken by a plethora of unknowns, I have to remind myself to trust. I have to remind myself that it will all work out the way it is supposed to.

I take comfort in knowing that God is at work.  He's figuring it all out.  He hears my prayers, he knows what's best for our family. I have faith that He will bless us with another little one, in time.

P.S. When Brian and I share that we are hoping to adopt again, family members and friends often ask: Where are you in the process? Have you completed your home study?  Have you hired an attorney or agency? Stay tuned! I'll be back soon with the answers. 


Bethany Grace Martin said...

Jennie, thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of your heart. I will remember to pray for a precious daughter for you and a sister for Noah!

Jennie said...

Thank you, thank you, Bethany!

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