Sunday, December 01, 2013
It's Been A While
This year has beaten the hell out of me. I've had so many stories to tell and I've written none of them here. The coals are starting to glow again. Maybe I am still a writer. Maybe I can find the old me who could write freely and bravely. Maybe I can make sense of what I've seen and done and felt this year.
In early 2013 I got involved in fighting sex trafficking in my city. It all started when our church staff took a little van tour to see where brothels are operating all around us. That two hour van ride changed my life. I have seen and done more crazy things in 2013 than in all my teenage years put together. My girlfriends and I were all binge-watching Alias on Netflix when we got involved and it had quite an effect on us. It's not weird for my friends to have a girls night out that ends in some sort of outreach or prayer drive.
Last spring I also got involved with teaching ESL to Muslim women. I was just a sidekick to the real teacher, but it was so cool getting to know the ladies and help them learn English. We were uninvited to return after the session was over and I think it was because of something I said. That was incredibly discouraging, but I'm glad that I had the chance to know these women.
In March we were trying to have another baby and on the day I found out I wasn't pregnant, we heard about a baby who needed a family. We changed directions overnight - funny how that happened - and decided to walk through the doors toward that baby until they closed. The doors closed quickly, but it burned adoption into my heart.
After Mother's Day we officially started the adoption process with an amazing Christian agency in Houston. We spent the summer getting our application, family profile, and homestudy done. It was a LOT of work. We kept this largely on the DL because we didn't want to drag our whole church through drama - if it turned out to be dramatic. I wrote about the journey in a beautiful, white leather journal with my monogram on it. I declared that "Jesus is writing a redemption story."
On the first day of school we were matched with an expectant mother who had chosen us through our profile book and a video we had made. We spent six weeks getting to know her and came to love her very much. We were planning for an open adoption, so in all of our minds we were becoming a family. She invited me to be with her in the hospital for the birth of the baby and to stay there afterward. This was very, very risky. We were either looking at a best case scenario or a worst case scenario. It turned out to be worst case scenario for us. Thirty-six hours after the baby was born, we were kicked out of the hospital. It was October 14 - my 34th birthday.
The last six weeks have been the most painful time of my life. I am a naturally empathetic person but I now realize I've had no clue whatsoever what deep grief is like. You can't control it. You can't tell it to end. You can't keep it from coming back after you've told all your people you're okay now.
Tonight I boxed up the nursery. Moving the furniture will be Curtis' job for this week. But at least my part is done. I cried a lot. The anticipation of this day has been terrible, but when I woke up this morning I knew it needed to be done.
I am moving on.
In 31 days this calendar year will turn to 2014. Fourteen is my second favorite number - the Lord's number times 2. That's got to mean something good. I never liked 13 anyway.