My brother, Gavin, was adopted. Did you know? Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about his birth mother and wish I could just throw my arms around her neck and never, ever let go.
Before I got pregnant with Baby Gavin, we had planned to adopt our next child (or two). I have two ruptured disks in my lower spine, and with each subsequent pregnancy, I’d experienced increasing difficulty as I approached full term. Plus . . . I’ve always wanted to adopt. Always. My brother was an absolute miracle in my life, my best friend. He belonged with our family. There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind about that. I remember vividly as a child, my mom saying things like, “Heavenly Father knew that Gavin was supposed to come to our family, so he got really creative to make sure he made it!” I believe that, heart and soul.
I thought long and hard about the decision to adopt, and it just felt right. After a series of somewhat remarkable events, Richie was on board as well. We completed the home study, did alllllllll the paperwork (it feels like it will never end when you’re in the middle of it), passed our background checks, and were approved for adoption! Only a few months after our profile went live on the agency’s website, SURPRISE, I found out I was pregnant.
After watching my mom suffer, wanting a baby with all.her.soul, and not being able to conceive on her own (I was somewhat of a miracle), I couldn’t move forward with our adoption, pregnant, and feel like a decent human being. So, we put our adoption on hold.
After Gavin died, I wanted another baby immediately. IMMEDIATELY. But I knew deep down that no baby could fill the gaping hole in my heart, because no baby could ever replace the one that I lost. I recognized that my desire for another child, was simply a feeble attempt to bury the terror and hide from the sorrow I felt over losing my son. I committed to wait to have another child until I knew my heart was. . . healthy. . .for lack of a better word. My heart will never heal. I’ll never return to who I was before we said goodbye, but like a broken bone, I like to think that while yes, losing him left a scar, and while yes, I will NEVER, EVER forget him, somehow losing him left my heart stronger, bigger, more capable of love, compassion, laughter and joy.
I’m finally strong. Not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination, only strong.
Where does this leave us? I don’t know. I really, truly don’t have any idea.
We’re terrified of having another child. We openly express our fear of having another baby nearly every day. We have nightmares of having another child and that child getting sick and dying. Allowing Raleigh to travel to Nicaragua with Richie was incredibly frightening for us. He’s up to date on all his shots, but Richie and I each had TREMENDOUS anxiety over sending him on this trip. These fears are a natural part of our healing process. We recognize that, and so we lean into them. We refuse to be governed by fear. Ever. Fear is a natural part of our lives, particularly after experiencing the kind of trauma we did losing Gavin, but it will never own us. Ever. Raleigh and Richie are having the experience of a lifetime. More on that soon. I’m so grateful I didn’t rob him of this life altering experience simply because I was afraid.
I want another child. Or two for that matter. Sure, I’m frightened, and rightly so. . . but more than fear, I feel hope. Faith. Love. Excitement for the future. Gratitude for my beautiful family and all that God has blessed us with. I trust Him. I’m leaning in to fear and replacing it with faith. It’s a far better way to live.
Is adoption in our future? I don’t know. I hope it is. Someday. Maybe someday soon, but in the mean time, I’m taking life one beautiful moment at a time.
This post was inspired by Jane and this beautiful video (embedded below) she shared with me. It gave me chills. . . over every inch of my body. Andrew and Carissa have raised all the money for their adoption and are in the final stages of the process. From their lovely and absolutely heartfelt blog, I learned that they are only a couple of short months from being able to bring sweet Rinah home.
This post was also inspired by Taylor. I have been so inspired by her journey toward adoption. Taylor, you know that if I could, I would have a thousand babies and give every one to you. I don’t know a better mother or a more beautiful family than you and yours. You are everything I aspire to be. When that baby of yours finally makes it into your arms, Heaven itself will rejoice. Of that, I am certain.
adopt rinah from VsTheBrain on Vimeo.