Right about two years ago, while we were smack dab in the middle of the whirlwind of applying for adoption, I dreamt up my plan to publicly share our journey to parenthood. It took me a couple of months to actually take the leap into the blogosphere, for I have quite the track record of starting blogs and then leaving my readers high and dry. Put simply, I lack discipline. But that’s a different story for a different day.
One Tuesday evening in March, during an out-of-town trip, I found myself working on the first entry of what then was to be my online journal. I named it “Hope in The Wait”; fitting for the struggles and joys that I anticipated sharing along the way. The hopes I had for what this blog could be were dancing in my head and heart. I longed for my words to resonate with others on the same path, and I dreamed of my vulnerability pulling men and women closer to the idea of adoption in their lives. Little did I know that there would be no need for this blog… or at least not for what it was originally created to be. The very next day, we got “the call”- the call that every waiting parent yearns for when they wake up in the morning, and dreams about when they go to bed at night. Our wait was over.
The following week we met our daughter, and fittingly, we named her Hope. By then she was 3 ½ weeks old, having spent her life thus far in the NICU. She had a myriad of medical issues, not the least of which was meningitis caused by the leakage of stool from a hole in her small intestine at birth. Hope was a sick little baby, but that didn’t matter to us. She was ours, and we were hers. And that’s all that mattered at the time.
We didn’t see it then, but our wait was far from over. It still is. I have often thought of bringing life to the skeleton of this blog, for we are perpetually experiencing hope in the wait of life. We have waited many days in the hospital, with expectant hope, for our daughter to pull through what were life-threatening illnesses. We waited with a deeper hope than one could possibly conceive, for the nightmare of our legal fight against her birth father to end. We find ourselves waiting with giddy hope for the day we are able to bring more precious children into our home. And we wait with eternal hope for our eternal home, where tears and suffering will be no more, and where we will see Jesus face to face.
So I suppose the premise for this blog will always “be”, won’t it? Why today? Why start the blog now? The answer is simple- I’m ready. I found myself logging onto Facebook this morning to share something my heart is wrestling with, only to realize that I wouldn’t be able to fit it into the 2 sentences it takes to capture the attention of those quickly scrolling through their newsfeed. Daily my heart and mind are brewing with thoughts and emotions on this journey of raising a child with special needs, living the life of adoption, and working out my faith in and with the One who gives me breath. And it’s time to share my walk.
While in the shower this morning, I took a few minutes to reflect on something that has been brought to mind many times the past few weeks. It’s that time of the year when sales are in full swing, and if you want to get that cute little cardigan for $1.50 instead of the typical $18, now is your chance. Many moms are busy on the bargain hunt for next winter’s clothes for their littles, and I’m no exception. Well, kind of. You see, I love shopping for Hope… for now. But doing so for a season that is still another 10 months away inevitably brings out a bundle of mixed emotions. While it is fun to picture her dressed up in that sweet smocked Christmas dress I see hanging on the store rack, my mind can’t help but wander off and wonder if she will even be here next year to wear it. And then I’m caught in not only thinking how I could ever make it without her, but I’m also found fearing how and what I might feel when Christmas rolls around, and I don’t get the chance to put her in that precious dress I just bought.
It is a hard reality for moms like me, who have children they will most likely out-live. I don’t live in the fear of my reality, but I do live in the knowledge of it. It’s difficult and grueling, but it is amazing and beautiful too. And I am the most privileged mother in the world.