It's been the odd and yet typical sort day around here. It has been for a while now. I guess our "normal" is a little odd maybe.
We've been running around taking care of things and trying to get things in order for something we're not really sure will happen. We won't know for real until after it's begun. What I mean is, everyone can tell all the tales they like and make all the guesses they can but, until Little Ones sisters are firmly moved in under our roof, it's all just talk. But it's a strange sort of thing to be blindly getting your home and your heart ready for something that may never come.
And that doesn't even begin to go into the realm of permanence, adoption, being the forever family for them. For all of them.
In a way you can travel this journey and sort of block out the future. Yes, you look ahead at some of the more obvious, like, wow, we will need a bigger car. Or, hey, to keep on the right side of the laws we need to rearrange our home and remodel. You might even look ahead to the days when all the kids will be in school or out of diapers or driving and graduating.
It's harder though, to look ahead to the bits and pieces of their birth families and realize that what's been left for them isn't much. It's hard to remember that the one and only card they may get is the one the case worker insisted, I mean, encouraged, them to send. They may have one single blanket or shirt or broken toy that is the single piece left for them, their remnant.
We forget that all the great stuff we will provide in their lives won't fill it up or smooth it over. We fail to see that a picture won't be enough or a card or a letter. They'll have their questions, their fantasy and their reality.
A part of helping them put their demons to rest is keeping your closed adoption partially open.
I know, I know, I really, really know.
Again, it's a place I thought I'd never go, a path I thought I'd never have to travel.
But yet, when I love on these kids and spend years dealing with their birth families, I see that there is not another way. Their really isn't.
For the second time, I'm knowing I'm going to sit in a court room and be moved to tears and have my heart broken by a birth parent who will willingly, by free choice, give up all their rights to their child. In plain language it means they loose their child forever, every last part of them. They can't check in from a distance to see how they're doing. They can't "run into" them at some fast food joint. They can't send a letter or card. They won't get the school photos or the Christmas photo postcards.
Unless we have grace and mercy and forgiveness and hope.
We're going to spend the rest of our lives trying to protect them and yet letting them walk into the heart of the storm. A part of us as their forever parents will be willing and wanting them to never speak the birth parents names again, let alone visit. Another part of us as parents will understand with a pain that has no bounds that a parent is a parent. In a sense, it doesn't matter what they've done or how they failed, they are ultimately one of the parents. And again, no matter what horror happened between this parent and child, they love each other. A birth parent and child will always love each other. Always.
I know. I do.
It is unfathomable.
It doesn't stand to reason.
It makes zero sense.
But it's the truth.
They will always love each other in a certain way and that has to be recognized, admitted, respected...honored.
And so begins yet another train of thought for me. A rabbit hole I never thought I'd be looking down, let alone getting ready to just jump in.
I'm trying to see in my mind even a small glimpse of how all these different families will blend together some day deep in the future.
What will it look like with our little four, the "originals" so to speak, with our extendeds, The Mr.'s parents, siblings, their kids, my parents, my siblings, their kids, my aunts, cousins, somehow combining with birth parents of many different ethnic backgrounds, various colorful pasts to put it lightly. The combinations of the all American stereotypical husband and wife family with jobs and degrees. The ultimate in middle American middle class. Oddly combined with deep poverty, addictions, abuses. Families with double digit numbers of kids and in turn double digits of parents. Families whose tree is utterly more like a tree with vines because of all the half-siblings and step families. All the different languages and dialects and foods. A massive clash of cultures even though in a way we're all from the same place.
In a way, I'm sure it'll all work itself out over time. Things do when you let God do it all. But I'm sure there will also be some weird strange tales to tell before it's all over and done too.
It's going to be about not judging and not facing the others with pity. It's about getting to the spot in the road when it's not us and them. When they aren't the others but we're all one and the same. Realizing that we all could have ended up on the other side. In this life we never know the turns ahead of us. We just don't.