Adoption is beautiful. It is. I think taking a child who has no one and filling her life with love and hope is a beautiful thing.
But it's far from pretty. There is a lot of ugliness in the mix, too.
We are taking a child who has experienced hurt and trauma into our home and attempting to love her unconditionally. We are trying to help her heal and grow. We are trying to do it well.
That makes it all sound so simple and clean.
But it's not. It's messy and ugly. It's days filled with screaming and tears, sometimes hers, sometimes mine. It's long stretches without a break. It's emotions that are beyond my control. It's everything and nothing and anything in between.
Adoptive mom, if you find yourself in the trenches tonight, you've got company, because I'm there, too.
I understand if you don't feel like yourself anymore. I understand if you're holding on, but you'd really just rather let go.
You know why? Because I've been there.
I've been the one to field calls from the principal and day care director and the camp supervisor.
I've been the one to apologize to teachers and soccer coaches and Sunday school parents.
I've been the one to cancel plans so often that people no longer call to invite us.
I've been the one to explain to neighbors that the screaming is coming from our house and that, no really, everything is alright.
I've been the one who sits and listens politely with a smile while caseworkers and attorneys and her-husband's-best-friend's-sister-who-adopted tells me what I should do.
I've been there. And it's hard. And it makes me want to quit. All of it.
But I don't.
I need a break but the childcare rules are so strict and she's been blacklisted in the day care community, so we don't get one.
I still don't quit.
Everything is hard with the new little one, the screaming, the tantrums, the ulcer I'm certain my 17 year old will have by the end of summer because we never know what is going to set her off and when.
We still don't quit.
We trudge through, just like we've done before, and when we've passed the hard and ugly parts and we're looking back on today as a memory, we won't even remember half of it. We won't see it nearly as ugly as if feels today. We'll remember it wasn't pretty, but we'll always know that it was beautiful.
Because even in the ugliness of today, it's still beautiful. I can see it even if I can't feel it.
Adoptive mom, hang in there. I know you're tired and I know you're tired of being tired. I know you would give your right arm for a few hours of peace, a day all to yourself and a year-round school schedule.
Because I would, too.
All I can offer is this...
Focus on the One who gives strength to the weak and offers light for the next step. He gave you this beautiful gift, and she is a gift, even if she doesn't feel like it today.