So, I should preface this post by confessing to being up way, way past my bedtime. I've spent the last hour cutting out batman masks and taping them to toothpicks. SO, if I say something that makes you feel awkward, can we just agree to blame batman toothpicks? Thanks.
We just got back from an overnight trip to Nashville, which means nine hours in the car, six hours sleeping, and ten actual waking hours spent in the city. (I may have done that math wrong because, batman toothpicks.) The trip was a little more whirlwind-esque than our usual day-to-day lives (like five-hundred times more so), but Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God tour was happening at the Ryman and it felt like a good idea to go.
The thing about Nashville is that I spent four rather significant years of my life there in my early twenties, and being back in the city felt a bit surreal. Every street had a memory attached, every building reminded me of someone I'd known or something I'd done over a decade ago. It felt a little like a city of ghosts to me last night. And in the midst of all that weirdness, I couldn't help but compare the self I was 11 years ago to the self I am now, which made for a crazy handful of feelings that I'd really love to talk with you about over coffee for about five hours.
But, I digress.
Here is what I really need to talk about with you right now: ADOPTION. During the intermission of Andrew Peterson's BTLOG, he showed a video from ShowHope.org and if I hadn't been totally and completely boxed in to my corner of a wooden pew, I would have ran to the lobby and purchased one of those classy plastic glasses of wine I kept envying the people in front of me for having. But, I couldn't escape and so I sat there and felt my back stiffen as I braced myself for a heartbreaking/heartwarming story of a mind-numbingly precious, special-needs, orphan girl in China. My throat literally ached at the end of it with the valiant effort I had made trying not to ugly cry there in the bright intermission lights.
Y'all. I have yet to write anything about this situation with adoption in my life before, but I feel like either I have to start writing about it or I will drive Matt literally insane from my pulling an adoption filibuster every time we have atleast 5-7 minutes to talk without interruption. I don't mean for this to happen. I just have a running monologue in my head going on about adoption most of my waking hours. It's weird and Matt is probably starting to wonder if I think about anything else. I do: chocolate and Fixer Upper.
I've known for a long time that adoption was probably supposed to be part of my story, and when Matt and I started talking about marriage, I mentioned it. Now I mention it a lot.
The issue with adoption and me seems to be that every single video I see about adoption, every picture of every orphan that flashes on my computer screen, every mention of a child without a family in a newspaper article, they all have Mae and Sam's face. I can't look at or hear about one of those children and not picture one of mine. It makes me want to adopt a hundred children. All. The. Time.
I did have a moment of realization last night when my throat nearly closed up over the potential ugly cry I was holding back during that video. Something about becoming a mother to my two children, who I love in a way that I don't even have words for, has tripped some wire in my heart that makes me almost catatonic when I see images of children who are abused or neglected or unwanted. I've crossed some line somewhere that makes me unable to unsee those kids, and also makes me grieve their lot in life in a way that is right, but that can sometimes have an element of hopelessness to it. Last night, I wondered at the intensity of the emotions I feel when it comes to adoption and the great need associated with it, and if those emotions are a little too similar to the grief of "those who have no hope" (I Thess. 4:13). I think I need to wander around in that possibility for a while to determine if I've been seeing orphans through a gospel-empty lens.
Regardless, I can't get away from this feeling that the word adoption is somehow being needlepointed onto my heart. It sits on me a lot more than is comfortable lately and the things I prayed for years ago that would make it possible for us to adopt are starting to be realities. And, so, it's hard not to fill out the forms online right this second.
Matt isn't as sure as I am about this whole thing. And, I get that. He's so open, though, and the amount of patience that man has with my constant wall of words about adoption is pretty commendable. He probably needs a medal or something.
So, here I am, still thinking about that video, still wondering how adoption is going to fit into our story, still hoping that there is a child out there somewhere who is on a divine trajectory into our home and our hearts.
And, so, I wait. And wonder. And wait some more.