I want to warn you, friends, that this post may make you uncomfortable. And if you’d rather not read it, I understand.
It’s been a season of dreaming and doing…with a lot of reflecting mixed in there, too.
And since many of you walk this journey with me…the one of hopes and chasing dreams, of love and extreme thankfulness, of a bit of sorrow and more broken, but also of so much redemption and Grace…I want you to know.
If you want to know.
So read at your own risk.
There is a wound that’s been buried in a corner of my heart for more than four years.
Most days, it’s just there…but it never goes away. Occasionally it will tug and pull and ache and make me cry.
And then there are weeks like this past one where it slashes and slices and crushes and makes my body rack with sobs.
I thought it would go away, this wound of loss so deep, especially once our little girl joined our family.
But it hasn’t, and from time to time, the pain will resurface. And lately, it’s seemed to grab a hold and start to strangle.
Especially this past week, as it seemed to just make me cry more and more, I wondered…
Is it possible I never grieved it?
I don’t know.
All I know is that the month of March is one of the most painful for me…and when it rolls around, it feels as if a demon overtakes me.
The demon of depression…of anger, of hurt, of regret, of unknown. Of wishing and wondering and wanting to know so badly but needing to accept that I never will.
Most of you know the story, but not all.
For a long time, I’ve been afraid of it, but I can’t be anymore. For it is part of us…part of our family, and we need to acknowledge that it’s there and always will be.
In November of 2008, while Tobin and I were living in Indonesia, we made the decision to pursue adoption. It wasn’t something we rushed into…it had been in our prayers and discussions for months, even years.
In January of 2009, we were approached about the possibility of adopting a baby. A mother in a nearby village who had a connection with a friend was pregnant with her third child. The father was in and out of the picture, money was almost nonexistent, and they wanted a better life for this baby.
Through our friend, they heard about us and asked if we would like their baby.
There are days I wish it had been that simple. And then there are others when I wish it had all never happened.
She was due end of April/beginning of May. It was January.
We flew into paperwork mode and, as soon as we could, scheduled a meeting with the head of the Yayasan (adoption CEO, for lack of a better term) in Jakarta. We met with her, and though somewhat helpful, we left feeling discouraged.
Despite the discouragement, our friend was convinced that this could work, that the hoops could be jumped through and the obstacles overcome.
We had a lot on our side, and I believed with everything in me that God wanted us to have this baby.
And I knew I shouldn’t have gone there yet, but I did. We were lying in bed one night, talking, and I told T how much I liked the name, Maria. We never talked about a boy’s name because I was certain it would be a girl.
I had dreams of a purple nursery with maybe some butterflies on the wall, of spending more years in Indonesia, of finally being able to be a family in my community.
In March, those dreams died when the mother changed her mind. We never heard officially what happened, other than we knew there had been some family pressure.
And my dreams for a Maria and a purple nursery with a cute, white crib turned to ashes.
I cried more tears that month than I ever thought possible.
What’s worse, I was convinced that my grief was unjustified. Not everyone had been completely on board with the situation, and one friend even passively said, Oh, you can just try again. It’s not like it was guaranteed anyway.
It was a grief I stuffed down deep. I was afraid of judgment, afraid of being caught crying over something others felt wasn’t justified.
I still had to teach…I still had nineteen 5th graders. I had a life and responsibilities…and the tears were pushed to the late night.
The kind when it was just me and heartbreak buried under a daisy blanket.
Alone, crying out to a God Who felt too far away.
People say that time heals wounds, and I half-agree with it.
Just half, though.
Eventually the exhaustion translated to sleep and sleep meant relief from pain.
Days somehow passed and life occupied hours…and it was what it was.
We returned to the States for the summer. Most never asked, we didn’t talk.
And while tears have dripped since, today the hole feels more like a pit of desperation…the kind that threatens to swallow up a life that needs to be lived.
About a year ago God laid it on our hearts to sponsor a child through Compassion. I pored through the pictures of children from Indonesia, looking for a three year-old. Somehow hoping that maybe…maybe…this child could still be mine.
I knew it was foolish, I knew the odds were millions to one, I knew…
I know I just have to let go.
To trust that God has a plan for this now-almost-four-year-old child, one that for whatever reason didn’t include us, one that is far greater than I could have imagined.
And so I need to say goodbye.
Goodbye, sweet one.