Three weeks ago we were able to meet Nora, spend 4 wonderful days loving on her and holding her, and then we came home where our focus turned back to our other 3 children, daily living, and went full-blow into Christmas preparing. Besides a few emails discussing our first large payment towards her adoption when we initially got home, we hadn't heard anything from Haiti until this morning. During that lull, we knew another adoption was amazingly and wonderfully coming to it's close and one of the boys we enjoyed time with in Haiti headed home to Iowa for Christmas! Yeah! Several others are VERY close to their own homecomings so we knew Rachel was very busy on top of having her own Christmas to celebrate, but when you don't hear a peep from Haiti, it does crazy things to your head...okay, it at least does crazy things to my head. Here are some of the honest thoughts that have been coming and going through my head over the last several weeks...
- What if Rachel is now avoiding us because we asked too many questions while we were down there?
- I hope Nora is doing well physically. We left her with a cold and I know that their healthcare isn't as good down there. What if her cold has turned into something worse and she is dying and no one is telling us?
- What if her birth mom is having second thoughts after meeting us?
- What if something is wrong in the paperwork and we aren't anywhere close to starting this process on the Haiti side when we were hoping to be in IBESR in the next few weeks?
- This is stupid, Angie. I'm sure everything is FINE. Rachel's just busy and you need to give her the space she needs. Just focus on the life in front of you right now.
- What little trust and faith you have, Ang, isn't God the one watching over Nora while you can't be with her--don't you trust Him enough to take care of her?
- I feel guilty. I should be thinking of Nora all the time since she is my child...it feels like this adoption is a surreal experience sometimes that isn't really happening. Like we just went to Haiti to hold a little baby that we have no connection to and now we are back here and life is just going on without that little baby.
- How am I going to connect to this little girl when she comes home when I have little to no contact with her when she is in Haiti other than an occasional photo or trip?
- Why does it have to be like this? I wish I could be seeing her grow and develop and be able to tell her all about her first year of life like I can to my other children and I just can't and that sucks.
- Will she feel left out of the family when all my other children have detailed accounts of their life the first year in their baby books and I don't even think I can even make one for Nora because I will have NO clue when anything happened. Heck, I don't even know how much she weighs.
- I wish I had more money so I could go see her more often, but then that leaves my other three kiddos with no mom too and that's not good...there is no good way to be a mom to all 4 of my kids when they aren't all together in one location.
- I'm not being a good mom to Nora like I have been to my other kids and that bugs me to no end.
- The nannies and Rachel will be the "moms" Nora knows--will she even want me when I get to see her, let alone when we go to bring her home?
- I wish I had someone who thought about Nora as much as I do or at the same time as me. I don't feel like anyone thinks about her at all or even how hard this is in my head. People around me have no idea what I'm thinking and feeling--they are concerned with their own families and life and don't have time to think about me.
- What a selfish thought that was! Good grief, the Lord IS thinking of Nora and me and that should be enough for me. But, man, that doesn't feel like enough. What's wrong with me--why am I not satisfied?
- I wish family and friends would already see Nora as part of our family but I feel like no one will really acknowledge her as a part of us until she is home and physically with us. Christmas is hard when the whole family is getting together and yet I feel like one of our family members isn't with us.
So, as you can see--CRAZY stuff goes through my head when I don't hear from Haiti. Everything from guilt, to fear, to doubt, to sadness, to complete irrationality. It's frustrating and hard to live with sometimes because those are the very things a woman in freedom is trying to stay far away from. However, I also know those are the places God can refine us because He can use those feelings and thoughts to teach us something deeper and even more life-changing when we involve Him. This is the part of adoption that really is the "journey" right now. It is life-changing way beyond the fact that we are adding another little being to our family!
The only way I can think to have others understand is to try to imagine having one of your children sent away to a foreign country where you can not see them or touch them or even communicate with them--oh, and no one else has ever really even met them so no one else around you knows them like you do. A part of your heart just simply wouldn't be okay until they were back home with you, would it? The hard part for us--or for anyone going through an adoption in Haiti--is that we are left with those feelings for a year to two years of "normal" daily life continuing on around us. It's simply a hard place to be.
Even last night I was having a few of those thoughts going through my head as I sent off yet another email to Rachel inquiring about some more financial matters. I almost felt a desperate hope to get an answer to some of those financial questions because when I can't tangibly handle the mothering side of my child in Haiti, my attention turns to the only thing I feel I can handle--raising funds to get her home. All of this brings us to this morning...a response from Rachel!
Her emails are brief. A few details about the misunderstandings of the financial stuff which will then have to be addressed again (never-ending frustration), a few personal wishes of Christmas blessings, and then this one line that literally changes all thoughts in my head and brings a peace to the madness...
"Nora is doing very well, she eats like crazy, get prepared."
Ahh....peace. The questions, doubts, fears, irrationality, and guilt simply seem to disappear and are replaced with tears of joy that I have heard from Haiti. The reassurance that Nora is not only doing well, but is doing very well is peace to a weary head. It's a reassurance of growth and health and happiness, which is the desire of any mother's heart for her children. I can not describe how wonderful that one little line is to hear and how much it will fuel my soul for the next period of silence and distance from Haiti. That peace is a peace that HAS to come from God because it truly does pass my own understanding.