Two years. Two years of offically waiting for a birth mother to choose us. Two years of waiting for our phones to ring with news.

I remember October 2015, excited but know we'd wait a while. Living life as a waiting family is one of the strangest experiences. Where "expecting" a baby, but no due date. You wonder a lot if there's something more you can do to get picked. Or is there something you should add to your lifebook to be more appealing to birth families. People tell you stories about they're friends, who are also in the adoption process, just got picked. You know they're saying it to encourage you but your left wondering, why them and not us? Not making big life decisions because you could get the call "any day". We've been waiting for our "any day"  for two years.

We have waited for things before. We know what waiting means. Somehow, this has been so different. We busy ourselves with forward moving things, but we're running out of books to read and things to do for the nursey. No matter how busy we are or things we do, we can not get the thought of what we are waiting for out our of minds. As the waiting has grown into years, it just gets harder because the reminder of what we long for is everywhere.

I want to believe in this idea that since we have been waiting this long that it HAS to be any day now. Right? Here we are, way past the "average" wait time. We've done an online profile and opened up to some surrounding states. I'm not sure how to hope, but I sing songs that remind me to. Somedays my heart fully believes, other days I sing these words to remind my doubtful heart (hence the  repetitiveness) that they are true:

I will say unto my God, my strength,

“How is it you have forgotten me?
O how long? O how long?”

Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him 

Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him
Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him

My help, my God

I spent a day away at a prayer retreat center where I spotted this statue right away. I put off going to pray by it, not because it's Mary and Baby Jesus, but because it's a women with a baby. Not something I thought I'd be seeing in this place. At the end of my time there, I sat right in front of this statue. I called my eyes and prayed for Baby Windsor and our birth mother. I asked God why it is taking so long. And then with my eyes still closed, I felt the sun come out from the clouds and shine it's light on my face. I'm never alone, I'm always being held in the light. 

I spent a day away at a prayer retreat center where I spotted this statue right away. I put off going to pray by it, not because it's Mary and Baby Jesus, but because it's a women with a baby. Not something I thought I'd be seeing in this place. At the end of my time there, I sat right in front of this statue. I called my eyes and prayed for Baby Windsor and our birth mother. I asked God why it is taking so long. And then with my eyes still closed, I felt the sun come out from the clouds and shine it's light on my face. I'm never alone, I'm always being held in the light. 

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Authoralisa windsor
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"Faith is a way of waiting—never quite knowing, never quite hearing or seeing, because in the darkness we are all but a little lost. There is doubt hard on the heels of every belief, fear hard on the heels of every hope, and many holy things lie in ruins because the world has ruined them and we have ruined them. But faith waits even so, delivered at least from that final despair which gives up waiting altogether because it sees nothing left worth waiting for.”

- Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark

I've started to write this update many times, and I cry every time so I put it off. The tears don't seem to be going anywhere, so I press on, with a very honest update. Waiting is a weary business. Here we are, 23 months into waiting for our baby and these days, it feels like it just will never happen. With that 2 years of officially waiting being next month, it's hard to believe.

What I do believe in is Emmanuel, which mean God with us. Emmanuel shows up in the friend who hands you her baby cause she knows baby cuddles is therapy. Emmanuel is in the prayer you didn't request because our people don't forget us. Emmanuel is the texts from friends hoping for us. Emmanuel is our parents being excited when we find it hard to be. Emmanuel holds our empty arms close to him always.

We wait and wait and wait. We have no choice but to do so. Wish I had something that felt forward moving instead of stuck in this limbo. Life feels like it's on hold. Even with having a nursey ready, it doesnt feel forward moving, it feels normal for it to be empty. I don't know why we are still waiting. I have my theories and guesses, but none of them are helpful or actually give answers. I struggle with feeling left out because I'm not a Mom. I worry we'll be super old parents. I have a hard time fighting the feeling of any of any this being fair. 

I hold to the promise that I read on so many adoption blogs (and a onesies a friend gave us): worth the wait. I can not wait (ha) for the day when I know that feeling to be true.

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Authoralisa windsor

Our 6 months of waiting photo has 6 BIG baby items in it...high chair, doorway jumper, hippo walker, swing, exersaucer and a crib mattress. Everything was given to us by generous friends which simply blows us away (my Mom called it a mini-shower). Its hard to not think when walking into the guest room that a baby will soon be living in there! Other than its not set up at all, but these items give so much hope for "soon" to feel not so far away. I worried items like these would be a constant reminder of what we didn't have, but they haven't at all, just a reminder of hope that is not too far off.  

Last week I was in Jamaica for our youth groups 3rd trip to the Jamaican Deaf Village. Each year my love for this trip deepens because of the people and experiences we get to be a part of. The first year I went on this trip I was in a really hard place when it came to babies. I was a week shy of my last treatment for breast cancer (still had my port in!) and we visited a Children's Home. I wasn't nervous about anything else on the trip, other than I just didn't know how I'd respond to holding babies who needed a home when all I wanted was for a baby to be in our home. It was hard that year for sure, I remember those feelings like they were yesterday. Im thankful that these days, holding babies is like therapy to me and I just love it. No sadness that came with it just a few years ago. 

While in Jamaica I was talking with some of the missionaries there who asked how the adoption process was going. I told them that we're close to 6 months of waiting and they asked how long do you expect to wait? I told them a year and a half. In that moment, it clicked for me that a year and a half was April 2017. That there is a high chance I could not be on the trip to Jamaica next year, which I verbally processed out loud to them. There has only been one trip I didn't fully get to be a part of since starting my job over 8 years ago, and it was the summer of 2013 because of treatment. It broke my heart to watch all those vans drive away without me being on one of them. I got to be there for the last few days but it wasn't the same. When I explained to the missionaries that it would be really hard for me to not come next year, the wife said, you won't have as hard of a time not coming with a baby to hold at home. I know she is right, its a harder feeling to reconcile with at the moment. Also crazy to think about that at this point on... we are hopefully less than a year away!

A few days ago, something crazy good happened. We hit the $20k mark in fundraising! Currently we have $20,774 raised... thats only $4,226 left! And all of that has come from our super generous and loving community, which we can not thank you all enough for being our biggest cheerleaders through prayer and giving towards our adoption fund. Before we ever started this process, the biggest fear was having enough money to make it happen. Sharing this fear a dear friend told us "You guys could raise that, no problem. People love you." Which we know that our community loves us so much, even before any of this. Giving of your money to support our adoption, I wish I had the right words to tell you guys how much it means to us. Please know it means so much and each donation, no matter how much, brings hope to our hearts. So from every inch of our hearts, thank you guys for coming along in this long journey with us. Hoping with and for us has us in such an encouraging place. 

 

 

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Authoralisa windsor

**Warning: If you have not seen the movie Inside Out yet, do not read this post. Im talking about a very spoiler-y part of the movie. There isn't an update on our adoption (a whole week into waiting) in this post that you'll be missing, just sharing some thoughts from adoption support group. Go watch Inside Out, then come back and read the post.**

Tonight at adoption support group (which is a group made up of adoptees, birth mothers and adoptive mothers) we watched the wonderful movie Inside Out. Jason and I had seen it in theaters and loved it then. I think Inside Out is an important movie for adults and kids a like to see and think about. Feelings/emotions are things that are just hard to process and live in sometimes. I think, in Pixar's way, they explain a lot for simply being a brilliant cartoon. After we watched the film, the group talked about how the story of adoption ties into the Inside Out.

There is a scene, that I cried at both times watching this film where Joy and Bing Bong are in the pit where memories disappear. Only way for Joy to get out of the pit was for her and Bing Bong to ride Bing Bong's wagon, singing a song to power it. At the last second Bing Bong has to get out of the wagon so it reaches to the top of the rim, allowing Joy to return to Reily. Bing Bongs sacrifices himself, to do what is best for Reily.

I started my thought to the group out with "I apologize if this is a terrible analogy, but when Bing Bong sacrifices himself from the picture, with Reily on his mind, and makes sure that Joy can be with her... I think of Bing Bong as the birth mother in my situation. Except I don't want the birth mom to disappear from our child's life. But yeah, sorry, Im comparing birth mothers to Bing Bong."

I waited for a reaction, very nervous if I had offended the birth mothers in the room. Thankful, they chuckled and agreed completely with me.  One even said when she gave up her son, that was the norm, for the birth mothers to disappear. Now, many more domestic adoptions are open because that is what is best for the child. Birth mothers, especially our someday birth mother, are some of the bravest women out there. I still have my fears of the unknown of what a relationship with a birthmother looks like, but these brave women in my group each time we met encourage me more than they'll understand. 

 

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Authoralisa windsor