Saturday, July 25, 2009

What will it be like?

I was thinking too much the other day and here is my question: Will people always be "careful" with their conversations about children around me? I know what I want; I want to have life go on around us daily without people zeroing in on the fact that my child will be adopted. You know, "There goes Kelley and her Adopted Child." My fear is that people like my boss, who while they mean well, give out too much information. I want our family to be defined by who we are, not how we came to be. Adoption and fostering will be part of our lives, not our life.

Speaking of fostering, Jer and I have been talking about it a little bit, and we'd like to do it after we have our forever child. I'm very concerned about the overall welfare of children and the foster system kind of scares me. But I was talking to a patient who works in the Department of Children and Family Services and she was very positive about how it works in our state. She was very supportive of my ideas on the situation. Which are: I want to do it, I'd like to foster one child at a time and I'd like to make them feel like they are my child until they have to go somewhere else. I would never introduce them as anything other than my "son or daughter" or by their name if they don't want to be called our child (yet). I just feel like I am a mom that is my job, has been since I was a little girl and I've been training for it my entire life, and now I want to do it. I want to do it well. Not perfectly, not that I won't get tired or hurt or make mistakes, but I can make sure that they know they are loved, that they are safe and they have a special place in my heart.

Am I crazy? When I mention Adoption, people say "What a wonderful thing." When I mention foster care, they frown, and say, "That sounds hard." Dude. Are people completely afraid of challenge these days? When I see something that is hard, I want to run into it headfirst and leave a great big Kelley-shaped hole in it; especially if it's the right thing to do. Granted, even I know the look of granite when I see it, but I really don't see children who need caring for as a granite face. My rock/mountain climbing friends would say that even granite can be scaled. Is it merely that we all view life with only our own skill set in mind, with only our own limitations to respond to the desires and ideas of others; or is it really that bad an idea? Why do people try to talk me out of it? No one has ever tried to talk us out of adoption, they do make false assumptions about the process and ask inappropriate questions, but they never tell me I'm crazy. Why would they tell people I'm crazy to want to foster? I think people that run are crazy, but I admire their mettle. I like to swim and do yoga, I like it because it is hard and you get better at it over time; my skill and inclination is different than my husband's. Jer tells me that swimming is difficult for him (arms and legs working together?) and he's never been able to bend into some of the yoga positions I can get into; but we don't try to talk the other out of going out and practicing our preferred exercise. Why would someone try to talk someone else out of something they're called to do? It really is a mystery to me.

What will it be like to be a family? How will it make us metaphysically different? I know how it will change my life practically, but what will this "mother" thing be like? I know I want it, but honestly, I'm afraid of my emotions. I am an extremely emotional person, how will I be able to hang onto myself when I'm faced with my greatest dreams come true. Will it frighten my child to hear his/her mother weep with what I feel is something of a primal desire? Will I fall apart as I fear I will? What will it feel like to hear that Jer and I have been chosen? Not only chosen but that we'll be parents in a measurable amount of time? What if that time is days? How would I process this? What does it feel like to "get" the desire of my heart? When Jer walked into my life it was peaceful. It was just an instant no-brainer. My husband had walked through the door and I was fully accepting of that reality. That is the closest thing I have to actually ever getting exactly what I wanted. And what if it falls through again? I think I might throw up if that happened again. I also might not survive the disappointment. But like everything HARD, I must take the risk of failure and only then will I see the success and amazing gift that is on the other side of that scary risk.

I really hope I've not brought anyone down; I'm just trying to wrap my brain around it. I want the joy and trust the Lord to bring it, and to help me deal with it, but am I SUPER NUTS to be scared of being that happy? I must be. Love to all of you who've received your bundles of blessing, I get through my weeks by seeing the results of God's blessings in your life. It helps me to know that it happens, to see your children grow and how much they love you.

    Dear Lord, Help me to accept blessing when it comes, help me to know how to respond, and help me live in that happiness without fear of losing it.





Melba said...

This is a great post, it touches on a lot of the things I've been thinking and feeling since Charlie.

All I can say is...motherhood is everything and nothing I expected all at once. It is HUGE, and scary, and overwhelming, but also a true miracle...and like you, my primal calling in life. But, there is that rightness and peacefulness like what you mention with Jer too. There is the knowledge that my son has arrived, as simple as that. He is here, and my heart sores! This is a beautiful time in my life when my dreams are coming true. That is scary - or rather the sense that I could lose myself in all this is scary, but it's also incredibly right. I don't know if any of that made sense, but what I'm trying to say is that I get it. I understand what you are talking about. I hope and pray your time is SOON, and when it will be scary, overwhelming, beautiful, and RIGHT...all at the same time!

As for foster care, I could see us doing that someday too, though I'm not sure what our ultimate path will be. I think people try to talk us (I've had similar conversations) out of it because of fear. They are afraid of what they don't understand...and of the pain you may face if you walk head first into the foster care system. But, foster parents are so desperately needed too. It is a broken, depressing system. If we don't, who will??

Hugs to you, my friend. I know the wait for YOUR BABY is not easy, and I am praying that yours comes to an end soon!!


Kel said...

I appreciate your understanding SO much. I'm glad to know that there is a peaceful place within all of that overwhelming-ness.

I think you're right about the Foster Care thing too. People are afraid. But that is exactly what I said to one of the ladies who mentioned that "All my friend ever did was cry over this kid." And I responded, "Every child needs to see that they are worth crying over, and if I don't do it, who will?"

So, it's us Melba :D against the world! :D

Thank you for your good thoughts! I really treasure them! Give that little guy a hug for me! (Soon! I hope so too!)

Jamie said...

hi kel :)
first of experience has been that people have been VERY respectful of the information they share regarding Milo. I've walked into many situations sure that people have already been told that we adopted Milo and come to find out they have no clue. It's not often anymore that i feel the need to share that info. either. I've been very pleasantly surprised regarding this area. :)

Secondly ~ my sister works with foster families and foster kids. I had this conversation with her a few days ago and she has decided that at some point she wants to foster and possibly do foster to adopt. She has worked in this field for years and has a great desire to make a difference in these children's lives. I think if you have a desire to do the same then it is something you've been called to do. :)I do think people fear the unknown......certain things have undesirable stereotypes (such as open adoption)and when a person isn't educated on can be scarey to them. Only you know what you are capable of and what the dreams of your heart are. :)

Lastly ~ motherhood. Well, Melba about summed it all up. :) I'm a very emotional person too and thought I would just lose in certain situations. Surprisingly when my adrenaline starts running that high (such as meeting milo's bithfamily for the first time), my tears ducts close up until after the experience! :) However, there's not a day that goes by still that I'm not brought to tears at one point or another at the beautiful blessing he is. Don't worry about what you will or won't do or how you'll react. It will all be perfect no matter what! :)And you will be a wonderful mother!!!!!!!! I hope that time comes very soon. :)