Two years ago we met the girls. But first, let me back up a little. On November 10th, 2010, we had some friends over for dinner. I think it was the first time we had Randy and Ashley over for dinner. We didn’t know them just real well at the time. How could we have known that they would be right there in our house when we got probably the most shocking news of our lives??
Phillip ran to get some ice or something for dinner and while he was out he got a call. The call was from someone at CPS telling us that our son, Micah, has two younger biological sisters. They would soon be free for adoption. Would we be interested in adopting them.
Phillip came in the house and shared that call with me…and our dinner guests. We were all shocked. Looking back on it now is so funny. Randy and Ashley felt kind of awkward. I think Randy asked if they should leave. It was just a very strange evening. I have no memory of what we ate or what we talked about…other than the girls.
So then a month later on December 10th, 2010, we drove to Mimi and Papa’s house and met the girls for the first time. But that month from Nov 10th to Dec 10th was filled with a great deal of turmoil for us. We weren’t seeking out any more children to adopt. I wanted to adopt one child again down the road and Phillip was fine with having two boys. Honestly, that month in between finding out about them and meeting them brought arguments, tears, paranoia, prayers, and worries. Phillip knew that once I saw the girls there would be no turning back. I was ready to jump in with both feet, blindfolded with rocks tied to my feet. Phillip was ready to run away. I thought it would be a dream come true and Phillip thought it would be a disaster.
But we were both very wrong. It wasn’t a dream come true and it wasn’t a disaster. Most days it was about survival, with a few wonderful moments and a few disastrous moments every day. The bad greatly outweighed the good for the first 6 months to a year or more. We were tested and overwhelmed beyond what we ever could have imagined.
That first 6 months or so, when the girls would go visit Mimi and Papa, the nostalgia of just being with the boys was painful. We longed for the way our life was before. We worried that things would never feel normal again. We worried that we might even be destroying our family by taking two more kids. Mikey regressed far more than I could have anticipated. The first 6 months to a year was pretty bad, folks. But when we were in the thick of it, I couldn’t really tell you just how bad it was. People were so excited about our “cool story,” but living it didn’t feel cool at all.
I think I may have had a harder time than Phillip because I was expecting bliss. I thought it was going to be glorious and it wasn’t. I thought I was going to have the time of my life, with the large family that I had always wanted, and I was miserable much of the time. His expectations were far more in line with reality than mine.
I have friends who are in the process of adopting. And other friends who feel led to adopt down the road. Adoption is a beautiful picture of love. But…it is NOT easy! You may not feel an instant magical love when that child is placed in your arms. Or you might at first, but then when the behavior issues start, you may realize the magic isn’t there like you thought. You may wish you had a time machine. You may be overcome with guilt because you don’t know how to love a child that you thought you could love. Some families require therapy to learn how to make their new family work. In hindsight, we probably should have received some kind of family therapy to help with the process. But when you’re in it, it’s about surviving through that day. It’s hard to be objective enough to see past the fog.
So why am I writing all of this? Why am I writing all of this negative stuff?? Shouldn’t I be writing a celebratory post at this two year mark? I’m writing it to show hope. We are two years from the date of meeting the girls. And while things still aren’t bliss, they are good. Our life feels normal. We are occasionally overwhelmed, but more often than not, we just roll with it. This is just our life. We find SO MANY more happy moments now than we did that first year. Our boys are deeply bonded with the girls and vice versa. And while Phillip and I perhaps still aren’t as deeply bonded with the girls as we are the boys, we’re getting there. We have all come so far! And we know we will continue to grow into an even deeper love for the girls and them for us. There was a time I didn’t know that, but I do now.
And on that note, I’m going to go curl up in my bed with Katie Fart and take a nap. My heart will soften a percentage or two more than yesterday as I pat her little butt and get her hair out of her eyes.
Our life is good. Adoption is a beautiful thing. But let’s be clear….it’s not easy! Oh yeah, and by the way, Randy and Ashley will be traveling in a few months to pick up their little girl from China.