I know, I know...it's been almost a month since my last post. Go ahead, yell at me! ;) I did update the adoption blog a few weeks ago, so it's not like I've been completely silent, but....oh well.
I've sat down to write a post probably 30 times since my last update, but every time I've hit delete before publishing. Today, however, seems like a day to write: it's chilly (not cold, but chilly enough to have the heater on), dark and rainy outside, and there's a delicious-smelling turkey in the oven. I'm listening to the sounds of my rascals playing with Legos up in Rascal #1's bedroom, and the plip-plop of the rain on the roof, enjoying a cup of hot tea....and finally sitting down to write.
If you're looking for a "happy-go-lucky, Heidi's going to share cute pictures of the boys" kind of post, this probably isn't going to be it. You see, the reason why I've been deleting, not publishing each of the earlier editions of this entry is because of just that: it's depressing. There's a reason that a rainy day seems totally appropriate for finally sitting down and writing what I've been thinking and feeling: it's quite "Eeyore-ish." My life is wonderful - I often feel like I'm one of those "You wish your life was a great as you make it seem on Facebook" t-shirts. The boys are healthy. We spend most of our days enjoying being together, with lots of laughter and cuddling. Mike's job is wonderful - his schedule is much more family-friendly, the paychecks are finally paying the bills, and the office and community have been incredibly supportive and welcoming. We're back in a house that I love - every little thing about this house I adore. It's my home.
So why do I have any reason to be glum or depressed? I don't really. And so......the lack of posts.
How do you write about a feeling or experience that just doesn't make sense? I have so many amazing things to be thankful for. So many blessings. So many things that I know others would love to have or experience. How could I even begin to write something that's going to make it seem like I don't appreciate those blessings? Because I do. I truly do. I know God has heaped tremendous blessings upon me.....and I am so grateful. So, every time I started to think my writing was delving into the depressed realm....I trashed it. Who did I think I was, to throw all of those blessings right back to God, without a token of gratitude?
So I'd write and write and write....and delete.
I'm going to bite the bullet and hit publish today. Maybe. We'll see. If you're reading this....enjoy. ;) Who knows? Maybe there's someone out there that can offer me a word or two of advice. A book to read. A Scripture passage. A hug. Who knows - maybe there's someone out there who feels the same way and is also trying to hold it inside because of the fear I'm feeling. I don't know. All I know is that the rain outside is lulling me into a sense of safety, and I need to write.
You see, I'm struggling. Like I said, I'm so grateful for everything that I've been given. But I'm struggling. I have three amazingly beautiful, wonderful children......and yet there's an indescribable ache for more. As far back as I can remember, I've wanted to be a mom. A large family wasn't a requirement, but as I've gotten further and further into my motherhood journey, the desire for more than 2.1 children has gotten stronger and stronger. I know there are quite a few of you who don't understand why someone would ever want to commit to never being able to drive a sedan but be regulated to a E-150.....but try to imagine it with me. That's the life I long for: a full dinner table....the stereotypical "Catholic family."
And it seems that the past few years.....my dream of a large family has been crushed again and again. Health problems. A miscarriage. A significant adoption delay (probably a year). Adoption opportunity after adoption opportunity falling apart. It seemed like every time we started to move forward with increasing our family size - filling those empty spots at the dinner table or in the car - the door was getting slammed back in our face. Every time it seemed like we were moving forward....the new family member was ripped out of hands.
I look around and I see friends having babies. Friends announcing pregnancies. Friends meeting their adoptive child for the first time. Friends getting approved to adopt a child. Friends bringing home children.....I'm surrounded by pictures of them. Phone calls from friends, wondering if they're pregnant. Emails from friends, announcing the birth of a child. Pictures on my phone. Pictures on my Facebook. Pictures in my email.
Babies, babies everywhere.
But none of them are mine.
And I struggle. I struggle with pain of seeing joy on everyone's faces, watching them revel in the one thing that I wish I had. I struggle with the bitterness of an empty crib, still in its box, when we hoped it would be filled by now. I struggle with mustering up the joy and excitement to respond to the friend who just had a home study approved. I struggle with jealousy and envy as I go shopping for yet another "Congratulations on your new baby" card and gift. I struggle with the fear of being a failure. I hear the voices in the back of my mind (and sometimes in front of me, through the Starbuck's barista), chastising me for not being a "good enough" mother. That, obviously, if I was a better mom, God would have let at least ONE of these opportunities lead to welcoming another child into our family. I struggle with a fear of inadequacy. A fear of failure.
I escape into another book. I try so hard to fight the tears. The anger. The depression. I fold yet another load of laundry and try to focus on the laughter in the next room. I put down the laundry and go sit on the floor with the little rascals, designing my own Lego car...in an attempt to shake the sadness and "be present to the moment." But the moment I return to my silent room with the piles of laundry...or the moment the house is filled with only the snores of sleeping children.....or I catch a glimpse of the unopened "nursery" box while running to grab something out of the basement.....the pain hits me like a tidal wave. I'm once again sinking in an ocean of pain, of confusion, and darkness. Why is this dream being crushed, over and over again?
Why another miscarriage?
Why another delay in bringing Peter home?
The questions just echo again and again in my mind, feeling like little knives being stabbed into my already bleeding heart.
So I try to escape into the virtual world. I sign onto Facebook, hoping for a cheap laugh from another silly meme, or a thrilling debate to distract my mind with. And I see another newborn picture. Or another visit to an orphanage to meet a child. Another smiling family, welcoming their newest member.
And those evil, nagging voices with their daggers return. I'm not a good enough mom to be trusted with more children. I'm obviously failing in my vocation. I mean, come on, I can't even focus on the goodness that's in front of me. I'm obviously a greedy, selfish, ungrateful woman who can't be expected to care for another child. So I turn off the computer and try to focus on the book Rascal #2 wants to try and read to me. I try to memorize his smile - he'll never be this age again.
So the beating myself up continues. Not only am I now an ungrateful, selfish person....I'm losing the opportunity to be truly present to my life. It never ends. I write and write and write about it....try to pray...try to give it to Him and just trust in His plan.
And I fail. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.
I just can't seem to let go. I want to give it to Him. I want to trust in His plan for our family.
So I write. And I cry.
And I try again.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.