In April, I apparently told my mother-in-law quite convincingly that we would never adopt again. (She reminded me of this when I told her that we are, indeed, adopting again.) At the time I meant it. Delia was hard work when she first came home. In April I was just beginning to breathe again after some of the longest, hardest months of my life, and I liked breathing.
But once you have adopted a child with special needs, you never really stop looking at the faces. We had entered a world where adoption and children who need families were all around us, in blogs, on Facebook, among friends who had also adopted. It just isn’t possible to unsee it all.
When I saw his face, it wasn’t an all-at-once thunderbolt kind of moment, but he did become a favorite little one to check in on from time to time, hoping to find he had found a family. Gradually the kids began to know him by name. His was one of the only little faces that had managed to get a thoughtful little “he is pretty sweet” out of Trevor. (You must understand he has endured a lot of “Aww, loooook!”) We began praying for him, along with a few other special faces that had captured our attention.
On our camping trip in August, we had a few good hours of car time to reflect on life and take stock of things. Delia was doing so much better. Life felt doable again. Praise the Lord.
Then I asked a simple question (see this post for how history repeats itself).
Me: Do you think we’ll ever adopt again?
Me: Really? Like, later when the kids are older, or, like, soon?
Trevor: I don’t know. Soon, I guess. It’s been really good for our family.
We’ve been married almost 15 years, and he is still full of surprises.
After that camping trip, looking at waiting children’s faces felt different. I was excited about getting to pick this time, since Delia had picked us. My wheels started turning about what special needs we might be open to, which country’s program would be the best fit, how nice it would be to adopt a younger child this time (Bea, who has been twice displaced in birth order by her adopted siblings, especially requested a younger brother).
Then late one night while Trevor was at work, probably later than I ought to have been staying up, I had a little conversation in my mind. Was it God I was talking to? I guess I won’t know this side of Heaven, but I don’t usually have conversations in my head, and it surprised me enough that I called Trevor at work afterwards so he could help me make sense of it.
I had been chatting with a friend online who had adopted from China, and looking at waiting children, and suddenly, here was my thunderbolt moment.
You already know which one.
And I did.
But, I reasoned, wouldn’t it be better to wait at least until after the school year was over before taking on all that adoption paperwork again?
Then the other half of my brain (or God?) reminded me that I wouldn’t be giving the dog a flea bath every single night forever (it felt like forever!), and that would free up plenty of time in the evenings to work on paperwork.
And so I called Trevor. “What does this mean?!” I asked him. “I don’t know,” he said in his usual matter-of-fact voice, “probably that we’re going to adopt him.”
To be continued…