Today I’m missing Ali Rose.
So I thought maybe you were, too.
Her mama has been really good at texting me little updates that she knows I wouldn’t want to miss.
Baby girl learned to walk this week. “15 steps across the kitchen floor” is what her text said. It was followed by a picture of her brother, arms wrapped around his little sister. This is the same brother who said, just days after Ali Rose came home,
“Mom, I think she is our best-est gift.”
Several people have asked me if I’m grieving the loss of these children and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t. I miss them often. It’s not one of those kinds of missing, though, where you wish the person wasn’t gone. I’m glad they’re gone. It’s what we were praying for from the first day they each came into our care – that God would place them in a long-term family, whether their biological one or a new one. So I’m glad they’re gone, because it means that prayer was answered.
It’s more that I miss being a mom. I miss having the responsibility of those five little hearts. I miss reading children’s books and fixing bottles and planning my day around naptime. I even miss hearing Eden Hannah’s “eh-eh-eh” in the middle of the night. I miss Lily’s hand in mine on long walks around the neighborhood – walks that led us into places in her heart where we’d never been before and (often enough) places in my heart where I needed to go. I miss waking up early with Ellie and laying on the couch together, both in silence, savoring what I knew wouldn’t last forever…what shouldn’t last forever. This is a strange place to be – in between – knowing that everything is as good as it possibly could be, but at the same time unable to ignore the void that’s created when the five most important people in your life suddenly move on.
I see it written on blogs and in books and sometimes on eloquent facebook statuses. Adoption is all about loss.
Yes, it’s a celebration, but someone…somewhere…loved and lost a child. Maybe, in an abandonment case, this is hard to imagine, but there was probably a caregiver in an orphanage who loved that child extra – more than the others. I’m grateful to have experienced the other side of adoption, getting to be the person who loves for a season, knowing that the child in my arms would soon move on. Someday (I hope), it will be my turn to be on the receiving end of a child who has been loved by many different people, often by people who will never know the rest of that child’s story. This experience has given me insight into those people. I’m praying for them even now. Praying that they’ll love those children with abandon, even while knowing that it won’t last forever. The investment is forever.
This whole experience has been hard, but I would live this whole year over and over and over for the joy of placing these children in their parents’ arms. Each of those moments will forever be etched on my mind as precious.
Yes, I’d do it over and over and over again. Yes, I miss them so much it hurts sometimes,
but isn’t it beautiful to know that God is good enough and big enough
for us to rest secure that when he breaks our hearts,
it’s with something even better and even bigger in mind
for me, for them, and for you?
I’m so grateful to have known a tiny piece of God’s heart through the past year,
the lengths he went to to adopt us.
It’s Christmas Eve today.
Tomorrow is a celebration of a God who gave us his baby
because he had something better and bigger in mind for us.
And he’d do it over and over and over.