This third kid of mine. There was a time I didn’t think she would come to be. I gave birth to my first and adopted my second. My first pregnancy was a breeze. I was a blissfully innocent first time mommy. I just didn’t know what was possible. I had zero clue about complications and when my doctor told me to throw out the What to Expect When Your Expecting book because it would only scare me, I listened. I ate crunchy cheese doodles and mint chocolate chip ice cream and I still felt fabulous. Like I said, blissful.
Then came loss. You find out you are going to have a baby and the dreaming/planning and heart growing begin. The abrupt end to the future and soul you became so connected to instantly, are gone just as fast. My heart broke in places I didn’t know were a part of me. I literally ached all over. My innocent bliss turned to a real life heartbreak. And it sucked.
Adoption is a hard one for me to explain. The why, when, how…..it’s different for all. Just like becoming a parent is no matter how you do it. For me it felt like I had a huge rope around the inner most parts of me. Something or someone was pulling it, hard, from where? I had no idea. It was as if I had no choice but to go where it pulled. Tugging back, which I tried many times, only heightened the ache that I had now grown so familiar with. It was a deep guttural knowing that there was a baby and I was the mama. I get that this doesn’t make much sense. Yet it does. I knew I had to bring this kid home and I was going to bust my ass to make that happen. Just like when you go into child labor and your body takes over. There is no backing out, giving up, or choosing to go another route. That baby is coming and you are along for the messy ride. This is what adoption felt like for me. Something took over and I just had to stay present to it. My baby needed me and I needed my baby. End of story.
Being a woman who got to experience traditional pregnancy and physical child birth for one baby and then cross an ocean for a second baby, was a unique gift that has never been lost on me. Honestly, it has always left me in awe. I believed this love and this gratitude was all my heart could hold. Two little ladies and I was done. I said it multiple times. I got rid of all our baby stuff. I thought my sister and sister in law were nuts for having a third. I was so very done.
Then I had a dream. in this dream I was walking into a room and there was a baby in a crib. I walked over to see the little one and looked down to see a rosy cheeked, messy haired, warm and snuggly chunk of love. I woke up teary eyed and doubting everything I thought I believed. I wanted to know this little soul. Was I supposed to have another? Was that even possible?
After struggling with these questions (and talking about them nonstop with my people) it was suggested to me to say this prayer –
If it is not Your will, please decrease my desire
I believe she was always meant to be. I just got to be the lucky one to fall in love first.
How I carried her and her birth were, amazingly, just as unique as the other two AND that’s a story for another time. What I will say is that she came when we least expected. It wasn’t how I wanted but was what I needed.
Today I want to talk about who this kid is and why I can’t talk about rooting and rising without talking about her.
Last night as I was climbing into bed I was praying for a sense of peace. I was feeling overwhelmed with fear. What I can laugh off or rationalize away in the daylight becomes massive and terrifying as the sun goes down. I go through times when this is a non-issue. Last night, it was a right there and then issue. All the “stuff” throughout the day, all the craziness the world is in the middle of, all the personal hurdles I am jumping, all the worries and what ifs, what would I dos, and it’s just too much…come crashing in. The wind seems to get louder, the creaks of the house get louder, and my fears get louder.
I was getting myself ready for a long night of tossing and turning when this third little lady of mine walked into my room. All groggy and messy haired she stumbled over to me. Can I sleep with you? Those eyes squinting as she waited for me to respond. I patted the bed next to me and with a sudden burst of awake-ness (probably moving fast before I would change my mind) she hurdled in, threw the covers over her and immediately snuggled in. Warm and rosy cheeked. I could feel myself being covered with a sense that can only be described as sweet peace.
This morning she was singing ridiculously loud over the rest of us as we all tried to rush out the door because she is 7 and she is the third kid and you just gotta pump up the volume to get us all to listen sometimes. I was just about to let out a “Pa-leaze stop singing!” when I stopped. That face, that stinker. I bent down to kiss those chubby cheeks and took in who she is.
She has always been this not so very but so very obvious reminder of what is true and real. She is warm and rosy. She is loud and giggly. She is strong willed and perceptive. She is goofy and graceful.
She brings a peace that I haven’t felt before. She roots me in that peace. She is why I rise.
She is an answered prayer.