• As ready as we can be…..(part 2)

    Date: 2013.05.03 | Category: Adoption | Tags:

    As I sit here contemplating what this trip means, it brings tears to my eyes.  It was during this week 26 years ago, that I sat in the hospital, very sick because I had become infected after my emergency c-section and prayed for my two little boys.  All of my dreams had come crashing down in just a few short hours.  I had been life flighted (air helicopter) to Des Moines.  I had been told so many horrible things about what the outcome for my boys would be.  Life moved in slow motion and I was in a daze.  They allowed me to go into the NICU on this day to hold their little hands.  I know now it was because they knew how sick Kyle was.  They called us in later that night and he passed away.  I remember it clearly because it was an open bed unit and they pulled this little white curtain around us to give us some time with him.  Have I mentioned that I absolutely detest white curtains?  And I wept.   I doubted I could go on.  I didn’t even have the words to pray.   I felt as if a part of my heart had died with him.

    The next few days were a blur.  We drove Kyle the 90 minutes to our home town, after his autopsy, because we couldn’t afford to have the funeral home to come get him.  We thought we could pay for the funeral because we had the child rider on our life insurance policy but Kyle only lived 5 days and you have to live 7 days to collect.  Everything was such a nightmare.  The picking out of a little outfit. The little white casket.  The forever of letting go.  It was just so hard.  It is still hard during this week, 26 years later.  My heart still aches for what could have been.

    So as I get ready to leave on May 4th, the day that Kyle died, I am so happy and yet heartbroken at the same time.  I know that these things have worked together for the good of God, but that doesn’t make it easy.  It doesn’t mean that it was good.  It just means it worked together for good.  I was very fearful after the boys.  I had always dreamed of having a big family, but I didn’t want to take the chance.  God knew better and even though I took all the precautions that I could, I got pregnant with Zachary.  Anyone who knows Zachary, knows what a gift that was.  God blessed me with the sweetest, smartest, little boy that I could have ever dreamed of.

    Dan and I were talking about this yesterday.  We were discussing how we know for a fact that we would not be who we are without all that we had gone through.  That doesn’t mean we have it all together.  I still feel like such a baby believer.  I still make so many mistakes.  I still don’t get all that I know I could get done, done.  I still have areas of weakness that I fight with all the time, like my weight.   But I do now know what is important.  I wish I would have woken up sooner to the fact, but I finally figured it out.

    Many times during this year, I have questioned whether I can really do this.  It doesn’t help when people question your sanity.  It makes you question it yourself.  Most people have been very encouraging, but they still say they are glad it’s me and not them.  So when they ask about extracurricular activities for the kids and whether or not they will have enough time it does make you question what you are doing.  Then I stop and I reread James 1:27 – “…to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”   We think being polluted by the world is stuff like watching R rated movies, or listening to the wrong kind of music.  But the reality is we are polluted by the world with our American ideals.  We don’t rely on God because we have everything at our fingertips.  We don’t pray to God for our food, our home, our car.  We take all those things for granted.  We provide for them.  It’s all about “we” or “me”.  I deserve a nice vacation.  I deserve this new toy.  Well, why do we deserve?  What have we truly done to deserve anything?  I know I’ve done nothing.  I am no better than that mother sitting in China with no hope for her child with a cardiac defect.  She cries and wants nothing more than to love this baby that grew inside her, but she has no choice but to abandon him.  She has to.  There’s no big bank account.  There’s no health insurance.  There’s no public aid to help.  She has absolutely no choice.

    But I do have a choice.  I have a choice to do without my vacation.  I have a choice to go get this child and love them with all my heart.  I don’t know why these bad things happen.  I don’t know why any child dies or is born with problems.  I don’t.  I can’t wrap my head around it.  But just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean I should not pay attention to  it.

    So even though I am afraid.  Even though I wonder if I can do it all.  I know through Christ I can do all things.  I will keep my eyes on the Lord.  I will repeat over and over again the phrase – caring for the least of these.  I don’t have to have it all together to love them.  I don’t have to be perfect to truly change their lives.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can let them know they are loved.  I can let them know that I will always be here for them.  I can show them the love of a family.

    I can’t even begin to put into words what it has been like this past year.  Watching Ben and Maisey grow and thrive.  Maisey loves with such abandon.  I can’t believe that she was a discarded child in China.  6 pounds at 6 months.  No one cared if she lived or died and then the Hills found her.  She is such a joy.  Truly a joy.  She throws herself into your arms and she loves you so much it almost hurts as Dan says.  Just yesterday, she put a hand on each side of my face and said, “Mama! Mama! I happy here.”  She is 3 and profoundly hard of hearing.  Hearing those words come out of her mouth perfectly….well, that just says it all.  She is happy here.  It’s not about dance and being the best in school.  It’s not about providing every single item that they could possibly want.  It’s about providing a warm bed to crawl into and arms that welcome you every morning.  It’s about knowing that they matter.

    I may not be able to do it all but together, with the rest of my crew, we will do the most important thing.  We will give them family.  We will give them love and a safe place to fall.  They will know they matter.  They will see the love of Christ and they will know that their lives have worth.  What a beautiful thing to get to be a part of.  I have come full circle as a mother.  I started out on May 4th, 1987 saying goodbye to my dream of having a big family, with my white picket fence, and fairytale ending.  And now 26 years later, I am saying thank you to God for allowing me to have my dream, when I had given up hope of it ever happening.   So with tears in my eyes, I set off knowing I will not do this perfectly, but that I know I can love them with all my heart and be the best mommy that I can be.

    Yesterday, after hearing what Ben had said to me about Eli, Dan said the sweetest words to me.

    “Your conversation with Ben brought tears to my eyes. He truly understands what “mommy” means – and he knows what it will mean to Eli.
    I want to share a quote from Katie Davis: “Mommy.” She said it and I knew. She was mine. I was captivated. Because Mommy is forever. It’s such a powerful name. Mommy means “I trust you.” Mommy means “you will protect me.” Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing when you are excited; Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed. Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and mender of broken hearts. Mommy is a comfort place, a safe place. Mommy means you are mine and I am yours and we are family. (from the book “Kisses from Katie”)

    Lisa – My children are so blessed that YOU are their Mommy.”

    I can be a mommy to them and for that reason, I am as ready as I can possibly be…..