Saturday, August 17, 2013

Time flies

Could it be 2 years ago? Really? Two years since we started this road? Today I was cleaning out Ellian's closet. Moving 9 month items down to be sold, and moving 18 month items over to be worn. All the while, I was placing Disney items to the side for Elliana to wear on our trip in October. While I was hunting I came across two outfits. Two tiny XS outfits that made my heart stop. Two little dresses I bought in Oct 2011 when we just started our adoption process.

I will never forget. We were on main street. I was looking at things and the boys were getting tired. We had been to the candy shop and they were ready to go. I wanted to look at another shop. Just to browse. Dave could see the desire in my eyes. He led the boys out and told me to take my time and to buy anything that called to me. Guiltily, I grasped two outfits. Two tiny minnie mouse outfits for a 'maybe baby' that I felt guilty buying.

So many times, early on, I would feel like someone would catch me in the girl section of stores. They would call me out as a boy mom and tell me I had no right to be there. It was the same at this tiny Disney store. The check out lady asked me about my daughter. I told her we were hoping to adopt. That the little girl I envisioned in those clothes had not been born yet. She just looked at me. No one got it.

When you are pregnant, there is a beginning and an end. A time when that child will come. A date when that baby will be placed in your arms, boy or girl, and you will move forward. If all goes well. And you hope it does.  When you adopt, you never know. You are a waiting family. A family that is waiting for that expectant couple to choose you. So that you can moved to a matched family, and hopefully a forever family. If that happens. Which is sometimes doesn't. So in Oct 2011, we had not even started our home study. We were out on a limb. Our agency (ANLC) had been chosen, we had signed up, we were 'live' with them, but we had to do so much more.

The hope that these two small outfits represents to me. Looking at their simplicity, I am overcome with the remembrance of all that came with them. The paperwork, the time, the questions, the visits, the hope, the prayers, the dreams, the wait............

In October 2011 we began this journey that would add to our family. A 4.5 mo wait that would bring this girl child into our lives that would reach beyond our dreams and expectations. A baby that would tie our whole family together. A child that not only my husband and I prayed for, but her brothers, and a whole community. A child that shows people that dreams do come true. That people do make good decisions, that their families can grow, and that the best packages come in small bundles.

But until then, in Oct 2011, I was a hopeful mom. A mom that knew some one would see the security and love in my husbands eyes, and the protection in my son's stances. I always knew that the woman that would be drawn to our family would first be taken by  my husband, then by my sons, and lastly by me. It would be my desire to parent a daughter that brought us to the decision to adopt, but it would be the men in my life that would solidify it. And I was right. Barely 4 months later, a young woman would fall in love with my husband's history, my son's present, and my dreams. And the end of it all, a little girl who would one day wear the outfits I bought for her, before she existed.

Keep the Faith. Trust in what you cannot see. For when one or more of you pray for it, so shall it be. For all of my friends out there waiting, your time will come. I walk in total Faith for you. And if you ever doubt God is there, may I remind you of my daughter, Elliana. Who's name means, The Lord Has Responded. The Lord Answer's Prayers.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Glimpse In Time

On Sunday, as I laid at the beach during nap time, I watched this beautiful family come down to the chairs beside us. I quickly sat up and took note! A mom, a dad, and three little boys followed behind. Immediately, the mom began setting up the chair area where they were going to sit and the dad headed out to the water with his three little ducks on their boogie boards, all in matching swim shorts. I smiled at this kindred spirit and asked her how old her boys were. 10, 8, and 6. Perfect! I told her my boys were 13, 11, and 6. She asked if we had all boys. And there is where the show rolled to credits. No, we have a daughter at the end, I replied. "Oh." was the last word this mom spoke to me. She grabbed a chair and marched to the water and was gone. My soul sister search cut short. And it stung.

Later when I was telling the happenings to Dave, I was reminded that a few years ago, that was me. I was the one who was sad I didn't have a daughter. I was the one who cut completely nice people out of my life because they birthed a girl child. I have occasionally had times in my life where I was able to look into the mirror and see myself. This was one of those times. Am I ashamed I acted that way? Yes. I was at the time when it happened as well although I couldn't stop myself. Was I sad that I felt I couldn't pursue a friendship? Yes, but eventually I did become friends with women who had both genders. It was just strange to look at my life from the outside. To look at that lady's life on the outside and know that there is nothing lacking in her all boy family.

Two days later, at the pool, her 6 year old jumped in and yelled out to Liam. "Come play!" he said. And Liam did. I cautiously looked across to where the little guy's mom sat and she smiled. Apparently the day before, Dave had talked to them at the pool while Elliana and I were napping. He had told them about our lives with our boys and how we brought our daughter into it. It seemed that because we adopted, all was forgiven. I know this feeling as well.

I often wonder what people see when they look at us. Those who know our story, I'm sure they see things that are different than others who are looking at us for the first time. A dad, a mom, three boys, and a baby girl. While our family may not be perfect to some, to us, it is. I still hear people say...Oh, you're lucky that you finally got that girl! and I hear myself reply, We were lucky all four times, we have healthy, amazing children. When I hear people make boy/girl comments, I still jump in. When I hear people's wistfulness in their voices on how they don't feel like their one gender family is complete, I share our story, much as Dave did. And when I hear people celebrate their children no matter what, I celebrate too, for children are gifts from God, no matter how they come to join our families.

I will never forget the woman I was. The one with the three little boys following behind in their matching swim suits. For they are what made me a mother for the first, second, and third times. But I will also always be thankful for the frilly girly-girl that toddles behind them, for she made me a mother for the fourth and final time. And as I see glimpses of what my life was like, I'm thankful for growth. For realizing, before any of it was too late, that family and friends are the most amazing gifts of all.

And now, I'm headed to the pool to gab with a fellow all boy mom, who thinks my little girl is pretty cool too. ;)