August 14, 2008

So, while I long to write witty repartee...

Yesterday we had our first post placement visit with the social worker. Since we have a relationship that has spanned three years with this woman - we felt comfortable. I didn't rush around like mad to clean house. I didn't even bother to self-beautify. We were casual and relaxed and the baby's toys were all over the living room floor. An image I felt was more healthy than a spotless home. I sat on the floor playing with Quint for the duration of the visit (2 hours!) and we had a great time chatting and exploring how far we've actually come since she first met us, back in 2005, for our very first homestudy for China. What a long journey it's been to get here. We're parents - yet not at all to the child we anticipated when we started down this road.

Two days ago, I was pondering this very thing. I thought about how God had miraculously led us and guided us - even when we were feeling stubborn or scared. It is ever apparent when staring at our son, or interacting with him, how humbled we truly are for who he is and how much we love him. Let me be clear - there is a reason why God does the ultimate matching. Do you know why I know this? Because if they had let Anton and I walk into that orphanage and pick whoever we wanted - we would have missed Quint. (shudder) We might have seen him - we might have even thought he was cute - but I'm not 100% sure we would have been smart enough to know that in that little corner, the tiny little 14lb. 6 month old was truly OUR son. Thank GOD He knew before time began that Quint would be our son and that we would be his parents. Before I uttered a word or was even formed in my mother's womb - He knew Quint would be my son. How miraculous is that? And friends, I'm here to testify (can I get an amen?) that this little boy is exactly who we needed, wanted, and as it turns out is the perfect fit for our family. Save for the minor difference of skin color - he is our son in every way and could have been molded from our side. He is kind, but stubborn. Loving and cuddly, yet strong willed. He is his father and he is his mother. Who, but God, could match better than that?

We often find ourselves telling others "we don't deserve him" or "we aren't sure what we did to deserve him" or even "he's too good". This doesn't stem from a perfectly well behaved child (trust me on this one) or from the foolish notion that we are bad people who didn't deserve Quint. It's from a newfound but deep-rooted love for someone that you don't feel you deserve in your lifetime - but by God's grace were blessed with just the same. Why? Because that little person, in this case, manages to encompass all that is good and right and lovely in the world. All the things we rush to avoid, pass by, or even ignore - those are things that Quint is busy learning about - memorizing - taking in - enjoying. Each day with him is a day to see things as he sees them. Fresh, new, and unencumbered by the flailing world around. Simple things bring him joy - like when I kiss his cheek and he smiles. Not at me - but instead to himself. He's happy from the experience of having been kissed and how that made him feel. At nine months old - he is feeling love and maybe for the first time in his life - he is enjoying that feeling. What an amazing thing to watch unfold in your sons eyes.

I've tried repeatedly to come up with clever or funny things to post about - but I must admit to being overwhelmingly upside down in my life at this time.

On the one hand - work is a huge challenge for me right now and so is managing my new life with a child. I'm working from home and my "office" is in the living room where Quint must play while I work - or attempt to rather. It's a fantastic job and I'm so grateful to have it - but I am bulldozed by trying to fit it all in. Such a hard thing to swallow when I was so sure it would all be "fine".

Then there is the fact that AB will return to teaching next week and with him will go our summer and the first few months of sharing the tremendous joy we had in learning about our sweet boy together from sun-up to sundown.

There are still the remains of the days we spent in Ethiopia lingering in my heart and mind - I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that our trip was less than pleasant. But I'm also finding that I'm making peace with that fact - and even replacing those bad times in my mind with all the wonderful good that came from that trip.

I've grappled almost daily with the change of role my fur-babies have taken on. It's hard to shift your love around - but I think, inevitable. Coming to terms with my own shift of affection has been hard - because of the guilt it brings me. Plainly put - and please, no condemnation, I am much less consumed with my furry kids than I was before. Of course, I still love them. But it simply cannot be compared to the love I have for my son. Despite what some might think - it was a startling revelation for both AB and myself to find that when we returned from Africa...we had two dogs and a cat. Not three daughters. It sounds harsh - but when a child who now calls you Mom is crying on your shoulder and has survived total abandonment, fairly severe undernourishment, and prolonged sickness - and you are now their hope for having all of that improved- your perspective shifts. Sadly, it shifts dramatically.

I have tried very hard to improve the routine of my days - but it's still out of whack. My home is tornado-'d daily and I am the clean up crew. We are starting to get a routine down and AB will go back to work next week and it will all change again. Sigh.

I'm traveling for business this month and that puts a strain on AB to return to work and find care for QB. It's taken care of - but just the bottom line of being separated from each other and missing each other - all three of us - it's hard.

In the background of all the daily struggles - I must keep in mind that Keira is coming home. She's technically on her way. By that, I mean we are down to what will likely be our last eight months without her. A year ago, I would have jumped up and down at having that prospect - but right now, I'm still trying to get a handle on life with one new baby. (who crawls and stands, and falls down, and eats with his two little teeth, and is in to everything he can get his chubby little baby hands on) I'm trying to emotionally get myself prepared for having two in the same age group (or close to it). Don't hate me - all my fellow waiting moms. We set it up this way - but reality is a fickle friend - and slaps you around once in a while. I'm trying to get my bearings from baby number #1 and baby #2 is on the home stretch. And a trip back overseas. Gulp.

So, while I long to write witty repartee, I am left with being basic and honest about where we are. I'm left with having to tell you that I'm not perfect - sob! I'm left with telling that you every single day we look at each other and say "we don't deserve him". There is a really wonderful thing happening in our house over here - we are in love with a little boy. In the most vulnerable and heart shaking, inspirational making, ooey gooey dripping way. We are struggling to get our new life in order to make way for our second new life that starts in about 8 months. We are outgrowing our cute little house. We are desperate to have more time. We are upside down in life and flipped on our ears in love with Quint. It's the best of times and the worst of times.

That's the truth. Naked and blaring for all to read...

I've heard people say that the wait melts away once you hold your child - and that's sort of true for me. But I do remember very well the wait and the pain and the absolute feeling that somehow, it would never happen. That I would never be a mom. But I must tell you - we don't deserve them....either one of our kids - they're too good. Quint is and Keira will be. And all the waiting you will do, and all the preparations you will make - all the long traveling you will do, the sacrifices you will find yourself in the middle of, the work you will have to do, the money you will force yourself to save to afford the adoption, the life you put on hold, the tears you will have while waiting, the disappointment you will feel while your wait extends or the tired nights you will sit up in her room wishing she was there - my friends - she is worth so much more than the very most you could do on this end for her. You must believe me...worth so much more...

Five days with Quint would have been worth more than all the time, energy, and strength I put into my entire wait for both of them.

That's what's waiting for you on the other side. Upside down life included, free of charge. But that's what's waiting...

You can do it.


Robyn said...

Ditto girl....ditto!!

The last week or so (after my coming clean) I have just given up control on those little things that don't matter in the grand scheme of life. Like those fridge magnets I was telling you about....yes, they are on the floor right now!

Just keep taking it day by day and enjoy your little man! He's a heartbreaker already!

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that you can love someone so much that your heart just might burst if you loved them anymore? Then, you wake up the next day and the love has doubled. The next day it doubles again!

Anonymous said...

Christie, yet again you have moved the mother in me. All I kept hearing you say was that you don't deserve Quint, but I am here to tell you and all of your friends, you all deserve your children. Yes they turn our lives upside down, they frustrate us to no end, but they are the ones who look to us for love and hugs and most of all understanding, and we are there to give of ourselves without a thought. As you were saying, God had Quint picked out for you before you were even a thought in my head, ok, then don't you think that God in his infinate wisdom knew that YOU, Christie Bucher, were going to be the best mother you could, for His precious child. "HE" picked YOU, of all the women in the world, He picked you.....You DO deserve Quint sweetie or he wouldn't be in your home right now. Sorry guys for getting on my soap box. I don't mean to sound judgemental,but you all deserve those precious ones that are coming, or have already came to you. Just hug your babies and children and give them all the love you can. I love the last two sentences you wrote, how true, how true. You're gonna make it sweetie, just sit back, follow your mother instinct, and enjoy the ride! I love you so much sugar and I have complete confidence in the choice God made.

The Gang's Momma! said...

I'll take naked and blaringly honest any day over witty repartee! This post is just what I needed today. Thank you for writing it. Thank you for being truthful, with the good, the bad and the ugly!

Linda said...

Another wonderful post. You have a gift for putting in words what every mother has felt. Although I did not adopt, my daughter is a waiting mom, this year we hope!!! Yes, Mom's have an endless supply of love and yes, things do have to change in your home, but that's not a bad thing, just a different thing. The rewards you receive are priceless. I tease my daughter that the first spit up on the coach purse will change those purchases and so the changes will begin. The Love in your posts and the fact you are always thinking about the future show you will be ok and your family will continue to grow in God's Love..Thank you for your honesty..... Linda

Kayce said...

Thanks again Christie for keeping it real. Again a wonderful post!

Our baby Zambia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Our baby Zambia said...

Thank you!!! I am adopting a baby girl from Zambia and have been Lurking on your blog for quite some time. The waiting is starting to hold me back and keep me down and I want to tell you how much this post meant to me. I will wait an eternity if it meant one day of feeling like you do now.

Ali said...

What an amazing post! I know what you mean when God chooses the path without you realizing it. We were trying to adopt a newborn, and had many failed placements. To much of our surprise God lead us to Daniel for the state system. He got the referral at 17 months of age, and him home at 20 months. I shudder to think of not having him in my life. I truly believe that God had this planned all along and we are already in the process for Ethiopia for a little girl. He lead us in two different directions than what we were expecting! How amazing is that.. I wouldn't trade the wait & pain to get our little Daniel. He is soooooooooooooo worth it! I am sometimes feel bad for other couples still waiting on a placement since before we got Daniel & here we are in another process already! Daniel has been home 6 months on Aug 21! But you're it's what God Had planned for us :) And the wait for our baby girl is going to be worth it as well, and I feel we don't deserve Daniel at times too. I love him soooooo much, and wouldn't change a thing, and the wait for a newborn placement, because God lead us to him! Take Care, Quint is beautiful! Can't wait to see Keira as well. God Bless


Ali said...

Sorry so long , I meant to edit b4 posted, some doesn't make sense. I hope you know what I meant :)

Kim said...

I can't wait to till the day that I can agree with you..
But till that time comes..
I will hold on and wait...
LOVE the pictures..
Have a Safe trip..

Valerie said...

I love it when you open the window to your soul and share it with us lucky enough to know you.

Truth rings loud and pure. All mothers want to be the person our children believe we aready are.

He is so cute I could just eat him up.

Love Valerie

Anonymous said...

The thing about true. I remember someone told me that I wouldn't care about our pets after I had a baby, and I was so defensive and adamant thatI would still love my fur babies no matter what. But that person was right.

The baby is so much more important, and when you have cats that want to sleep in the crib or bring in mice and leave them in the nursery, well. Let's just say, my patience for their kitty ways was stretched thin.

You still love your pets, and I think dogs are different, but the baby comes first, no matter what.

You have to get through the first year with Quint. Then it will get easier (then it will get harder again when Keira arrives.) Then eventually it will get easier. But it is very hard to work from home with kids.

I know people who have used a "Mother's helper." Someone who comes to your house and helps with the baby for a few hours while you work. You're not missing the baby since he's still at home with you, but then you have someone who will keep him busy while you are working away. Usually a college or high school student who will work on the cheap, since they are not full charge.

Keep your chin up, girl!

She Who Waits... said...

I love reading these "real" revelations. My dh and I are considering IA adoption with Ethiopia at or close to the top of the list. It helps so much when you guys get down to the nitty gritty. It makes us so much more aware of what may take place if we step foot on this journey. Thanks for being so transparent.

Kristy said...

Incredible post Christie!!! I cannot put into words how perfectly said!!!! YOU are a mother now and I kow that GOD puts these words in our hearts because it was spoken like a true mommy. There is so much of what you said that hits home , really hits home and then what you said at the end of the post about the "wait' I appreciate so much. Thank you for sharing something so personal, this post has really set the mood for my week and I thank you for that. If it is ok with you I would love to post this on my blog. Just let me know if that is ok.

Lopve and blessings, Kristy

Stephanie said...

Oh Christie. The end of your post stuck it to me! Dang it girl. I wasn't ready for sniffles this morning! :) I'm ready so ready for what is waiting... You know. :)

Rebecca and Andrew said...

Again, you have NAILED IT! Someday I hope you will write a book. It will be a best seller for weeks and we all will say "We told you so!" I read your blog and gaze on your precious son every week. Our dossier was just sent to DC this morning so we are quite in the middle of the waiting game. Our journey has been filled with God's divine direction every step of the way so we know that when we get our referral, there is no doubt those are OUR kids!
Thanks for keeping a blog. I love visiting!