February 11, 2009

Changing Channels

Have you seen Castaway with T. Hanks? He's stranded on a desert island for four years. He's got a pocket watch with a picture of his fiance and a small flashlight. At night, he sits in the dark facing the open pocket watch and turns the flashlight on and off...on and off. Just so he can see her face. So he can be reminded of her.

We have a baby video monitor with cameras over both Quint and Keira's cribs. I keep it on and by my bed every night, so that I can check on Quint if he cries. Since he rarely ever wakes up, I mostly just find myself watching the monitor to see him sleeping peacefully, or admiring him, thinking of our day together, and reminding myself how lucky we are to know him and to love him.

This week, while laying in bed doing that very thing...my hand reached over and switched the channel to Keira's room. I don't know why. There was her crib reflected in the monitor, lit up by the small nightlight in her room. There was her blanket, her tiny pillow, her bear. But no Keira to watch sleeping peacefully like big-brother. I switched the monitor to A/B - where the channels switch between the two cameras every 7 seconds. Quint, sleeping and beautiful. Keira's empty crib. Quint...breathing steadily, shuffling around a little bit. Keira's lonely blankie and bear in the quiet of the room. Quint, warm and cozy in his footie pj's. Keira's bed - empty. I just stared at the screen, unable to look away. Lying there on my pillow watching the screen switch back and forth and wishing that I could see both of my babies in their beds.

I don't know why, but it hurt my heart to see her bed. I guess I get through most of my days by putting all my energy and focus into Quint and the here and now. And I think that's the right thing to do - because it's useless to worry and fret over something I have no control over whatsoever.

But for this night, it hurt. And I suppose for a change, I just wanted to allow it to hurt. I wanted to see her crib and remind myself that she's not there now, but will be. I've had to put my feelings for Keira on such a high and dusty shelf just to get four years down the line from where we started - that I sometimes forget that her room is actually that...her room.

When we decided to adopt from Africa, I felt like I was betraying Keira somehow. Of course, instead, I was actually giving her a lifelong sibling and someone by her side who could truly understand where she was coming from. But at the time, my feelings were so raw from wanting her home, that I couldn't get past my guilt. Somehow, the healing that took place when I held Quint for the first time - well, it really put a salve on my tired heart. I guess ever since then, I've just been busying myself with the ins and outs of my fast paced days with a toddler. Falling in love with a little boy I never thought I'd have. All part of God's plan for our family...

But in the back of my mind, or rather my heart - there she is. Waiting and waiting, just as before to come home and be real to me. Not just a closet of beautiful clothes, or an empty crib...but to be my little daughter who I've waited and wanted for so long now. There she is, on the monitor...on the B channel. Waiting for her momma to look out for her, even in the wee hours of the morning. To see her sleeping and make sure she's snuggly and peaceful, just like brother.

Knowing that Keira Joy is born and in China even as I type this...knowing that she's breathing and eating and sleeping...but not in her bed where mommy can watch her and know she's safe from any harm...

It just hurts sometimes.

Soon enough it will all be a memory...


Andrea said...

I understand exactly what you are saying. We are currently working on a concurrent adoption as we wait for Maya. We haven't been waiting quite as long (3 years) and right now I keep her door shut, go to the classes for the new adoption, and feel guilty about both. Hugs to you for admitting it isn't always roses!

Briana's Mom said...

I have tears in my eyes. I have a hard time reading about empty rooms - it is just so sad. You are getting closer every day to your precious Keira Joy! Soon she will be in her room right next to her brother!

4D said...

Wow...that was a powerful post. Thank you for sharing it.

For us, it is soon and it will be a memory.

The scar of this will always remind us to never forget and take our kids for granted.

Keep smilin!

frogglet said...

Beautifully writen. I hope that she is home safe in her crib so soon. I don't go in our baby room often but atfer reading this last night I ventured in there to take a look and reflect of the last 2 years.
Take Care,

The Gang's Momma! said...

I'm so sorry for your hurt! This is one of the most poignant posts about the wait that I've ever read. And I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. Praying for you today!

Norma said...

so many empty waiting beds could be filled with children needing homes and Mommies and Daddies.......if only things were different.
so many waiting Mommies and Daddies.

S.Wise said...

I hear you. I really do..... :) Hugs to you my friend.

Kelly said...

Hi there! I came by your blog through a friend of mine's. I know exactly what you are feeling, even though our daughter is only from a few towns away, her room sat waiting for what seemed like forever!

Your son is beautiful! What a blessing adoption is!

Hang in there!