Now, this is a post I've been thinking about for quite a while. For the last 2.5 months, really, since "Brigitte" became unadoptable. To begin with, I grieved. It hurt to lose her, this little girl I was sure was my daughter. It hurt even more knowing she would never be adoptable, that she would never have a mommy and daddy. I've seen others compare the feelings to those you have when you miscarry, and I think the situations are very similar. And this was a late-term miscarriage. We'd been falling in love and preparing for her arrival for 6 months (and I'd fallen in love a year before), and had just 2.5 months until we were going to meet her. We were already making the plans for her arrival. Losing her hurt.
And that's the thing with loss -- it hurts. And as a human, one of your initial reactions is to draw in and close up upon yourself. After all, opening up your heart hurt, and we naturally don't want to let ourselves be hurt. So sometimes we try to protect our hearts by not letting anyone in.
I didn't want to do that, but that didn't mean the temptation wasn't there. It would be so easy to stop looking at little faces, stop praying about them, stop falling in love. If I don't care about them then I can't be hurt by them. Sometimes when you're hurting anything you can do to protect yourself sounds like a very good idea.
But the truth is, as much as I was hurting, as much as I was grieving, I never once regretted falling in love with Brigitte. She's a very special little girl, and she deserves to be loved. She deserves to have someone think about her and pray over her. As hurt as I am, I am privileged to be one of those people. I am privileged to love this wonderful little girl, and I hope someday I'll be able to meet her and tell her how much I love her and how she has touched my life. Even if I never meet her, though, I won't stop praying for her. I continue to love her, even if I can't tell her that.
And the more I thought about things, the more I realized -- as much as it hurts when you lose someone you love, you never regret loving them. You might be hurt, but you'd never choose to have not known them simply to relieve yourself of the pain of losing them. The love is more powerful than the hurt.
All of this made me think a lot about some of the decisions I'd already made. When considering life in general, and adoption in particular, there were some options I'd already ruled out because they were just too hard. There was too much uncertainty, which meant there was too great a chance to get hurt. But if I could look at this one experience and be grateful for it in spite of the hurt, didn't that mean that these other experiences would also be worth it, even if they didn't end up how I'd like them to? I became more open, and started looking into all sorts of possibilities and praying God would lead me in the right direction.
I still don't know for sure where we're going or what we're doing. I have hopes, and I'm getting some small idea, but the truth is we might end up not adopting at all. That would be pretty devastating. But I still wouldn't regret what I've done in the last year. The possibility that things won't end up how I want is not going to keep me from looking at pictures and falling in love. Whoever I bring home (whether I even bring anyone home), these children are children of God, and showing them love, praying for them, is never going to be a bad decision. I hope that I continue to love these children, and have my heart break for them, however much it hurts. I imagine it's how Heavenly Father feels about me.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" 1 John 4:18