It's 5 a.m. and I sit here in the quiet morning, steaming coffee in hand, thinking about my daughter. My mind can't help but question...who is holding her, does she have someone to wipe away her tears, hear her laughter, know what each of her cries mean??? What happens to her in the night when she wakes up and is afraid? I wonder if somehow she knows that I am coming for her. I pray to God, this is what comforts my Soul when my mind begins to spin. Then I breathe and know it truly is in God's time that I will wrap my arms around my daughter, Mae, and never let go. So I wait.
I am new to this blogging world, but have been asked by my dear friend Kimberly to write my story...so here I am, early morning sharing my soul which includes many hopes, joys and a few fears too. I am 43 and in "the wait" for my daughter from Nepal. As with most big decisions in life, it has been a journey getting here. My desire to adopt came to me as a young woman in my twenties, however at that time it seemed this idea that circulated my heart quickly tucked itself away. Too daunted by the expense and the fact that I was a single woman, I let this desire remain hidden. I guess I always thought my life would be what I had a dreamed of as a young girl. A life where I was married to a wonderful man, we had several children, a lovely home, enjoyable careers and a close relationship with our extended families. I saw dressing the kids up for holidays in their special clothes, much laughter, family vacations, baking cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, picnics, church on Sundays, etc. I could go on and on. But, what I have come to realize and understand is that God often has another plan and how I am to become a mother is a much different way then I had thought. I have accepted that I can do life out of order.
"The moment" Ah, yes, the moment. The moment I stepped fully into my decision to adopt. 2007. In this year, 2007, I was in a loving relationship with a man I thought I would marry. We lived together along with his two beautiful boys, who at the time, were 12 and 16 years old. Really, nothing could be better in my eyes. I was so very happy in many ways. While I had grappled with the desire to be a mother, I continually found ways to justify why I wasn't. On one hand I am saying to myself "Sharlyn, you don't have to be a mother to feel fulfilled, you get your nurturing through your work as a pediatric speech language pathologist and through your partner's children", but on the other hand I was making doctor appointments to see if I could biologically have children, which I could, taking my temperature to see when I ovulate, and talking with families who had adopted. Occasionally I let myself feel the pain of not being a mother while simultaneously feeling the desire to be a mother. A profound paradox. This pain/desire was so deep that I could only allow these feelings to surface for short spurts or I felt I would be washed away in the sadness and desire.
So now that you have the background we can move forward to "the moment". I believe everything in life is purposeful. All the people, circumstances, events, challenges, rewards...all of it. I also believe God places certain desires in all of our hearts which are unique to each one of us and if we don't listen and respond to those desires, somehow our life will hold a sense of incompleteness. When God placed my dearest friend Kimberly (I need to add her blogspot here, but will do that later) into my life He knew He was sending one of the greatest Souls I would ever meet. Really, she has been the deepest soul sister. Tears streaming down my face as I right this. I heard once from someone "If you can think it or envision it, it's not It, because God's vision is beyond anything you can see." This is so true because I never, never, never could have envision the soulship I have with Kimberly. When she asked me to join her and her husband Scott to go to China to help bring back her daughter, Lilly, I didn't hesitate....I said "YES". Now I know my "Yes" was more than a yes to help Kimberly and Scott, it was a "YES" to God. But at the time, I just thought I would be there to help.
I was so excited for this journey to Lilly. The travel, the culture of China, the challenges we were to face and the joys we would never forget. It was so interesting to be the person "helping" because I could be more of an observer. I will never forget the day Lilly was placed in the arms of Kimberly. I was videotaping and Kimberly and Scott were waiting. One by one each baby girl was placed in their parents' arms. I couldn't believe it. I was crying as I videotaped...I was so touched. It all was surreal. You walk into a room without a baby and then you walk out of a room with a baby...just like that. There was one little girl who caught my eye. She was sitting on her "auntie's" lap and she was bouncing her head up and down as she vocalized "babababa". The way her mouth was positioned made me laugh. I kept watching her, because she looked happy. (I'm crying again). Well that little girl was Lilly. She has changed my life and she is the reason I had the courage and strength to say Yes to God. The pain/desire broke through its coveted chamber and I was swirled up in emotions I hadn't expected....ever. The joy of this baby Lilly, the desire to be a mother and the pain of knowing what I had to do next consumed me. No more waiting for others, no more ambivalence and no more wondering how. I would return from China a different woman. I would have the courage to speak my heart's desire and trust God along the way. Big breath.
It is now December 2009, two years since China. Two years with Lilly. Two years.... I have left the loving relationship I was in because he couldn't hold the same vision. I moved into the most adorable farmhouse with a sweet little pink room for Mae. I have completed all my paperwork and my dossier now sits in Nepal as I wait for my referral. I have "ampt" up my work load to save money for Mae's adoption. I am still scared, some days more than others, but I know in my heart that this is part of God's vision for me. I trust that each day I am shown more of who I am to become. I trust that God put this calling on my heart and I need not fear how it will "work out". Some days this is so difficult, but when I look at Lilly, I know there is no reason to fear or doubt. The truth of a child rings clear as the pause between each tone signifies "the wait" and lets me know Mae is only a song away. This is my story, which is only at the beginning. I will post as my journey towards Mae unfolds. Thank you.
With Great Love,