The best way I found to ease the hurt of an adoption plan that didn’t turn out the way we had hoped is to…
Head to Disneyland!
Disneyland is a magical place for me. Lots of wonderful, warm memories all came rushing back as soon as we turned on Disneyland Drive. I was teary with anticipation especially when my 4 year old proclaimed, “This is how excited I am: 100 Billion 81!”
Our last night in the park, we went to the World of Color show. (Think the Bellagio fountains–were Mr. R and I got engaged–on happy steroids with clips from movies being projected somehow on the water spray, throw in a little fire and Disney magic and I think you can envision how awesome it was.) The music is really, really loud–not loud enough to wake the 3 year old that was passed out in my arms, but loud enough for me to sing all the princess songs at the top of my lungs without restraint.
When I sang from Pocohantas, “To be safe, we lose the chance of ever knowing what’s around the riverbend, waiting just around the riverbend” I realized how true that was. I realized that there is actually a lot of truth to my current situation in all those beloved Disney songs! (And you KNOW you have them all memorized like I do!) They were just what I needed to help me understand how I feel.
We took a risk opening up our hearts to C and the adoption plan she made for her child for 6 months. We took a chance. It didn’t turn out the way we had dreamed, but we didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.
Truthfully, in mid-November, I wrote C and “gave her an out” telling her that no matter what happened with the adoption that she will always be loved by us. After I sent that email, I sobbed as I was getting ready for a field trip with my son. I think I knew then that it wasn’t going to happen although C had given us no indication that she didn’t want to go through with the adoption plan she set in motion. She reassured us about her decision time after time after time. So …what were we to do? Tell her that we didn’t believe her word, essentially calling her untruthful? I don’t think so.
We moved forward, saved receipts for everything we purchased and continued to love her. We only just had our homestudy completed. Earlier in the week before she told us that she had made a different plan for her baby, we had rearranged the house and set up the nursery as the baby is due any day. (Perhaps already born at this point.) We took the risk because we didn’t know what was waiting for us “just around the riverbend.”
Was it worth it even though it didn’t turn out exactly as we had hoped? Yes, it was. How can loving and helping someone unconditionally ever be wrong?
“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” –Cinderella (my all-time favorite)
Just as we don’t know what’s waiting for us in the future, I also cannot pin-point exactly what my dream for the future is right now, but I hope it involves more babies and children.
I do know something about a grieving heart though …and I think Mickey did too! After we dropped our bags off in our hotel room, we went to breakfast with the characters. We walked in and had our little moment/photo opportunity with The Mouse. He took my kids in his arms and hugged them and kissed them. It was as if he knew what we were going through and was there to make it all better. I was emotional. Such a magical place!
That breakfast will always be a special memory for Gavin–it’s where he fell in love with and was double-fisting bacon!
“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” –Mary Poppins
I have nothing deep on this one, but cotton candy for breakfast sure does help as you have to wake up and face the reality of your situation.
“Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong.” –Beauty and the Beast
Mr. R often says that knowing if something “was right” is not defined by the outcome. When we were scammed 2 years ago, that definitely was not the outcome we were hoping for, but it was right to try and help her, expose her to the other families she was lying to and let her family know what was going on. (I heard from a blog reader last week that she is at it again. This time she is posting on infertility support group websites. Be careful!)
When C contacted us in July, we asked Heavenly Father to stop us if this wasn’t right for our family. Throughout the whole process, He never stopped us, but He did prepare our hearts for what could happen, what did happen. It was “bittersweet and strange” to feel that way and still feel hopeful.
Previously, I never thought that I would feel the way I do if we were ever in this situation. I thought I would be angry. I thought there would be more tears. I have never been angry about the situation and I haven’t shed a tear about the situation since the night it happened. I almost feel guilty about that. I was wrong about how I would react. In fact, even as I was packing up the nursery the night we found out, I was singing “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” How ridiculous is that?
I, for one, cannot even really understand it.
We don’t know how we will react or act in these kinds of situations until we are in them. We are stronger than we think we are. We are braver than we think we are. We can handle more heartache than we think we can. We should give ourselves more credit, trust in ourselves more, take more risks. It doesn’t mean that there wasn’t acute pain to the chest at times, but it passes. It lessens. You can do hard things.
We were going to name this baby Hope. When we came up with the name, it felt good. C seemed to like it, Mr. R seemed to like it, we all know it’s my favorite word …but as the weeks went on, I started to not like that name for her. Maybe my heart knew it wasn’t really her name, that she wasn’t ours to name.
The other day, I saw this on Facebook and it stunned me for a minute. It was perfect.
That said, we are not that family that only hopes for one gender of child. In fact, I have a hard time with those kinds of requests. If we are lucky enough to add more children to our family, we would cheer either way–for a boy or a girl.
“Raise our head up, lift high the load. Take strength from those that need you.” –Tarzan
Being alone with our family was the perfect medicine. Standing together in lines (the longest wait was 20 min!), eating together, sleeping in the same room, non-stop talking, riding on rides together, searching for character autographs, me dominating at Toy Story Mania and all hugging and snuggling and memory making was so healing. We are taking strength from the children that we do have that need us. We are celebrating them.
“Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Mary
Mary makes your heart so light
when the day is gray and ordinary
Mary makes the sun shine bright” –Mary Poppins
Mr. R is my favorite. He is so fun and so hilarious. He even sang Disney duets with me in the car. We had deep discussions about the best kinds of beef jerky as we auditioned different brands and flavors at the various gas stations. He gave us an awesome impromptu tour of his mission (Long Beach, Spanish speaking). He entertained us, took care of us and made our gray days shine bright. This entire trip was his doing and his spontaneity. I am a lucky lady and those boys are lucky to have such a dedicated father!
“If You got troubles, then I got ’em too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
If we stick together we can see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me” –Toy Story
The things that have caused me to be the most emotional over the last 2 weeks is the kindness and love of others. My neighbors are incredible–with watching my kids and bringing over meals. My family is amazing. My parents always instinctively know the perfect thing to say to me in these situations. Almost all of the comments here and on Facebook have been extraordinarily supportive and respectful. The emails, private Facebook messages, Tweets and DMs have been so appreciated and helped us feel loved, supported and distracted.
Thank you for thinking of us.
We are in a good place.
“And I won’t look back
I can go the distance
And I’ll stay on track
No, I won’t accept defeat
It’s an uphill slope
But I won’t lose hope
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete” –Hercules
We won’t lose hope that the future holds great things for our family.
In fact, did you know that R Family is hoping to adopt? ;)