One evening this summer–June to be exact–I was sitting on the couch flipping through my Instagram feed.
Scrolling through, a photo stopped me dead in my tracks.
My friend Carina posted about her adorable daughter’s reluctant entrance into her ballet class. I was overcome by the photo. My heart started racing and broke at the same time. This is not a normal reaction to scrolling through your Instagram feed.
I felt myself tearing up. I felt that crushing longing that I’ve come to recognize over the last decade of wanting to build our family.
Josh walked into the room and looked at me. I burst into tears.
“Nothing,” I replied sheepishly, totally embarrassed by my inappropriate reaction to social media.
“Babe. Something is up. What’s going on?”
“I feel stupid. I don’t even want to say it out loud.”
“Huh? Just tell me.”
“What if we never get to experience THIS?” I show him the timid ballerina in pink tights. THOSE PINK TIGHTS!
He gave me a look of empathy, frowned with me, and let me feel sad. At this point in our journey, he knew not to fix it. I would work it out, I just needed a minute of self pity, I guess. I’m grateful for the safe place he gives me to feel all the feels.
I had never once expressed or even really recognized my desire to specifically have a daughter. I loved being a mom of 3 crazy boys. In fact, (confession time!) I have always had a hard time with hopeful adoptive couples that are only open to adopting a specific gender. So, where was this coming from? I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks.
I missed that little girl that I almost got to take to ballet. I let my heart love on her and ache for a bit.
But the night went on. We caught up on our TV stories. I went to bed.
However, with the help of my friend’s adorable little ballerina …something had shifted in my heart. Is someone missing from our family?
Two months later we had another failed adoption. We hoped to adopt a 2-year-old little girl that we had loved for a long time but it didn’t work out and I didn’t really talk about it except with close friends and family out of respect for her parents. It was kind of a sticky situation for us.
As we prepped to welcome this little girl into our home, my husband did a lot of the work. He arranged all the paperwork and flew out for visits while I held down the fort here with the boys.
When things didn’t work out, he was crushed in a way that broke my heart. To this day we don’t talk about those events very often.
Still my heart whispered to me, “Is someone missing from our family?”
The same time that those pink tights spoke to me, there was a young woman who was pregnant. In June, she began to seriously think about adoption for her baby girl.
Eventually our hearts found each other.
That young woman placed her precious baby girl in our arms 4 months later and they both became part of our forever family.
Last night I sent a message to Carina telling her this story and thanking her for that timid little ballerina. She (and those pink tights) will always have a very special place in my heart.