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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fully Alive


I have been pregnant for four years.
I have been PREGNANT for FOUR YEARS.
I have been pregnant for four years.

(We are learning about good openers in our homeschool writing class.  That one’s called a shocker.)

Yes, you read it right, a four-year gestational period, similar to some kind of steroid-pumped elephant. 

We, and by we I mean I, began adopting again from China about four years ago.  So in adoption circles, once your paperwork has been turned in to the powers that be in China, a.k.a. the CCAA, you are paper pregnant. 

My beloved wasn’t, apparently, as enthralled with the idea of a third adoption as I.  He agreed, likely to keep me from assaulting him daily with my vision for abundant family life.  Did I mention he’s a pastor?  Or that I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who really likes fashion?  Unfortunately, I learned that there is NOT a tree in the backyard that grows money.  Bummer.

And then the process stalled.  Adoptions literally began to trickle out of China.  Wait times went from about one year to over 4 years.  And, my beloved rethought the idea.  Well, I rethought it too. 

So now we’re early 40’s instead of late 30’s.  We’ve got a teen (when did that happen?) and a self-proclaimed ten-ager in the house.  And I did something very dangerous and wonderful.  I perused our adoption agency’s website and stumbled across a “Waiting Child” section. 

Did you know there are literally hundreds of children with minor, correctable special needs that are paper-ready to be adopted?  No, me neither.  Did you know many are boys?  Did you know they are often abandoned in the first days of their precious lives? 

So I prayed.  I tried to shut up.  I entreated.  And the beloved said “Maybe.”  Really?  Maybe???

Wantonly, I asserted my womanly wiles…quite well, actually, and he agreed to fill out a medical needs checklist (step 1).  Four days later, we had a file to consider.  It didn’t feel quite right.  One month later, file two to consider.  It feels really right.

He’s beautiful, with soulful eyes and expressively-arched eyebrows.  And he’s a he, in this hormone-laden house that oozes femininity.  He’s perfect and needs care to repair cleft lip and palate.  He is wooing me.  It’s the eyes, I tell you.

“How are you doing with this?” I ask my beloved.  We, and by we I mean he, are taking some days to pray and wait and be quiet and sure.  “Well,” he responds, “I can see it.  Feels good.  And then, I kind of feel like, (arms lifted, head shaking, shrill tone) AGGGHH.  AGGGHH.  AGGGHH."

So really, isn’t that what parenting or life or anything worth having is?  It feels good, and then AGGGHH.  It’s the sweet, sloppy puppy kisses (feels good)/I just stepped in dog &&$$ in our front yard (AGGGHH).  It’s a family fun night watching Kung Fu Panda 2—good flick by the way (feels good)/three nights in a row of the ten-ager howling at 3a.m. because she doesn’t feel safe (AGGGHH).  And don’t even get me started on the “I don’t feel safe” line of attack for sleeping in the parents’ room. 

Perhaps the prayer and quiet and the AGGGHH is where the unfettered abandonment of a life well lived is birthed.  Cultivate stillness.  Practice prayer.  Be quiet.  And then buckle your seatbelt!  Here it comes...life in all of its wild, unpredictable glory.

Here’s to praying and waiting and being quiet and sure.  And AGGGHHdoption.

“The glory of God is man/woman fully alive.”  Irenaeus                           

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