One of my dreams is to write a memoir-ish type of book. I’d write it in short essays, just like I write this blog. I’ve been asked if I think about writing a chapter-y normal book, and I always say: No way, I can’t write like that. Because the way I write – in short bursts of hope and despair, is the same way I live – in short bursts of hope and despair. Everything changes on me and in me too fast to write long pieces. I write in short essays because I only know things to be true for a few minutes at a time. The only thing I can ever really tell you about myself or my world is what I think is going on right now exactly this minute immediately NOW. In five minutes everything will be completely different.
Craig learned early in our marriage never to ask me, “How was your day?”
How can anyone possibly answer that question?
My day was everything, obviously. Do people have all good or all bad days? I don’t. Every day is everything.
So when I get emails from readers that say: I wish I could be as loving and kind and peaceful and funny as you are in your writing, I always think: yes, well, that makes two of us.I’m just saying that if one morning you read a post from me about how joyful and hopeful I’m feeling and then you stop by twenty minutes later to find me in a puddle of tears on my kitchen floor, don’t be surprised. That’s just the way it goes over here. And I am fine with it. I used to be afraid to write anything down unless my tone and ideas matched the type of person I want to be . . . but I think I’ve figured out that there really is no type of person. We’re all the same type: a little hopeful, proud, peaceful, frazzled, afraid, brave, loving, mean. Usually all in the same day. So the most important thing for us to remember is: This Too, Shall Pass. Since everything passes, it’s best to keep breathing during the bad times and pay close attention during the good times. Cause they’re both on their way out, always.
Even though This Too Shall Pass is the most important thing to remember . . . I don’t remember it, hardly ever.
Things seem quite clear and simple when my soul speaks here at Momastery, but when I walk away from my keyboard and my head and heart and other people start speaking: I generally forget most everything good. I forget hope and patience and peace and I start floundering in a sea of fear and doubt and irritability and restlessness. My soul is steady and still . . . always, but my heart and mind are freaking lunatics. They should both be locked up, honestly. Craig agrees because he fields most of this lunacy. I have never seen a more perfect illustration of our marriage than this. When I showed Craig he pointed at the screen and said, “YES! YES. THAT’S IT!”
So sometimes when I lose my peace and start to feel sad or WAY UP or WAY DOWN, I tell someone other than Craig or Sister. Because everyone in my family secretly agrees that people have jobs, for God’s sake and so my dramatic heart needs to be shared. It takes a village. This weekend, I started to feel sad and panicked about the adoption again, so I reached out to my friend Shauna, who has been through two adoptions and is now a passionate advocate.
So I emailed her and told her how upset I was about possibly losing our adoption. I explained how beleaguered and abused I felt and how totally unfair it all was and then I added that I knew she was very busy with her newborn so she definitely didn’t have to write back.
Then I sat at the computer and waited for her to write back.
I was hoping that Shauna would say that yes, I’d definitely been wronged and that yes, God was letting me down and that YES, I had every right to pout for as long as was needed.
But when Shauna wrote back, which was right away, she didn’t say any of those things.
She said some loving, soothing, simple words and she ended with: Yes, there is a lot of pain in adoption. There is a lot of loss. Adoption is born from loss.
I’ve been letting that sink in for the past three days.
What the hell was I thinking anyway? That I would be the first person in history to mosey through the battlefield of adoption unscathed? What about the birthmothers who can’t keep their babies? What about the infants separated from their birth parents? What about the women with years of agonizing infertility behind them? What about the poverty, the pain, the disease, the death . . . all the sadness from which adoption is so often born???
Did I think I could step into this ring of pain and not get knocked down a few times?
Did I believe that for me, adoption should be a walk in the park ending with a parade for me and my family?YAAAAAY US!!!!!! That I would show up on the adoption scene and those already there would stop what they were doing and say: THANK GOD. YOU’RE HERE! IT’S ALL BETTER NOW. PARTY TIME!! Jeez. This is serious business for serious people.
I learned a lot from Shauna’s response to me. She was loving and honest and true and she ignored my lunatic heart because she knew that my soul needed to hear the Truth.
“I’ve come to ignore your cries and heartaches. I’ve come to closely listen to you sing.” – Joe Pugg, on Jesus
Adoption is born from pain, from loss.That, in the end, is part of the beauty. You become connected through loss. So in the end, you understand each other. And if I’m going to throw my hat into this sacred ring, I need to expect to get knocked down a few times. The good news is that it’s not how many times I get knocked down. It’s how many times I get back up. Even if the whole world would prefer me to just stay down, for Christ’s sake. Only I decide if I stay down or get back up for more. That’s between me and God.
So I’m okay over here. Preparing myself for a blow. Might even get beat in this round. Might not. Either way, I can handle it.
I’m little, but mighty. Like the mouse, Lovies. Like the mouse.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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