Lo, I’ve been having bouts of fear lately. It’s not even completely on a conscious level, but fear is staring me down and I’m trying hard to stand up to it.
Lately I’ve had these repetitive nightmares where we’re in the hospital, ready to adopt, and something terrible happens- usually a car accident or a fire, something horrific and unavoidable. I know what these nightmares are really about, I’m terrified of something out of my control going wrong. That something will stand in our way to the end result of us being your parents.
I know it will all work out, and I try to tell my subconscious to relax but fear tries to creep in every time. It’s almost like it’s freezing me lately, making it hard for me to allow myself to enjoy the process. Right now, we’re still waiting to wait. We’re still waiting on getting our home study paperwork back, and I think once we have that back the fear will subside significantly. But the waiting to wait is what feels like an eternity.
This morning on my way out the door for work, I let myself feel hope. I stopped at the outside of your soon to be nursery, looked in and imagined it. The walls, now white and bare, were painted in my minds eye a sweet yellow and green, perfectly gender neutral, perfectly babyish. I imagined your crib and changing table and pictured which wall they would be against. I imagined the one wall we’d paint a mural on, a scene of a meadow with deer and trees with little owls curiously sticking their heads out of the trunk. I let myself feel it, and it felt amazing.
I need to tell myself that feeling like it’s all going to work out, while terrifying, is okay. It’s okay because it’s true. The path may be long, it might not always be smooth, but we’ll get to the end, together as a family.
Letting go of the fear is empowering.
Your Dad and I were glued to the TV all weekend taking in the spectacle of the Olympics. During the US women’s gymnastics, the shoe-in for the all around didn’t make the cut. She was the reigning world champion, but one little mistake cut her out of her Iife-long dream of taking home a gold medal. Today, three days later, they won the gold as a team. Sometimes your dreams can feel so far away and distant, but a few days, hours, even seconds- can completely change all of it. When you least expect it, life gives us amazing surprises.
Last weekend your Dad and I stopped our Olympic watching marathon and ventured out to a local park for a family reunion on his grandmothers side. It was nice meeting people from his side of the family that I’ve never met before, seeing his Grandmothers face light up reuniting with nieces and nephews she hasn’t seen in a year.
As I sat there under the pavilion looking around at this extended family, I had quiet moment of worry. Will you feel left out at events like this? Will you feel like we’re not your “real” family, because the blood lines aren’t there? But then I looked around again, I saw it differently. I saw a family bound together by love, not genetics. I saw family members that had adopted children.
Then I saw the trees.
Trees, like adopted children, have deep, sometimes hidden roots. While these roots mean a lot to the trees well being, they are only half. What shows in the tree is the large solid trunk, the leaves that sway in the soft breeze, the branches that weather the tough storms. All of these elements are largely dependent on the outside environment, as much as the roots. If the sun is shining, the rain comes when it needs to, and the air is free, the trees sprout up healthy and full of life.
It’s a combination: roots, and environment. When they work together, nature is beautiful.
I know I’m rambling on quite a bit here Lo, and these thoughts might not even seem connected. Bottom line, I’m not afraid of giving you the right environment to thrive, I’m afraid of never having the chance. I know that once you have the solid roots of your biological family who no doubt loves you, and the environment of me and your Dad continually giving you our rays of sun you’re going to grow up to be a strong, gorgeous tree, ready for any storm.
It’s waiting for the forest that seems to be taking forever.
One day soon though, your Dad and I will get the gold. It’s just a matter of waiting, and staring down the fear.
Facing down the fear,