the song of my heart

Saturday, April 25, 2015

DeathtoStock_Medium8My daughter decided to become a songwriter this week. She dragged around several notebooks, wrote a couple songs, and then came to me just two hours later with the question, “do you think if you’re a songwriter, you can get song-block?” I’m not sure about that one, but I know that I’ve been fighting writer’s block for quite some time. Not in the sense that I have no words at all, more in the sense that I have too many words, too many feelings, too many questions, and to write them all down feels both like a betrayal and like too enormous of a task to even begin to undertake. Tonight, however, the words won’t stop flowing.

I came back from the Created for Care retreat this year with an assurance in my spirit for what’s next for our family. I didn’t expect to have that question answered quite so definitively while I was there, but during that whole weekend, speaker after speaker, session after session, I knew without a doubt. The long drive back home, while my friend and I discussed a billion and one other things, it just sat in my soul. When I got home I told Wendell, and we really didn’t even discuss it. Two or three days later, he says, “yep. That’s it.”

That’s how we found ourselves across the dinner table from one of our children’s birth mom and dad last night. Our kids have been asking for visits. We’ve been waiting for the right time, and this was it. I have no doubt that the decision to pursue this now was the right one, but I will admit that my dreams about what this is all going to look like are a long way from being realized. I can talk a good talk about family restoration and breaking the cycle and all of those things I hold so dearly to my heart, but the reality is way more messy than it is beautiful. (It was very beautiful, so that should give you an indication of the depth of the mess.)

In my benevolent adoptive parent mind, we are the ones who are making the grand gesture of increasing the openness of our adoptions. In some ways that’s oh so true. We do hold almost all of the power in these relationships. We have no binding legal agreement, and frankly, even if we had an official agreement, there are very few courts that will actually uphold it. We get to say when visits occur, if they occur, what they look like, who gets to be there…we get to say all of it.

The thing is, we just can’t control the outcome. We don’t get to say how our children feel about it. We don’t get to dictate how their first moms and dads feel about it. We don’t get to command the presence of said parents. That part was fairly hard for me, honestly. I, with my grand gesturing, am turned down?  Why wouldn’t a parent want to see their child? That’s an outcome I didn’t anticipate.

I also wasn’t prepared for all of those feelings that came rushing back. I was totally ready with all my answers and quality listening skills and compassion and validation for my kids’ thoughts and feelings and questions. My own, however? Kind of took me off guard. I wasn’t prepared to leave the visit angry. I wasn’t prepared to have to re-process some of that grief I thought I had long buried. I think because our kids are in such a good place right now, because I knew that this was absolutely the right thing to be doing at the right time, because I have researched and read, trained and been supported for this very thing, well, I think I thought it meant that everybody was ready for this. Maybe everybody else was ready for this, but clearly I was not.

This morning my friends checked up on me. This is what we do, these warrior mamas and I. We remember one another’s hard days. We feel the pain for one another’s kids. We text and message and pray unceasingly because we’re walking this rocky difficult path together. One friend, though, summed it up best with a simple text amidst the complicated, feelings-filled, messy other texts: “Jesus. We need a lot of Jesus…” There’s nothing else. We have only so much to offer, honestly. It’s a pittance in the face of all this brokenness. There’s nothing else to give. Nothing else to say.

This week my writer’s block might have lifted a little in the wake of an emotional outpouring. If I were 10 years old with Taylor Swift aspirations, I could write a song about the angst of it all. I am a little older though and wise enough to know that songs like that are best left to those whose souls they inhabit. The song that I’m singing tonight is the only one I know that holds the power to break these chains. The only thing I know that brings beauty out of these ashes. The only way where we get to shake off the dirt and glimpse glory:

Jesus.

 

photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo

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