10:55 AM

Understanding the wait

This past week I have been having some deep thinking about the wait. I have experienced the gamut of emotions, from envy, anger, fear , depression and frustration peppered with moments of hope.

In the process I remembered something from our PRIDE classes, an exercise we did regarding loss. We were each asked to think about loss we had suffered in our lifetime and use those feelings to create understanding and empathy for the loss our children suffer. I am no stranger to loss, but now I have another experience to add to this exercise.

I think for the first time I really understand what adoptees mean when they say that love is not enough. I understood that before like how you can understand the concept of heart surgery from a text book, but performing heart surgery is a totally different matter. Love is not enough to heal me, I am surrounded by love during this wait. I have my precious boy, my heart bursts with love for him, he cheers me beyond measure and makes this wait bearable, but still nothing can erase the pain of the wait completely. It is possible to dull it, but never to lose it. I really get how my baby girl will carry her pain somewhere in her forever, regardless of what we do. My wait is preparing me for that reality. Just as I hope my family will not take it personally when they are unable to chase these shadows from me, I will draw on that understanding and help little girl to know that it is okay to be sad about what she lost. I know that I will forever be sad for every single day of her life that I was not able to be in, she will be forever sad about those days too, when she was alone and for the what ifs and whys.

There is another harder part of the wait just around the corner, the part I fear the most. Once I see my precious girl’s photo I will have to wait 4 to 6 months before I can hold her. I was trying to tell someone the other day about how scared I am of this wait, how will I be able to know she is real and waiting and not go to her. It is against every mother’s instinct. In describing these feelings I said “it would be like giving birth and then leaving my baby at the hospital”. No sooner were the words out of my mouth then I had a light bulb moment. This part of the wait gave me my first real glimpse of what Elora’s first mother must be feeling right now. Empathy and understanding for our children’s first mothers can be the most difficult, each woman is coming towards motherhood with opposing outcomes, and it can polarize the situation, creating a huge barrier towards empathy. I am coming to understand through this journey that she and I have more in common than I thought. There is one big difference though, she is stronger than I am, she is living with a pain bigger then I can imagine, a pain I am only getting a sliver of, and who’s intensity will only dim with time. I know she has no such light at the end the tunnel.
Today, I am actually grateful for this wait. I am not happy about it, I still reserve the right to wail and whine, but I have a new respect for it and the lessons it will teach me.

The only source of knowledge is experience.
- Albert Einstein


Claudia said...

It's the one good thing about the waiting, I think - if you do it right, it really builds empathy! I found that second wait unbearably, suffocatingly difficult, but I came out the other end a braver person, and a more sympathetic person. Not that I would wish the experience on anyone! But going through all that is not something I would trade (heh - now that it's OVER).

Paige said...

Great post!!! I so get it!