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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The labor of adoption

My head is absolutely full.  Overflowing.
T-2 1/2 days.
Really, could be leaving for China that soon? 
Oh yes you can.

Mimi's bed, in our bedroom and next to our bed, awaits, complete with chenille sheets and flannel pillows.
The toddler bed and mattress, both brand new, we found on Craig's List for a wonderful deal of $80.
Liv picked out the fabrics at the remnant store, and Granna and I made the bedding.   

I wake up each morning, look out on the floor, and wonder who in the world spilled my brains out all over the carpet.  Now how did those get there?

I told myself that this was not going to happen this time.  I have again been proven wrong.

I wish I had the serenity of a peaceful expectant mother, with a glow in her cheeks.
I don't.
My emotions are swinging all over the place.  At one moment I giddy, then the next I swing to stress.  Still much to do. There are lists everywhere.  I'm finally going to hold my daughter in just days!  Will she like me?  Is she ok?  Luggage is spewing from the closets.  So many things to keep track of, and I feel like I might be forgetting to do most of them.  If I can get an entree on the table at night, the family is in luck that day.

This is the labor of adoption.

Worry, fear, confusion, stress, and pain.  Coupled with joy, anticipation, longing, and love.
No different from a biological labor in hind-sight?
I've experienced 4 biological labors, 1 with an epidural, 2 without, (one of those resulted in a 10 lb baby) and 1 with an epidural on only the left side, which let me tell you sista' does not actually constitute an epidural at all in my opinion!  If I'm being honest, biological labor was easier.  Yes, there was more physical pain in child birth, but in international adoption the emotional upheaval lasts longer and can be far more destructive than the pain of child birth.
Top adoption off with some jet lag, a foreign language, 8,000+ miles, some heavy lifting, and a little traveler's bug and voilà!  You have all the makings of an expectant mama whose emotions are swinging faster than 14-year-old teenage girl.

A photo of me as a teenager with my grandmother, and Mazie's namesake sits next to her bed.
This Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus statue sat next to my grandmother's bed for decades.  
Now it sits next to our little Mimi's bed.  My grandmother would have liked that.  

I'm praying regularly for God to give me peace.  For me to be able to feel His hand on me as we start this journey.  To surrender.  I didn't do that very well last time.  I have no doubt that He has equipped me with all I need.  But I have some concern that I'll be able to access all the tools I've been given.  I feel like this beautiful child deserves at least this- a mother who is giddy with anticipation and love that she has longed for.  Maybe this is part of the myth of adoption.  And indeed I am this mother... under a whirlwind of emotions.


  1. oh Nancy...hang tough, the very best is yet to come. The Lord knows it won't be easy, but He's got it. All of it. Covered in His unending love and abundant grace for you and for Mazie :) Sending love (and a few tears, too)!!

  2. Very soon you precious child will be home. Praying the LORD gives you strength for this next part of your “labor”.

  3. Looks nice, I too worried over the 'details' but once we got on the plane I didn't care & finally I let GOD drive! Can't wait for you! Hugs

  4. My family sent some fabric months ago for your sweet new girl and we are praying for your entire family, so excited for you all! Can't wait to see pictures and hear about your trip. Will you be posting here while your gone? Congratulations again!
    Your friends in AL :)

  5. Lauren-Oh yes, I do hope that I'll be posting regularly while we are traveling. I'm planning on posting daily for our kiddos and family who are waiting for us at home and will be eager to hear how it's going and see pics. But who knows if our internet connections will all work.
    fingers crosses,

  6. Aw, praying for you! I am so excited for you and your family! (Such a cute little bed!)

  7. I can totally relate. Still have those days even now. With another adoption for us on the way and one that is still new (been home 1 month), I understand what you are feeling.
    I absolutely love the bedding!!! You are going to be the mom Maize needs you to be - I have no doubt! I pray for peace on these days up til you leave and joy to overflow once you are on the plane and on your way to Maize!

  8. Oh Nancy! I love the pictures of Mazie's bed (loooove the fabrics!)!!
    I'm so sorry you're feeling stressed. I will be praying for you and for Miss Mazie. :) Hugs friend, you will have that precious one in your arms soon! :)

  9. Can I just say that those fabrics are DELICIOUS!!!!!

    As for your emotions, I pray the Lord keeps you settled and on solid ground as you embark on the final leg of your journey to bring Mazie home.

  10. I just love the bedding! It is beautiful. I pray that the next two days are calm for you, and that your trip over goes without any trouble. Praying for you, your family and your sweet Mazie.

  11. I can so relate. Can't wait to meet you in person in GZ. We are exactly one day behind you on your whole journey. See you there, hopefully.

  12. Nothing like a protracted labor that lasts months, has some of the final stages on airplanes and involves "recovering" while hauling a small, scared person (not a sleepy newborn) around an unfamiliar country. But it will work! You can buy whatever you forget there. You will survive whatever bug you pick up (trust me on this one!). You will know what Mazie needs. Maybe not every second, but mothers aren't supposed to fill every need and desire-- they're supposed to nurture and support and love and you're no rookie. You'll know what she needs enough of the time- and more of the time each day and that will be enough. You'll come home with a few more gray hairs (if you don't have any please keep it to yourself!) and Mazie will come home with a forever family, a future far brighter than anything she had before, and a past (with a namesake!) to guide her toward that future. Take your sense of humor and your sense of wonder and you'll be fine.

    It's just how adoption labor goes. (I was in active labor for three weeks-- truly-- and I agree-- adoption is definitely harder.)

  13. The photos are beyond beautiful!! You will be the just the mom she needs. So excited for you!

  14. You made the bedding?! Is there something you can't do? It's beautiful, just like you, Mazie, your love for her...everything!

  15. This post moves me knowing what you have endured. God is with you, as are my prayers.


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