In just a handful of weeks it will have been one-year since we began our adoption journey. The same weekend Emry turns 4 we will hit our one year mark, so I am doing a review of our year now because I know I will be occupied with a 4 year old’s princess party then!
It is so crazy how the same amount of time can feel so fast yet slow. When we received our phone call in January this past year that we were approved for adoption, I naively thought that by the next January we could be so close to being Williams party of 4. I was so hopeful that a whole year would be plenty of time to get our orientation, Mount Everest amount of paperwork done, our Home Study (the true Mount Everest of work) complete and be on the wait list for birth moms to look through our family’s photo book and choose us as their baby’s adoptive family. Yup, super hopeful.
We aren’t quite where I thought we would be, hoped we would be, in terms of our process, but I am so much farther in where I thought I would be emotionally. I know people who have adopted. I see their “gotcha day” pictures, their face full of joy and heart that could explode out of their chest from feeling so full. I am sure you have seen the same type of pictures. But what people often don’t talk about, at least publicly, is the journey it took to be able to have that bursting heart picture taken.
I went from complete excitement and relief in January getting that phone call to hitting the lowest of lows in February. Once our adoption process actually began, I felt 100% out of control. Trusting strangers from the agency to the birth moms to give me my baby left me feeling pretty hopeless and overwhelmed… I had tremendous guilt that it was my fault my body couldn’t support a baby. (Even though Chase and I always wanted to adopt, that logic wasn’t even there.) Guilt took over and the lies played on repeat.
I went almost a straight three weeks without sleeping. Every time I would fall asleep, I would wake up from such miserable nightmares that I convinced myself it was better not to sleep at all. I would be wide awake at times and still have the same nightmares playing. I felt like I couldn’t escape the fear that was in me. The guilt was so strong it was literally tearing me a part.
I don’t hear people talk about that part. The part where you choose nine months of therapy because without it, you don’t know how to process anything logically. The part where your therapist refers you to a psychiatrist because you can’t sleep without nightmare prevention drugs. I don’t see that being said.
The most profound and relatable message I have ever heard was Christine Caine’s Code Orange Revival. Just thinking about it makes my mind just stop and the truths of the Lord start pouring in. I will attach it the bottom of this blog- you will want to listen to it.
She faced trial after trial growing up- was sexually abused by four different men in her life for 12 years. Talk about feeling out of control. The part of the message that grabbed me the most was her declaring that she had to make the choice to live her life out of the 38 years she hasn’t been being abused and not live by the 12 years she was being abused. She said it takes such a longer amount of time to heal than it takes to get the initial pain. You have to choose to go through the pain of healing so you can be stronger on the other end.
I knew I had to make the choice of going through the painful process of healing so one day I could see through the lens of freedom. My year began with guilt, horrific nightmares and flashbacks, and a flood of lies from the enemy that were on repeat at all times. Through the grace and strength that only God provides, I kept putting one foot in front of the other choosing healing.
I learned so much through therapy, going multiple times a month for nine months. Learned that it was okay to not be okay. Chase and I always wanted to adopt, but the process and timing was so different than I imagined. And that was okay, too. Waiting is time to grow closer to God. Being honest with Chase and at times my three-year-old that mommy wasn’t okay, was okay… Rejoicing in the good days and learning from the bad days helped me keep going. Celebrating milestones in the adoption process, and being disappointed when things didn’t go as we saw them going. Getting to a place this year in April where I told God he was the one I had to forgive because I had so much anger with Him, and then asking him to forgive me. Asking Him to help my unbelief.
Adoption is just that. A process. Sometimes beautiful. Sometimes not.
I am so grateful to say, that I have not given up on this process a year later. I was on nightmare prevention drugs for a few months but I am completely off of all medication and have been for six months now. It has been months since the last time I couldn’t sleep at night. I am doing so much better at being able to voice my emotions and handle the feedback I get. The guilt is almost gone. The pain is almost healed, my heart isn’t physically hurting anymore. My relationship with Chase is the most honest it has ever been. My relationship with the Lord is just that- a relationship. The lies are being recognized as lies and I am learning more truths all the time. I am hopeful and finally at a place of trust with the Lord.
I choose to be that person. That person who will tell the 100% truth about my story with adoption. Of course, everyone’s side will look different. Mine looks much different than Chase’s and we are doing the exact same process together. Hence his one paragraph of our year in review and I am currently on my third page.
We have had so many joys in navigating this craziness together. I am so grateful that I have him. Some people may not believe in love at first sight, but that’s exactly what it was for Chase and I. I know our dreams will come true having each other and growing from the lessons the Lord continues to bring us through.
Christine Caine Code Orange Revival: https://youtu.be/ApOPkGHopNs