When I opened the mail to discover this piece of paper, I think I was more excited than the day I graduated college! Yes, graduating in four years all while going through heart treatment after we found out my heart was two times too small at eighteen years old was well, hard. But, man. So. Was. This.
I have learned so much in the past seventeen months of this process. The biggest lesson has been to let go of whatever I wanted this to look like and to embrace what it actually is. Seventeen months ago, I would have told you that I would completely believe that we would have a baby by now. I never thought that Chase would have completed two master’s degrees, would have changed careers and that we would have moved states – again. I never saw a PTSD and mild depression diagnoses coming. Never saw nine months of therapy happening. I never thought moving out from the house we built in Oklahoma and moving into a two-bedroom apartment in Ohio would be this freeing. Truly never ever did I think our Home Study would be done in an apartment instead of our beautifully built home! I didn’t see the hard conversations with Emry coming at four years old. The “how in the world do I explain adoption to her?” conversations I have had with the Lord. I also never saw the love I could have for our birth mom at this point with never having met her. I think about her, pray for her and yearn to meet her. More than imagining Chase and I meeting our baby one day, I imagine Emry meeting the baby even more.
I also never saw being mentally strong enough to be able to blog about any of this. Talking about it out loud is still hard, but this is a start. I have to remind myself all the time to celebrate every single step forward.
Seventeen months later, I can confidently say that I am not the person who first began this process. That girl who relied on nightmare prevention meds to sleep. The girl who hated being outside of any comfort. The one who didn’t even want to spend time with the Lord because she was that angry with him. The girl whose heart physically hurt, who was struggling to find her footing and didn’t know which way was up. That girl is now gone.
The person I am today wants to go back seventeen months and give that girl the biggest hug. Wants to hold her tight while her body fights sleep. Wants to write “your future self needs you to fight” on every mirror. Wants to let her know that Easter 2018 she’ll come to a new place with the Lord that will propel her life in the right direction. The girl today is so proud that she never gave up.
The adoption process is crazy hard. It’s long with an insane amount of paperwork and even more money. It is a brutal mental game, and an emotional ride. But, it is also the biggest honor. I’m so proud of Chase and I for completing every process and reaching this point of simply waiting for God’s perfect timing for our placement. And the girl who opened that envelope knows every single second of the journey was worth it.