Sunday, February 15, 2009

House of Cards

Why do we do it?  Why do we love to build a house of cards.  Here is Q with his very first.  He is celebrating.  If you don't have a six year old boy in your life you may not recognize it but six year old boys often need to get upside down in order to celebrate.  I do not know why this is.  My son is a mystery to me.  

I am posting this quickly, late at night because of a sweet note that Julie left asking if I'm OK.  Hmmm.  I am OK yes.  I am also, well I don't know know but there is a general hurricane of longing going on around us isn't there?  I'm caught up in it too, to the point of speechlessness (or writers block.)

The good news: I got a job.  I lost my job on November 15th.  I knew it was coming and so in September we put a hold on our adoption paperwork.  Horrible.  Horrible.  Horrible.  But still I know I'm so very very very lucky.  I have Q.  I have been at my new job for 4 weeks.  20 people interviewed for my position.  10 were put through to the top level of interviews.  3 of us came back several times.  And then they chose me.  I keep thinking of the 19 others who interviewed.  It's very tough out there in Manhattan these days and while I usually think I'm one in a million these days I know the odds are much much different.  I am so humbled by my good fortune I try not even to think of it.  I feel, in a word, quilty.  I know I shouldn't but there you go.

Meanwhile our social worker was laid off and we will have to do some of our home study over.  We have had so many twists and turns on this journey.  But I have been in contact with our agency and we are coming off of hold and will be pulling all the paperwork together in the next few weeks.  

I now ride the train to work (which beats the heck out of driving 120 miles a day like I was before) and I have lots of time to think.  All that I think about is my youngest child's mother.  I cannot help thinking of what she is going through right now.  That is if she is still alive.  We are hoping to bring home a child between 3 and 5 years old.  They are alive, living, breathing and loving.  They are wrapped (please God) in someone's arms as they fall asleep and they are loved.  Someone sings them lullabies.  And their mother?  What of she?  Is she trying to hold her family together?  Is she still doing OK and unaware that she will one day have to let go of her little one's hand?  I cannot stop thinking of her.  I feel as though I am walking toward her, slowly and while I know of her she knows nothing of me.  And for every step I struggle to make always in a forward motion no matter how small she takes a step too but her steps are not of her making.  Forward she walks toward me because of what?  Politics?  Poverty?  Disease?  Fate?  I suffer and I know I should.  If I'm not willing to bear this longing with at least an ounce of grace then I am not worthy of her.  She suffers but what does it do for her?  I am overwhelmed by my love for her.  One day she will take that final step with her little one's hand in hers and then she will have to let go.  She will need a faith that is difficult for me to comprehend.  I am of course imagining that she is alive.  I do not know why.  I suppose because I want that for my youngest child.  I do not want my child to lose his or her mother.  Not to death.  I want the possibility of life.  I want the promise.  One day, we could go back.  One day the country will be healthier.  This will be just an interlude, the thing that brought us, family, together.  We will go back with photos and diplomas and we will have coffee and sing and dance and laugh and cry and cry and cry.

I know.  I know.  It's a house of cards.  Fascinated, I am unable to stop building them.

Thank you Julie for asking.  Now please everyone that reads this post - please pray Julie's and Evelyn's babies on home!  I need some baby photos and they need some children.

And to all of you with your babies and children home - please keep posting photos.  I know I speak for so many when I say they keep me going.

kisses and hugs for everyone on this journey. 


Evelyn said...


This post made me cry! First to hear that you had to stop your process, then start again (thank goodness!), then to hear of your beautiful and compassionate look at the mother of your youngest only to then read you were thinking of me was so moving!

I appreciate it more than you know.

We'll probably have kids of similar age :)

Q is so beautiful!

Thanks for making me cry and for being on this journey with me!

Sara said...

This was a lovely post. During the process, I often thought of our child's mother. And now that I have seen his face, I dream of whispering his name into his ear as I imagine she once did as she held him close to her.

Adoption Cubed said...

I was so glad to see this post. For many reasons. I've missed you and your words. And these words? Beautiful. I have wondered about your new job. I have wondered how your family was doing.

Prayers for friends. Prayers for you and your family. Prayers for your youngest child's mother. Prayers for a straight journey as you finish your paperwork.

Tami said...

Glad to see another beautiful post from you. Nice to hear things are going well.

I used to love to make houses of cards, maybe I should make another one seeing as that is what my life feels like these days. lol

Julie said...

Hugs back. Thank you. You were missed.

Janet said...

Hi Kristine,
We have another "upside down celebrator" here :-) Why do little boys do that? And no wonder Q is celebrating that is a great house of cards :-)
Very poignant thoughts about your future child's birthmum, I am sure your compassion will help you to help your future child come to terms with their losses.
Best wishes

habeshachild said...

This is an amazing post. You so beautiful capture the bittersweet feelings of waiting and hoping for your child - while feeling the dread that something very bad is about to happen to that precious child's biological parent. or already has. Death, or disease or gut-wrenching decision.

Thank you for posting this. And for the grace that you are showing - truly inspirational.

The Calderones said...

Thank you for posting this!! As we "prepare" to embrace our children's family we sometimes struggle with the realities and the difficulties that will bring their into our home. Thank you for posting such a lovely post- it is difficult to think about what that 30 minutes will be like- and you have such a lovely way of detailing this painful but beautiful event where two families become connected. How I wish it could be more.. so much more.

Yoli said...

Lovely post, I am so glad to have found your blog.

Katy said...

Congratulations again on the new job. I'm so happy to hear you are moving forward on the adoption front. You seem like such a great mom.

I too struggle with guilt over the good things the befall me. I attribute it, in part, to my Catholic upbringing. Just kidding. Sort of.

Overwhelming is a good word to describe the thoughts, emotions, experiences in dealing with our childrens' families in Ethiopia. I often think about the magnitude and sadness of my feelings and imagine what it will be like for my daughters when they are old enough to truly understand the circumstances of thier arrival in America. It's overwhelming.

We have pictures up and hope that having all the facts, good, bad, and ugly, before they are old enough to plug those facts into the giant complex structure of emotions that go along with them will help. I don't know what else I can do. Just honor those people as best I can and hope to see them again.

Your experience will be different than ours, given the age of your future child, and love/connections that they will already have. That child will be so lucky to have you to navigate all of this with.

Tracey said...

Congratulations on your new job. I have been experiencing a bit of blogger's block as well. I fuess I am not the only oe. Your words about how you think about your child's Ethiopian family were lovely. The more my daughter fills my world, the more I recognize the huge void her absence must cause in her Ethiopian family. I saw their pain, but I don't think I really understood the depths of it at the time because the situation was so overwhelming. I know some people who hope for a child who is abandoned or a so-called "true orphan," but I am so grateful for the time and love my daughter had with her Ethiopian family. I would never wish more loss on her.

good luck with the newjob and proceeding with the adoptin.

Anna said...

I have cried about this, before my son came home, and now that he is here. Sometimes there is an expression on his face and I wonder if his mother or father had the same expression.
It is the part of adoption not many people talk about. The excruciating emotional pain all our adopted children have gone through. They have lost a part of them selves.