Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Final Benediction

For the past several years November has brought gifts, news, events, and epiphanies that have foreshadowed and changed the course of the rest of my life. So far this year I am free from that, but there are still 2 days left in the month. So there is still time.

Each event has built upon the other. I suspect that this year's event is only that I share what happened last year, as I promised at that time that I would.

I'll go backwards just a little.

It is beyond ironic to me that November is National Adoption Month.

In November of 2006 is when God first placed the desire to adopt in my heart. Once that happens, for those of you who know, there is no place to go but forward. You can think about it, analyze it, parse it, slice it and dice it, and try to run away from it (I tried all of the above and more) but it is in your heart. If you are honest with yourself, you cannot get away.

In November of 2007 my long-term boyfriend/fiance broke up for good, forever. Yes, I know I wrote that it happened in June of 2007, and that is when I started adoption proceeding. That is true. I also wrote that there was a coda to the story, and the short version is we had one more get together that lasted about a month. When I told him I was adopting Ava and Elle, he turned on an immediate dime and it was really over. 5 + years down the drain.

Then last November on Thanksgiving Day I received a phone call that rocked my world. The younger brother of my girls was being placed for adoption. Did I want the opportunity to adopt him?

It was actually a whole lot more complicated than that, but that was the jest of it.

Did I? Well yes, I did. With all my heart. But I was in complete shock. I was near the end of my financial allocation for adoption, and there was no more. I said I had to think it over (pray about it) and try to get some clarity.

I will say this. Even though my first adoption was not complete, I had it in the back of my mind that there was one more child for me. I chalked this up to a sort of a phantom fantasy. It seemed that the actual reality would only upset the apple cart in my perfect world. (lol) However, it was clear enough in my fantasy that this child was a boy, under the age of 5 with brown skin. I had researched domestic adoption again, and only come up with frustration. Then I started looking at the little boys at the "O" that needed families, but I did not feel led in that direction. At which point I would laugh at myself and tell myself I must be freaking crazy.
That's one reason the phone call was so shocking. It addressed my phantom feelings/fantasy and more. Stevenson was 4 years old, just a little over a year younger than Elle. It felt like a missing piece of a big puzzle. (For one thing it explained to me her 'middle child' behaviors that I had already experienced on my visits.) I realized that Ava was 4 years old when he was born, and that she was probably very attached to him. (I found out I was right about that)

It was just Lucas and I for Thanksgiving that day. So after I got off the phone, I told him. He said he thought I should do it. I told him I wanted to, I just did not know how I was going to manage it and I was not going to make an emotional decision. My entire body felt like it was buzzing, literally. And that continued for days. Which is exactly how I felt the first time the desire to adopt was placed in my heart. I knew I had to make a decision. I knew what my heart wanted, but I just did not know how I could do it. A brief hard look at my finances told me what I already knew: after adoption expenses, it was going to be TIGHT. And just where would those adoption expenses come from? Much less the $ for living day to day?

I will confess that I still don't know all the answers to those last two questions, a year later. But I do know that our lives are made up of a mixture of (mostly) self-determination, uncontrollable outside circumstances, and grace. I knew I was being graced right then. And I was afraid. But again, my heart was telling me to go forward.

After a nearly sleepless night, Lucas asked me the next day if I had made up my mind yet. I said no. "But Mom! What if he is meant to be the best soccer player ever and he never got his opportunity!"

That was kind of dramatic, but true. I ended up calling back 2 days earlier than I said I was going to and telling them I was going to do it.

"OK" I was told "But you can't change your mind about this."

"I'm not going to change my mind."

When I went to Haiti in April, I stayed longer than I normally would have because I wanted to meet and spend time with Stevenson. I was unsure how this was all going to take place on this trip, but the last night I was there is when M. brought him to the hotel, along with their birth mother.

It was a short visit, but one of the most intense 30 minutes I have ever experienced. In addition to extreme sadness there was extreme happiness. When I met this boy I was immediately taken with him. I was glowing. For days afterwards, even with all that was going on. For me, it was love at first sight!

He was smiley and sweet. His sisters were so happy to see him. Our time was very short together. I gave him a stuffed turtle which was really a back pack; it had a toy car ("machine!") inside and a pair of sunglasses.

I know it was explained to him what was happening, but I'm sure his (now) 5 year old little brain could not comprehend it. This was also the night that M told Ava and Elle that he would be coming to live with us. For all us, it may have been one of the happiest and saddest days of our lives. Ava cried herself to sleep, happy and overwhelming sad at the same time.


He went into the orphanage after that. It was rough at first. He was so upset he did not eat for a week and he got sick, but they finally got him turned around. He's doing good now.

I'm glad he is well now but that broke my heart. Again. The choices people have to make in the face of that kind of poverty breaks my heart. I feel like if his mom has to make these kind of sacrifices and choices who am I to whine about money? It may not be easy for me, but it's attainable. I'm not fooling myself. I have to have some work done on my house (expansion)before I will be approved for another home study, and that is in addition to adoption expenses.

But the Lord has brought us this far, I trust him not to fail me now.


I will continue to reflect on this turn of events as time goes on. I have a year's worth of thoughts in my rolling around in my brain, so trust me, I have plenty to say!


Salzwedel Family said...

How exciting! I'm so happy for you all.

Lisa said...

WOW! Marta I am speechless, and also overwhelmed w/ joy for you at the same time. Are you already in IBESR w/ him, or do you need to still get the homestudy done, etc? You are an amazing lady, what a beautiful BIG family you will have soon!

geralyn said...

I am so excited for you and I have butterlies of happiness in my tummy for you. Yippee!

blessedfamily said...

Wow! I have missed a LOT!! I am soo glad you are going through with his adoption, however I am sad that the birth mom had to make that very hard decision.

Is it time to buy a new house instead of expanding? With this market who knows what you'll find out there. Good luck with that decision and on the remodeling. I am sure God will lead you down the right path.

I look forward to hearing more of your and his story and can't wait until he comes home...

Glady said...


So so happy for you and yor family, it s truly a double blessing for you and the girls. and your son a wise young man whose thought process goes well beyond his years. you are raising beautiful children inside and out.

God Bless.

Laurie said...

Congratulations I am very excited for you!

How wonderful that you are able to keep all the children together.

My heart goes out to you though starting the roller coaster Haitian adoption is, may the system function better this time.

Congratulations on your youngest son.

Aves @ Call of the Phoebe said...

Congratulations Marta, and praying for everything to fall into place as you journey to bring your son home.


Sarah & Crew said...

What a journey! If there is anything I have learned in this crazy adoption adventure, it is that God's timing is perfect (no matter how misguided it may seem to us while in the thick of it.) I will pray for you and your family, that God's Hand will guide you down this path with ease and grace so you can be together as a family before long.

Just a thought, we have a huge home for sale in the court across from us. It needs a little work, but we can't believe how they bottomed out the price. Maybe you could trade your Georgia "G" for the Green Bay "G?" ;) We could repopulate the city with our Haitian beauties.

Jennifer said...

WOW!!!! How did i miss this?????? Amazing! I am so happy/excited for you, the girls, and StevensonQ And can certainly understand how sadness is all a part of it!

This Mama said...

WOWZA!! I am so stunned, but so very very excited for you :)

Leslie said...

Wow--I don't know how I missed this. I'm so happy for you and am praying. Congratulations!

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