I remember when the question started popping up in my heart. It caught me off guard at first. Like, surely I don’t have to answer that one, right? And so I didn’t. I didn’t answer. I just let the question keep asking itself until I was ready to go there. And it did, it kept asking itself over and over and over again. I would think about it while I was driving. I would talk it out while I was running. It would hit me while I was cooking or watching TV or standing in the shower. The question was everywhere, demanding to be answered.
“Will you still love me if the same thing happens again? Will you still believe in me if you never adopt a child?”
I didn’t have an answer at first, I was too sad. I could barely make myself eat and shower and change my clothes. I couldn’t even grasp the idea of having to do what I had just done all over again. I couldn’t fathom having to shut this door my heart has longed for. It was too much. So I just let the question sit there unanswered for a good long while. Then I did have an answer and it was a very genuine no. I was so angry and so hurt. I felt fooled and tricked by the very same person asking me this ridiculous question. I will not believe in you if you let this happen again. I will not love you if we never adopt a child. I just will not. I can’t. So I told him no, for a very long time. And then I told him yes, but it was with my middle finger up, while I was drinking glasses of wine, and only because I didn’t want to go to hell. So it didn’t count, is what I’m really saying to you.
A lot of people tell me that one day our story will be beautiful. I know exactly what they mean and I agree. If we ever successfully adopt a child our story will be beautiful in a way I can’t fully fathom yet. That sentence is hard though because I think our story is already beautiful in a weird and broken way. It’s not beautiful in a way that makes sense or beautiful like a J Crew model. It’s beautiful in a, I shattered this plate because I was so angry and then I decided to put it back together and I’m missing a piece of it but this plate has got a really great story, way. And so I’ve arrived at this place of pure and genuine acceptance. Our story is beautiful. It’s beautiful just as it is. Whether we add a hundred adopted children to our family or none; our story is beautiful. Whether one day we are parents or we never are; our story is beautiful. Our story is enough. Nothing needs to be added to it to make it more enough or more beautiful. It is beautiful and it is enough and it is worth telling just as it is.
As I sit here and type this I find myself sitting in the midst of so much holy peace. I know it’s holy because it doesn’t make sense; it passes every bit of my understanding. I know it’s holy because I know how physically sick I have been at the thought of the same thing happening again, at the thought of never getting to adopt, and at the thought of doing this all over again. [Physically sick like, I took a gazillion pregnancy tests because I thought there was no way anxiety and fear could make one so ill. It very much can, by the way.] I have this holy peace that this is right. Regardless of the outcome, whether I ever have a Ugandan to introduce to you or not, this is right. It just feels so right. And so I find myself back at that question again, but this time with a different answer.
I can’t answer the question that’s popping up in your heart for you. I think we all have a question, though. Will you still believe in me if you never get married? Will you still love me if I never give you children? Will you still believe in me if you never see that dream I gave you to completion? But here’s the thing: Married or single or divorced or widowed; your story is beautiful. Biological babies, adopted babies, or no babies; your story is beautiful. Dreams fulfilled, dreams never fulfilled or dreams that blew up in your face; your story is beautiful. I just don’t think we tell each other those things enough: Your story is beautiful. Your story is enough. Your story is worth telling. It already is.