Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to post about Mother’s Day or just remain silent like I did last year. Since I am not a mother, I felt (and still sometimes feel) that I should keep my pain on this particular day to myself and let all the mothers out there enjoy their day. It occurred to me this year that this plan is a pretty crappy one when I am trying to be honest about the process for myself, my future children, and for all that start this journey after me and are looking for insight into how the process is.
So in light of the review of the reasons why I started and continue this blog I will write about Mother’s Day 2013. In a sentence, this Mother’s Day was heart-wrenchingly difficult.
I hope that this comparison does not offend but the closest thing that I can compare how I feel is to a woman who is experiencing infertility and is pained by every child, ever pregnant women, every family she sees. I feel a bit inadequate using that comparison but it is something that I think more people can relate to. While Joel and I have never tried to have biological children and have no plans to. We have not gone through meds, tests, and lab procedures that come along with infertility treatment and to be honest I cannot imagine the stress of going through that. Many women around the would have experienced this and my heart goes out to them.
My journey has been different than those with infertility, invasive and heart breaking in different ways. My journey began with a strong calling on my heart to care for children. This coupled with the difficulty of being on meds that make pregnancy way to risky led Joel and I to choose adoption and then foster care. In our journey we have literally opened up our entire lives (from how much money we make, donate, and save to past childhood issues and the stability of our marriage) to review and scrutiny from basic strangers (read social workers) who will be deciding what children are a good “match” with us.
We have done so more than willingly (mostly, with the exception of the child car seat class 🙂 ) because we have the end goal and the calling on our lives in the forefront of our mind. Yet, despite all the work, classes, trainings, and reading we have done I sit hear writing this the day after Mother’s day with no children sleeping calming in their beds (or more likely running around the home screaming about needing to go to the bathroom one more time or get one more glass of water).
I am hoping that this does not come off as bitter, as I am anything but. I completely understand the process that needs to take place to get licensed and now that we are I am hopeful about remaining patient until we get that long awaited phone call. The difficulty is, I am hoping for a phone call that in reality marks a trauma in the lives of the children that will come into my care. Talk about feeling bad about being excited and expectant and wanting it to come soon!
Anyway, I got off track a little bit so back to Mother’s Day. I will start with Saturday night. I had been avoiding thinking of the upcoming holiday all week (despite radio, tv, and store ads), but Saturday night everything hit me. All the emotions that I had been pushing down and trying to shut out (such good counselor self-care huh?) At bedtime, all the frustration, sadness, fear, and all the other emotions came erupting to the surface and I spent the better part of 2 hours crying.
I was frustrated with the months and months of work put into being a parent (for a day or a lifetime) and here I sit, with no kids. I was sad, heart broken is a more apt word really, that my hearts desire and my calling was speaking so loudly to me and yet all I could do was wait. I was mad at God for not answering my prayers sooner, especially when He put the calling in my heart. I was fearful that all this waiting really meant that I should never be a mom and that led back to sad and frustrated. But most of all, I felt alone. I felt like no one in the whole understood what I was feeling, that no one had traversed this particular level of living hell I felt like I was in.
And in my loneliness, I kept my feelings to myself. (Note all the bad counseling self-care I did, Bad Katie!) I didn’t even tell Joel what was going on until my 2 hour cry-fest on Saturday night. Poor Joel was caught a bit off guard, but not too much. As I was trying to keep my feelings to myself I grew crankier and crankier all week, so Joel had a pretty good idea that SOMETHING was up.
I woke up Sunday honestly debating whether or not I should go to church. This is pretty rare for me as I LOVE my church family. But I knew that the service would be all about mothers and mother’s day and my eyes were already swollen from crying. I doubted if I could make it through a whole church service. I did end up going to church and I’m glad I did. I let some in my church family know what was going on and they offered great support. I did lose it and started sweating out of my eyes about 10 mins into the service but was able to regain composure.
The rest of Sunday went really well. I started to be able to handle my emotions and today is even better. I still feel sad and frustrated at times, but you know what? That is completely expected for someone who really wants to be a mother and is waiting. But you know what, this mother’s day I realized that while I am not a mother and could not bring myself to celebrate the day, I am a Mother-in-Waiting. To me it’s kind of like being a Fiance. You know what your life will hold and with whom and you are waiting until the time is right. I know what my life will hold for me the role of a mother in whatever way it comes to time. I know what I am waiting on my children and that I love them with my whole heart even though I have never met them. I know what I am waiting until the time is right. Unfortunately for my OCD Type A Personality, in this journey I am not the one who decides when the time is right, God is. And while I have raged at him for not answering my prayer with yes and right now I am peaceful in my depths because I know that God has the best for me and is working all things together for my good. I definitely do not see it now and couldn’t even bring myself to say that sentence yesterday but my emotions do not make it any less true. The closer I get to fulfilling this role God has put in my life, the harder things try to push my down and make me doubt. Sometimes I just have to remember, God’s got this.
And on day’s like Saturday night and Sunday when the whole world seemed stubbornly set to remind me how far away I was from God’s plan for me and I can’t see through the tears God has blessed me with people who love and support me and can remind me of all of these wonderful things when I forget. The most important of these people is my wonderful and patient husband Joel Longanecker, who held me for hours as I cried, told me stupid jokes in church to help get my composure back, and told me that while he didn’t understand he was there for me. It’s like God knew this would be heartbreakingly tough for me and gave me my own angel to help me get through. Thank you so much Joel for all that you do.
So when everything seems impossible and all I really want is to kidnap the next child I see and raise it like my own I know that I have an amazing group of people standing next to me, supporting me through all of this. If you are in that group thank you SO much for all that you do. I could not do this alone! Right now God is answering my pray to have children with wait. And while yesterday and saturday I would have had to say no to following question, emotions come and go, support always stays and I can say that today my answer is yes.
Not sure what my answer will be tomorrow or the day after that, but each day I will attempt to refocus on this one question to bring focus to this time I have.