This space has held only silence for nearly six months.
I cannot count the times I’ve been online and tempted to open a new tab, put fingers to keyboard, and write something witty or heartbreaking or charming or life-affirming about parenting in general and foster parenting in particular.
Sometimes I’ve gone so far as to open that tab, type the web address, and stare at the home page for a few minutes before closing the tab with a shake of my head.
I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t want to write about being a mother.
I didn’t want to write about the waiting game that is the adoption process.
I didn’t want to write about the joy of officially being chosen for our girls, signing adoption agreements, and then being told by one of the girls she not only did not want to be adopted, she also wanted to move out of our house immediately. No warning. Just a sudden, gut-wrenching change of heart.
I didn’t want to write about the conversations, meetings, bewilderment, and general confusion which followed her announcement nor did I want to write about the increased appointments with therapists and caseworkers and the myriad late-night conversations shared with Brian as we tried to figure out what went wrong and how we should navigate this latest disaster.
I didn’t want to write about the humility and heartache of laying bare everything again and again and again as outsiders analyzed whether or not blame for the failed adoption would be laid on us or the frustration felt as well-meaning, but misguided individuals tried to insert themselves into the middle of our trauma and only made a stressful and sad situation that much more awful.
I didn’t want to write about our worry that the bureaucracy would decide we were unfit parents for the one daughter who desperately wants us to adopt her and would snatch her away from us. (This worry was ultimately unfounded, but as this is our first time doing this whole adoption thing, we feared the worst.)
I didn’t want to write about the rage, the mourning, the sorrow, the bafflement, the loss.
I didn’t want to write about any of it. Not until it was settled. Not until I was safely out the other side, pen in hand, ready to share the life lessons learned from the most trying 14 months of my life with a smile on my face.
I think it’s time. Even though the waiting continues. Even though uncertainty reigns. Even though my heart is raw.
As I’ve been shrinking to protect myself from more pain, more scrutiny, more judgment, more vulnerability, my world’s been shrinking, too.
I’ve been so focused on survival, I’ve let so much of what makes my life brilliant and magical fall by the wayside.
I don’t think I want to merely survive anymore.
And I’m feeling a bit braver today, a bit stronger.
So I’m inching forward.
I don’t know if I’ll feel courageous tomorrow, so I better click “Publish” today.