But it's time to share where we are emotionally, as well. With every step, we find ourselves revisiting a piece of our grief and feeling some part of our loss. This past week, we were at the beach celebrating our anniversary. There were (of course) countless families enjoying the sun and waves, and as I watched darling kids bounce around on the beach, my heart was heavy. One of the greatest losses for us is not knowing what our biological children would have looked like. I grieve that I will never know them, that we will never get to say she has my eyes or his hair color. As we're learning about what it means to be an adoptive family, what it means to even be a conspicuous family, that loss feels fresh again. Please don't misunderstand: I have joy when I think about the adoptive child God will give us, and there is an excitement over what he or she will look like! But just because I have joy and excitement over a good thing doesn't mean there aren't tears over the loss. This is true for our future adoptive child, just as it is true for us.
In fact, so much of our training and education has focused on the unique challenges we will have being adoptive parents. At times, it can be overwhelming. We find ourselves growing in knowledge and preparation, but with that comes the heavy reality that this will, from the very beginning, be different. It will, from the very beginning, be hard. And that isn't even touching on the difficulties of parenting in general, adoptive or not.
It was good last night, then, when Steph reminded me that it's the daily life that will make it all worth it. Right now, we are learning all about the challenges, the questions, the crises, and the difficulties; very little time is spent talking about the beauty of being parents, the everyday moments we'll share with our little one, and the big milestones that we'll all celebrate together. But those will be ours, too.
So, where we are: moving along, checking things off, putting one foot in front of the other, and believing even when it's difficult that God is in this.