Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the Moment

About a week and a half ago, I sent paperwork and a very large sum of money off to Maryland to begin the DNA testing process for our adoption. I overnighted the paperwork, and they received it on Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

The following Tuesday morning they called to confirm they received my paperwork and that they were beginning to process it. They would mail papers back to me, which I would then turn around and Fed Express them Haiti.

The paperwork arrived Saturday, as I was getting ready to take a nap. I quickly ran to my computer to check with the Fed Ex website to confirm rates and shipping availabity for the afternoon. For $52, I could get it to Haiti on Tuesday.

Works for me, and I drove my tired little self across town to Fed Ex.

First their computer would not process the request. Then it would and told me it would be delivered Wednesday afternoon. For $52. No complaints.

I handed over my debit card, and just as she was about to slide it through, she frowned. "Hmmmm, now it's quoting me $86 and Thursday," she said. Type, type, type. "Now it won't even let me process it."

She looked up and smiled. "Can you bring this back in on Monday and we'll try again?"

And it hit me. A year ago I would have broken down in tears. Right at the counter. 6 months ago I would have done the same. 6 weeks ago, even.

Yesterday, I started giggling. And giggling. Into a big belly laugh.

She looked at me like I was insane. I smiled to reassure her that I was not going postal on her.

"No problem," I said laughing. "It's just that every time I turn around in this adoption, we hit delays. And I've come to expect it. And I feel okay with it. I'm not used to feeling that way."

"Oh," she said slowly. "Okay. . . we'll see you Monday."

In the past few weeks, I have felt a sense of peace wash over me (except the day we found out about the DNA. I had a major crying tantrum freak-out meltdown that day :). This adoption isn't about time anymore. It's about creating a family, and a future. And when it happens, it happens.

Please, don't think me boastful or above meltdowns here. I've certainly had my share of depressed days, with bouts of crying, existing in a haze, precariously perched between the world of the little boys which I left on Mothers Day '07, and my life at home.

Lately it has really settled in. This right here, right now is what life is about. Thinking about yesterday is okay. Planning for tomorrow is okay. Unable to live for and make the most out of this moment today?

For me, it's not okay.

If I became upset about every little thing in my life which didn't go the way I planned, then I would be upset ALL THE TIME.

I used to get upset about every little delay and problem in our adopiton. I was upset ALL THE TIME. Unceasingly perturbed, I must then ask myself:

Are the boys here? Nope.
Do I have a husband and children who need me at home? Yup.
Has even one teensy tiny little drop of all that upset changed anything in the course of this adoption?


Maybe I should have titled this post Surrendered. This morning at church we sang two incredible songs about surrendering. Somewhere along the way a light when on above my head, and I realized that I just have to surrender this entire package of angst.

Surrender the frustration.
Surrender the upset.
Surrender the expectations.

I think for a while I held on just so tightly to that frustration, to that upset, to those expectations because holding onto those things somehow proved I was a mother to my boys. That I cared for them enough to be so burdened by my heart's yearning for them.

That it could NEVER possibly be okay if I didn't feel those things, because it would indicate that I was detached and not going to be a good mother.

That if I didn't fight and claw my way through this process, that I would somehow not be deserving of being an adoptive mother.

The absurdity of those statements has sunk in.

I've banged my head against the wall, cried my rivers and sank into the well of depression long enough.

Those things will not bring the boys home a single moment before it happens. Those things have NO indication of my worthiness as a mother.

So for today, I surrender it. Relinquish. Exterminate. No longer carry.

So for today, I choose to live in this moment. And I feel that sense of peace washing over me, growing in it's strength.

I'm certain that I will not always remember this, and that I will have those moments of anger and absolute frustration in the future. Another word for tender-hearted is often thick-skulled. The feelings of my heart will often blind my reason, and at times I will lose the grip that I found for today.

But for today, I am choosing to live right here. In the now. No matter how many delays we hit in this adoption process (surely there will be more), how many appliances break (currently my washing machine), how many timeouts I have to struggle through with Paloma (really, it's best for me not to count.) For today, I give it all up and am just being here.

And for today, it feels damn good.


Anonymous said...

I'm proud of your perspective. It takes a certain amount of strength to choose not to give in to emotions like frustration in the heat of battle. It is a sign of character that, when you feel like screaming, you decide instead to ask 'what can be done' and 'what is important at this moment'.

Its something I often say and often forget in my day to day work. As always, I can learn a lot from my wife, a person whose honesty and behavior is something I try to model each day.


Me said...

I'm so proud of you. Wish I could get to that point but for now I'm embracing the insanity that is me right now.

small town girl said...

Great post Sarah. While I think it's normal to feel the frustration that accompanies adoption, our lives deteriorate when that frustration rules us. And I don't know a single one of us that has not run into delay after dissapointment after obstacle. For me I sometimes have to have my little crying fit before I can move past it, and then I do. I commend you on your attitude, I pray that your process keeps moving and your sweet boys are home soon, and good luck at Fed EX today!

bbbunch said...

Oh my dear, all those phrases seem to blast in my head ... "Let go and let God..." and that he will not give you more than you can handle. Know that as He takes care of you, He is also taking care of your boys. Through Him all things are possible...even patience and peace.

Much love!

Amanda said...

Enjoyed reading this post. It's encouraging. Hope Fedex goes well for you today!