Adoption

Hands Full, Arms Empty

 

Six years ago today we answered THE PHONE CALL that we had been waiting a year for. Two days later we flew to Korea to pick up our son.

Today, our current adoption is still delayed because of changes our Department of State has made. For the first time, I’ve entertained the idea of a “Plan B”. 

This is the nature of adoption, I know. Nothing is sure, delays and changes are almost guaranteed. Transferring care (or better yet love) across international borders is messy, unpredictable, expensive, and always in a state of flux. 

Yesterday my mom said that she knows people are praying for her because she has felt God’s presence during a heartbreaking situation. I flinched when she said it. Am I still feeling God’s presence? Did I misplace it somewhere? 

I flick right past the baby related Pinterest posts. They irk me. When I see your baby’s adorable photos on Facebook, I want to wrap that baby up in my arms and smell her hair and cover this hole in my heart with her, but then I feel angry that you have her and I don’t. I’m sorry about that. 

Longing for a baby isn’t the same as wishing I had a bigger house. Or a new car. It’s a physical, emotional and spiritual deficiency. If I lose this adoption, I’ve lost my mission. Please don’t believe that I’ve overstated it. Have you lost a loved one? So have I, but in reverse. 

You will say, “but you already have five children.” I can hardly bear to say this, but if I were to lose one of my five children, would you then comfort me by saying, “but you still have four children”? This baby has already made room for herself in my heart. I already love her. And no, it’s not just the “idea” of her that I love. I have had enough children to know reality from fantasy. 

I want to scream it at the universe! This isn’t FAIR! Why am I here now!? Why did you open this door but then not allow me to walk through it? 

Who can I be angry at? I stomp around my house pouting and grumbling, which I realize is silly and pointless. I cannot manipulate the future with my tantrums. No one in charge of these decisions cares about my whining. 

I set up a changing table in my bedroom before our home visits. The visits where we talked about how we will manage with this next baby. Where we almost spoke it into truth by planning details, anticipating reactions, and delighting over possibilities. I’ve piled that changing table with baby things. It is so pink and white and pastelly that it glows. It’s like a beacon of hope. Or maybe a memorial of loss. 

My hands are full. But my arms are empty. 

I’m sharing this not as a plea for sympathy, but in the interest of honesty. And with the hope that someday I will look back on it and be reminded of the struggle that produced something beautiful. 

My name is Pam Ogden, and I’m a wife, mom, homeschool teacher, blogger, and an author. I am passionate about my faith, family and adoption. My blog is the story of our previous and current adoption, and how our family is growing physically and spiritually.

One Comment

  • james/joyce gaetke

    DEAR PAM, YOU ALONG WITH YOUR FAMILY HAVE BEEN IN OUR PRAYERS ALL ALONG THE JOURNEY. WE ARE
    SADDENED THAT THAT SPECIAL LITTLE ONE HAS NOT YET COME TO YOUR FAMILY. GOD IS AT WORK, HOWEVER THAT IS HARD TO FATHOM WITH NO ACTIVITY THAT SAYS, “SHE/HE WILL BE WITH YOU SOON.” WE WILL CONTINUE IN PRAYER FOR THE OGDEN FAMILY.
    I CAN RELATE A LITTLE WITH YOUR HEART BEING BROKEN. MAYBE YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT I CARRIED A BABY FOR 6 MONTHS IN THE WOMB AND THE BABY DIED FOR SOME REASON UNKNOWN TO US. HOWEVER WE HAVE THE PROMISE OF SEEING THAT LITTLE ONE SOMEDAY. I STILL TEAR UP WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR BLOG. I SAW A CARD RECENTLY THAT SAYS, “SOMETIMES LIFE TAKES SUDDEN TURNS
    WITHOUT USING ITS TURN SIGNALS..” GOES ON TO SAY HANG ON AND HANG IN THERE. THE BEST PART IS THE WORD FROM THE BIBLE ON THE SAME CARD…”THE CROOKED PLACES SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT AND THE ROUGH PLACES SMOOTH.” ISAIAH 40:14 NKJ…………..SENDING LOVE, BIG HUGS AND PRAYERS, GAETKES IN S.D.

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