Firstly friends, I apologize for the length and depth of this post. But I feel it’s so important for my posts to not only represent my style and tastes, but also my struggles and beliefs. Please don’t feel you need to stay and read this post, but you are most welcome to.
Joel and I have waited so long to announce that our adoption is finally going to be finalized this summer! As we prepare our minds and hearts for the court hearing and celebrations to follow, we are so unbelievably relieved and excited. What a journey we have been on, so many ups and downs. What an amazing feeling to come to the end of this long process, knowing every bump in the road was necessary to equip us for this kind of calling. I can’t wait to share with you more in regards to our adoption as we get closer to nailing down the official date!
As we focus on finalization day, we feel as though we are floating along at this point. It seems so surreal that it’s happening after all this time! We are so excited, but mostly ready to move forward and start a new chapter with our little family of five. The truth is, as happy as all that sounds, we feel a deep sorrow over our family.
A few months ago, Joel experienced a huge loss. One I could never comprehend or understand. For years, there has been unresolved issues towards us in my husband’s family. Issues that should have been easily dealt with and long behind us. But instead these issues have manifested into such a huge and complicated matter that the very foundation of his family has been rocked and finally compromised. Issues that really stemmed from gossip, slander, insecurity, jealousy and lies.
During our process of adoption, we have had to undergo a lot of loss. The loss that our family was going to be constructed in a way we knew was less traditional and the loss of the idea of perhaps ever conceiving our own. The loss of ever feeling normal. And eventually, bit by bit, the loss of family.
Believe me when I say that we tried all we could do to resolve these issues that were tearing the family apart. For years these same issues resurfaced, each time with greater vengeance. We suggested everything we could think of, but nothing could fix what had been done. It seemed they made up their minds about us and there was nothing we could say to change that. Eventually, Joel received a text from his family telling him to never contact them again, that he was officially disowned and that he should change his last name. A family name that we were soon to pass on to our three kids. A family that wants nothing to do with him, with me or our children.
And to be honest, it all happened so gradually, and then one day it was finally over. We begin to question ourselves and who we are. We become paranoid and start worrying about what people think of us based on what they are told. We begin to question if we are really these horrible people they say we are.
In the end I believe our lives bare witness to our true character and I strongly believe that over time, the truth always prevails. And I know Joel and I aren’t perfect by any means, but we strive to be good and honest people. We don’t try to cover things up or pretend our lives are not what they are. And I know we still love his family very much and have hope that one day this will all be resolved. We have worked through the words we’ve heard. The judgements placed on us and most of all, we forgive. But my heart is still heavy knowing that our kids will have no grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins on Joel’s side. I have to pinch myself, I just can’t believe this is real.
I wanted to share this story, because this is our real life. It’s not pretty or happily ever after. We feel through everything, this is pretty close to rock bottom. But we still are filled with hope and joy for the future. We are beyond grateful for the family and friends that have stuck by our sides and have been there for us, our children and who will continue to be. I love this quote that I have clung onto during this difficult time in our lives:
“There are far, far greater things ahead than any we leave behind” – C.S. Lewis
Things might be at their absolute worst. There may seem no hope in sight. The idea of giving up might sound like the easiest choice. But believe me when I say that now’s the time you pick yourself off the ground. Now’s the time you fight back and push hard against the wall that wants to get keep you from finding out what’s on the other side. Because whatever is on the other side must be SO good and SO amazing, that all the crappy things in this life want to try to keep you flat faced on the ground and ready to surrender.
Keep your head up.
Believe you can get through it. And you will.
We will get through this. We know that the other side will far outweigh all the things that were meant to destroy us. And it makes me smile, because I feel so blessed already and I haven’t made it over any walls just yet.