So Close, Yet So Far

So Close, Yet So Far

Adoption

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. 

Don’t 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.

XOXO, Lidy

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  • So sorry for what you are going through, Lidy! And also so happy for you starting a new chapter with your kids :)

    • HelloLidy

      Thanks friend, I appreciate it. As sad as it is, we are also very excited about this new chapter in our lives for sure! We know it’s going to be a good one – how can it not be?!

      XOXO

  • Marisa

    Thank you for allowing yourselves to be open and vulnerable again. Living for the prize of the Will of the Father in your life is a beautiful, uncomfortable process but the tapestry that has been woven ( the good, the bad and the brokenness) is a masterpiece to treasure forever. It’s your story, the story of five and how, HOW, the Father has directed every movement. It’s beautiful. I am a proud momma and an ever so blessed Oma. It melts and breaks my heart that these beautiful children will be a perfect stitch in the fabric of our lives. Hemmed in with Gods perfect love!!! So thankful. There truly are no words.

    • HelloLidy

      Thank you mom. So thankful for my family as you have accepted and loved Joel unconditionally, as well as loved our kids with no limitations. We are blessed to have you all and it makes us realize how lucky we are to have such amazing people to share these experiences and special memories with. I know the kids love their Oma and Opa so very much!

      XOXO

  • Jennifer Justin Curtis

    I can tell you that my husband was very much in the same boat. After we got married his family did not really speak to him. We tried to connect with them, include them in things and it was thrown back in our faces. My husband has not talked to his dad in 8 years. His brother and sisters and mon eventually wanted to have contact and a relationship with him and our kids but with my husband it was a development that came a little too late and he has declined to be a part of their lives. It is hard sometimes knowing that our kids only have one sode of family, but the sode that we do have is so supportive and loving. One day his family might come to the realization of what they’ve done. And I hope that you guys will be able to follow your hears or whatever you think is best in the moment.

    • HelloLidy

      Thanks so much for sharing that Jennifer. I remember you saying that your situation was very similar and it’s so sad to know that you guys had to go through this sort of thing too. I’ve always been so bewildered that family could so easily erase a son or brother. Unfortunately, based on my experience with his family, I don’t foresee them ever thinking they were wrong to disown him or ever feel sorry for what they have said or inflicted on us. And we have discussed this possibility and decided there is not much to be done but move forward with the family we do have and be grateful for that! And be grateful for the support and love of friends and others. So glad you shared your story with me, it gives me hope that this sort of tragedy will pass and we will get through this in time. Love you friend.

      XOXO

  • I am so sorry to hear about the difficulties in your husband’s family, but so excited for you to have resolution for your adoption. I am sure the time is bittersweet. So, happy for you and for your children to finally have that peace. I have loved seeing them here. They are so precious and clearly so loved.

    • HelloLidy

      Thank you so much Grace :) They really are loved by so many and we try to stay focused on the good that is going on! I cannot wait to celebrate and make this adoption official – nothing could take that special day away from us! Thank you for always posting the sweetest comments, it keeps me so encouraged.

      XOXO

  • Sarah Hughes Botts

    Love you guys….

    • HelloLidy

      Thanks friends…so glad to have you in our lives!

      XO

  • Hugs, hugs, hugs <3

    • HelloLidy

      I appreciate that Lili, thank you :)

      XO

  • Wishing you and your family nothing but the best friend! I hope everything works out soon :)

    • HelloLidy

      Aw, thanks so much Rachel. You are seriously such an inspiration and encouragement! Things may never end the way we hope or as soon as we hope, but I know that we have good people to support us. That alone makes it easier to move on and grow from this tragic experience.

      XOXO

  • Sean W.

    Hey Lidy and Joel,

    Want you to know that, while it will never be a replacement, you are gaining a whole bunch of brothers and sisters back here in Calgary. Praying for you both!

    • HelloLidy

      Thank you Sean! It definitely is a wonderful replacement, we are realizing that family doesn’t have to be just blood. It’s a lot more to do with unconditional love and acceptance if anything :)

      XO

  • kristin

    After my step-father died from a very short fight with cancer (5 months), his family kicked my mother and I out of the home we had made and lived in and grown up in for 10 years. We literally received a letter from their lawyer evicting us the day of the funeral. So while it’s not exactly the same, this makes me revisit these “family” issues i had to deal with, and I still live with those scars from so long ago (this happened when I was finishing my 3rd year of university).

    All I can say is that it doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it does get better. You will always have a family in your husband and children and they are what matters the most. Sometimes your chosen family is a better definition of family than your actual family. And I know that had those awful things NOT happened to me all that time ago, I might not have met MY husband or had my daughter who are now my best family. It’s cliched but sometimes it really feels like bad things happen to set you up on a path to a better version of your life.

    • HelloLidy

      Thank you so much for opening up and sharing that story Kristin. Wow. That must have been such a difficult time for you and your mom. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about how awful people can be, especially the ones who should be your support and encouragement during difficult times. Instead, they are the very ones that disappoint.

      I think the hardest part for us is that they are living their lives as though we never existed. They erase our faces and names from memory and we are forced to live with the consequences of their choices. I’m glad they are happy and their lives are better off without us, but I am sad we couldn’t find reconciliation and do things the right way. There is no sense of peace. But something you said really struck a chord in me. You said that bad things happen to use up on a path to a better version of our lives. And I have to say, that is so true. Even though we are dealing with the pain of loss and betrayal right now, it won’t last forever and I truly believe we will be happier without them.

      Thank you again for your encouragement. It means the world to us in this difficult time.

      XOXO

  • “We do not seek the painful experiences that hew our identities, but we seek our identities in the wake of those painful experiences.” -Andrew Solomon

    Good luck to you in these hard times! You are building a beautiful family in the wake of challenges.

    • HelloLidy

      That is truly beautiful, thank you Rae :)

      XOXO

  • Jack Ensor

    So I tried to comment before, but I’m not sure if it worked. So now I’m commenting again. I’ve looked for Joel’s email address, but I seem to have misplaced it. Please let him know that I’m here for him (and you too). I’m happy to hear about your adoption, and I hope everything goes well! Best, Jack.

    • HelloLidy

      Hi Jack,

      It’s so good to hear from you! Joel and I got your email and I forwarded it to him, so we will respond shortly. We are so happy to hear from you, thank you for your encouraging words – hope all is well!

      XO

  • Debbie

    Love you Lidy❤️

    • HelloLidy

      Love you too Debbie :)

      XOXO

  • Oh Lidy and Joel, I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles! I know how painful torn families can be, and especially how it feels to have parents who are unable to be emotionally supportive. I wish for you that you continue to find joy and comfort in the family that you do have and choose, and that there are better times ahead!

    On a brighter note, so so happy for you that your adoption is finally going through!!!

    • HelloLidy

      Thank you Marlene. I appreciate your empathy and I am totally looking forward to what lies ahead! I’m getting excited about starting over and making a fresh start with our family! And it’s always a comforting feeling knowing you have good friends along the way to help encourage you – so thank you :)

      XOXO

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