It's been three weeks since we got the fateful final call from our lawyer in Memphis to tell us that the birth mother had decided for sure to keep the baby. Since then, our lives have been quite full, juggling work worries and house projects, shuttling kids to extra-curriculars, celebrating Asher's 2nd birthday. But we're still feeling quite empty.
The preparation, logistically and emotionally, for a newborn baby is extensive. There are things to buy, things to do around the house, and space to make in the family schedule. We had done all of that, and now have no actual baby to fill the space.
What we have made space for during this time is to grieve, to take care of ourselves, and to enjoy time together as a family. That's been good. We are reminded, daily, of how blessed we are to have each of our kids in our life. We love them dearly, deeply, and fiercely. They bring us so much joy.
We especially dig when they are all together. Playing, laughing, squirming, even fighting. Each of them is precious to us, and together they are all the more precious. God has been very good in assembling our family.
Paradoxically, though, it has been those moments where we feel both the most full and yet also the greatest sense that we are still missing one. Amidst the giggles and the shrieks, Amy and I will say to each other, "there should be another one, a little baby, in the mix,." and we'll allow ourselves to imagine a newborn in a carrier adding their gurgles and coos to the cacophony of sounds. Or when Amy was doing battle with Asher and his hair in the bathtub - conditioner and comb in hand, Asher's wails piercing the air - I said to her, "we should have two babies in that tub, one big fat one and one tiny little baby one."
The crazy thing about adoptions is that we could get a match today or we could get a match never. How's that for a time range: somewhere between now and never. Maybe we will soon be paired with another baby to be, and that hole in our hearts will be filled in that way. Or maybe it is not to be, and we will need to let go of that hole. Either way, we do feel full. Even if right now we don't yet feel complete.