"May all your expectations be frustrated. May all your plans be thwarted. May all your desires be withered into nothingness that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen."
For today, it feels like a fair amount of thwarted plans and frustrated expectations. I have no idea what God is doing, and though I'd heard people use the phrase "desperately clinging" to faith, I'd never grasped the depth of that until today. I'm grasping for God, between gasps for air.
We were not delayed in court. There was no problem on our side, with us or with our paperwork. It's still a bit of a mystery how it all went down, but between a young girl possibly overwhelmed in a court system and issues with translators and a skeptical judge, our adoption of Abenezer was denied. His birth mother was there to verify her relinquishment of him, but somehow things went awry between her and the judge and who knows what else.
We are beyond devastated. We were prepared for the possibility of a delay. We were even prepared for the possibility of the birth mother changing her mind, and honestly, that would have been better than this. At least then, Abenezer would be with his biological family. But as things are, he is in limbo. His birth mother can't or doesn't want him, yet he is not allowed to be adopted either. We're having a hard time making sense of it.
This is the first case of this happening with our agency, so they seem to be doing their best to figure out where to go from here. There is a possibility of appealing to a higher court, but no one knows anything about what this process looks like, how long it takes, what the chances would be. Our agency has never had anything like this happen before, and it seems we're the lucky ones who get to be the trailblazers in this process.
There are so many things to consider and try to figure out in the next few days, and we still feel like our heads are spinning. We found out this news this morning around 10:00 am, and because I was taking care of a friend's two kids, ages 2 and 4, I somehow managed to shove it all down until they went home. I understood today really for the first time Ted's mom's adage not to cry over spilled milk: you can't fall apart when you've got people depending on you.
But from the moment they drove away, it all hit me. I can't stop shaking and I have physical pain across my chest, from one shoulder to the other, as well as down my back. Breathing isn't the easiest thing to do either, and I have waves of grief wash over me--about three since sitting down to write this post. And in a particularly cruel twist, we received three pieces of mail today addressed to Abenezer from some sweet people in our lives hoping to get to know him soon.
After hearing the news, I took the kids down the street to our coffeeshop to let them play (yes, most Portland coffee places have play areas for kids) and sat down in a fog and scribbled this out into my notebook:
"...for those of us who struggle to attain the satisfaction of those human urges like the desire to parent, the world becomes an alienating, isolating place. Today, I look around my world and can't connect. "Convoy" is playing in the shop, a funny song that makes me happy, yet I feel nothing. I look at a newspaper and can't read it. This feeling is deeper/beyond an ache. It's not a hopelessness--I do have hope. I know God has a story for us. It's a feeling of wandering blindly in the darkness. I smile at Sophia, who has two black plastic horses in her hand. I can't form words though. A smile is the best I can muster. For a blind stumbler, I guess that's not bad."
Ted suggested I put the qualifier out there not to worry about me. He's right. Writing this here is just cathartic for me, and I apologize to those of you who've called and emailed, wondering what's going on. I just didn't have it in me to talk much today. I appreciate your concern.