Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18th

This month is flying by. It's disconcerting.

I love September, and it's already half gone and October will slide by just as quickly and then boom, it's Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then everyone is exhausted, hungover and never wanting to see another Christmas ornament again for the rest of their life.

Except for those neighbors that never take theirs down.

Anyway, September is half gone, and we haven't heard from our adoption homestudy agent. I sent her an e-mail this morning, wondering where we were in the process.

Surely we are towards the end. The year is sliding by; I'm starting to feel the pinch of it. We have to get this show on the road, who knows how long it will be before we're matched with a birthmother.

The nightmare scenario is that we'll be matched at the same time the Army moves us to another post. It's not a deal breaker exactly; it just means we'll have to do the homestudy all over again in another state, and in a massive hurry.

I keep remembering our homestudy agent lifting her hand in the air and snapping her fingers. "You'll be matched like that," she said, with the easy confidence of twenty years’ experience. That seems too much to hope for, but it has happened like that.

Yesterday, Keith opened the door to the nursery, in order to store something in there. He paused in the doorway.

"Hey, this is a nice room," he said, surprised by the sight of it.

I sometimes forget that it's there, too. It's part of surviving the process.

Yesterday, at the commissary, I threw some Johnson and Johnson No Tears baby shampoo in the cart. I usually feel like an impostor when I do this sort of thing. A part of me feels like some stern, Germanic looking nanny type will come striding up to me and tell me that I can't buy that; I'm not really a mother.

This nanny police person will remind me that I don't have a baby and tell me to put it back on the shelf for the real mothers, who actually need it.

Mothers are getting younger and younger, have you noticed? They are beautiful in their young strength, those mothers. They are an entirely different generation from mine. They were in grade school when I was in high school; they were non entities, below the radar, running around in ponytails and now they are populating the world and looking stylish and beautiful at the same time.

As for me, I have been hollowed out and polished thin. Persistent longing has worn me down and softened all my edges, like water that runs and runs over stone, wearing it as smooth as silk.

God has some mysterious inspiration in mind for the shape of me; He keeps me close the wheel, spinning me out, elongating me, pulling and smoothing the edges.

I wonder sometimes that I don't hate Him for this. Why wouldn't I? Isn't He my jailer, isn't He the rock wall behind which hides all the treasure I desire, treasure He is storing up and jealously guarding, unwilling to let even the one good thing fall from His fingers into my empty lap?

But I find that I can't. I trust Him too much. It's so weird. Where did this trust come from? It doesn't make any sense. Maybe the pleasure of being in His hands is greater, in its own way, than the answered desire.

Anyway, how much do I suffer, really? Sooner or later, there will be a baby. I must simply be in the process and it will come about. God is weaving the brokenness of my life into the brokenness of someone else's; I am being woven into the larger picture.

And He does open His hands and treasures are constantly tumbling out. There is the blue of my husband's eyes as he looks at me so shyly from under his ball cap, the warmth of his shoulders under the soft cotton shirt.

There are all the colors hidden behind my cupboard doors; I open them and my eyes are filled with the glow of orange, green, red and yellows.

We went to a small town rodeo on Saturday night; we sat on the metal bleachers and watched the cowboys get tossed out onto the soft Georgia soil, their hats spinning away.

There was one horse; he was cream and white and wild and he kicked his rider off in a fury of offended dignity and then went surging and plunging by the fence, still kicking, still tossing his fierce head.

"The hell you will," I knew he cried. "How dare you dream! I'll toss you all off!"

That stallion was also my gift. As he went thundering by, my spirit rose up in fierce joy with him.

Everything in that moment got all tangled up in joy; the evening sky that was melting into night and the hazy wooded hills and restless crowd, the children huddled in rows near the fence like sparrows, wide eyed and chattering, all the lights high up on the poles shining down onto the tossed soil, the gleaming chaps of the cowboys, their faces shadowed under the broad brims of their hats.

Maybe that's why I trust Him. He's the only one that can spin me in His hands without breaking my spirit.