Right now, I feel like my life is on one of those sharply curving entrance ramps. I've left my old direction and the change is happening tightly, continuously. I think, if only I get off this curve and can sit up straight, everything will be fine.
But as soon as I get off this ramp, everything will be different, because I'll be on an entirely new route.
All my energy is going into e-mails with the birth parents. I feel like all my hopes and every dream of motherhood and every good intention and all my life lessons are being sent out like ropes to build a bridge. I've got my eyes on the work.
This bridge is not just for that moment when they hand a new born baby girl into my arms; this bridge will last the rest of our lives, because she will always be their birth daughter. So it feels as though I am weaving a new extended family into my life.
They will always be a part of her and a part of her will always be with them, and so they are a part of my family, too. This doesn't meant that we won't have boundaries; boundaries are healthy. It's an emotional awareness that is expanding out into my heart, in ways that I never would have guessed.
The most compelling example is her name. Early on, the birth parents wanted to know if we had any ideas for names, or if we wanted suggestions.
Keith and I looked at each other nervously, after we read that e-mail. We wondered what was between the lines. We sent them out ideas for names and asked theirs and held our breath.
They said they loved one particular name we liked and sent us their names and so we tossed some names around for half a day and came up with one that included everyone's ideas.
Then the birth mother told us she was working on her birth plan and asked for our last name. We stepped out on a bridge of trust and sent it her way.
This morning, she wrote that the name on her birth certificate will be the name we all decided on together, with our last name to finish it out.
Three years ago, when I began seriously considering adoption, I had no idea how real it was, how much my heart would expand, how much I would bracket, or make space.
That's the word that keeps coming to my mind: to bracket. I think of it as pushing aside the tight structure of the sentence, thought or assumption for the addition of something important or necessary, something related to but not contained in the original sentence.
It's painful and I don't always do it well, but I am aware of how important it is.
As I get older, I increasingly understand that happiness is found in the ability to give up one's assumptions for reality. There is a dream of what life will be like and then there is life. Life is very good, but I have to give up the smoke screen in order to see it for what it is.
In the meantime, the house will close this week, which is such a relief. We had heard that there was a six week back order on the cabinets and without them, the house could not be appraised and without the appraisal, the loan could not be closed and without the loan, the house could not become officially ours.
However. It appears that all will be well.
It will be good to be inside the house again. The last few weeks they put the locks on the doors and so in the weekends when we visit, we have been creeping around the house, peering in windows and rattling doorknobs like burglars with wistful faces. I'm surprised the neighborhood watch hasn't reported us.
We leave for Indiana late this week and as soon as we return, we will be moving into the new house. Two weeks after, we will be heading out to meet the birth family. After that, we will be waiting for the call, ready to leave at a moment's notice for the hospital.
It might happen sooner rather than later; the birth mother thinks this little one is eager to arrive and meet us.
Hopefully we'll have time to move in and get set up, but whenever this little one decides to arrive, we will be there, and be happy to bring her home no matter what, even if it is to sleepless nights amid unpacked boxes.