Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To smile or not (meeting their birthmothers)

We are going to meet our daughters' birth families.

And I am so, so nervous.

I just received our Ethiopia schedule from AAI.  Right there, in my inbox, in print, it says that we'll be meeting M. and T.'s respective birth families the first afternoon that we're there.  The same day we meet our future daughters.  Tomorrow, for all of you readers in the US.  I can't stop staring at it. 

What can I possibly say to these precious women who gave my girls life, who relinquished them well over a year ago because they could no longer care for them, and who are appearing in court to say yes, they want them to be adopted? 

It is incredibly humbling.  I have no words.  Truly.  No clue what to say or how to say it.

And what will these dear women say to ME?  What will they think of us?  I have visions of Kevin and I fumbling around for words, and finding none, and me sitting there doing my very best not to cry my eyes out.  Kind of like I am now, just thinking about the huge-ness of the situation.   

I imagine we'll pose for pictures and I wonder, will we smile?  It seems like too somber an occasion for that, this snapshot in time that is so outside of our normal and yet so incredibly vital.  So that we can remember.  So our girls can remember, and know where they come from, and know their first mother as best they can.  But I don't know if we should smile.

There are so very many things I want to tell each of these women.  I want them to know that their daughters are precious, and that we love them to pieces, and that God created them just the way He wanted them to be.  I want these women to know that I am honored to meet them, that they will always hold a place in our hearts and in our home.  That we will make sure they hold a place in our daughters' hearts, too.  I want them to know that I am so sorry things are difficult, that we will pray for them and that we are so very humbled to be raising these sweet little ones.

I know there will be many questions for them, too...family history, birth stories, and the like.  I want to know if there is anything they want us to tell our girls for them.

Somehow it all seems so trite when I type it out.

And, well, surreal.

It is both.

But such is the way of things, when ho-hum-everyday-life suddenly collides with brokenness and reality and the sort of messyness that makes for best-selling novels and blockbuster films.  How sheltered we are! 

Of course at the end of all of this we'll step onto a plane and leave as if it never happened, except of course it WILL have happened.

And we can't leave unchanged.  We won't leave unchanged.

Smiling or not, we'll have those photos to prove it. 


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