Friday, September 2, 2011

Wandering in the Desert

Alex's parents continued to email me.  I was desperate to hear from them and prayed that we'd keep our connection.  There were moments in the quiet, barren emotional places where I'd hear whispers that they didn't care about me.  I was a means to an end and they'd do whatever they had to in order to apease me so they could have what they wanted.  The whispers wanted to make me something of little value in all of this.  I'd cry thinking that I was being used. I was a means to and end and the whole adoption industry was out to take advantage of people like me.  I would be stripped of what was priceless and tossed in the garbage like wrapping paper on Christmas morning.  Thankfully, there would be a great fortitude that would rise up in those moments where I just couldn't accept that this was the truth.  I'd rally and carry on, especially when I would get another sweet message from Kayla.

I continued to enlarge. There were moments when I wondered if I'd just burst at the seams.  My walk became a waddle and my feet started to swell.  My toes looked like little pork sausages.  Despite my doctor's warnings, I wanted to wear flip flops every day.  I couldn't tolerate shoes on my feet any more. 
People started to ask questions.  Carli's classmates at pre-school asked her if I was having a baby while I was standing there.  I would answer plainly and hope that it would end the conversation.  It usually did.  The adults in my midst hardly said anything at all.  I would imagine that was because I never said anything about it.  I kept my pregnancy and my plans to myself and avoided discussing it outside my circles unless it was something that I just couldn't avoid.  There was always the random old lady in the grocery store who would ask the usual questions.  The occasional "congratulations" always felt strange.  Who would want to be congratulated for getting herself into this mess?  I would weakly smile and pat my belly, trying to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.  Carli would always remain silent at my side.

I thought that Carli was just unobservant of my pregnancy.  For an astute child, she seemed quite oblivious that anything was different about her mother.  I wondered about it.  I had actually tried to explain how my belly had gotten bigger one evening as we were watching television but she quickly hushed me and changed the topic.  I swung between relief and concern for her.  I was glad to not have to deal with any negative emotions but concerned that she might be harboring something that would explode later.  I tried to pay as much attention to her moods as possible but she refused to let on. 

The truth started to materialize when Carli came to my bedside one night.  She would do this on occasion and my usual routine was to flap the covers back and let her crawl in, pressing up next to me in a little ball.  I would cover her, tuck her in snugly and rub her back until we both fell asleep.  I cherished these moments.  That night turned into a few times a week, then every night.  I started to wonder what was going on.  One night she crawled in to bed with me but this time she wouldn't settle.  I tried to calm her and tell her it was night time but she wouldn't stop talking.  I threatened a return to her own bed if she didn't stop but she just kept right on going.  Something came to me as I lay in frustration over my interrupted sleep. 

"Carli, do you have something you want to talk to Mama about?"

"Yes." Like a dam breaking, she started to sob.

"Are you sad?"

"Yes, Mama!"

"What are you sad about?"

"You!"

Her sobs turned to wailing as I pulled her close to me and wiped her tears.  I was heartbroken for her.  I had hurt her and I couldn't fix it.  As we sat talking in my bed, I gleaned from 3 year old speak that she was upset with me and didn't know how to tell me. She thought something was wrong with me and she wanted to doctor to fix it.  I reassured her that Mama wasn't sick. I needed to go to the doctor because there was a baby in Mama's belly.  My lack of talking to her about the situation had injured her and I felt so guilty about that.  I fell short of knowing how to approach her with as little damage as possible so I didn't say anything.  I cuddled my little one close to me and prayed that I could redeem myself with her and that God could make her understand.  I didn't have the ability to communicate in her language, but He did.  He was my only hope for her. 

I explained to her the next morning that God had put a baby in my belly for Brett and Kayla.  The baby was not for us and she wouldn't be staying with us.  I went on to say that sometimes God puts babies in Mommies bellies so that He can give them to a Mama who can't have a baby.  I told her that Kayla couldn't have a baby so I was having the baby for her.  It seemed to smooth over what ever scariness at this had to her.  It also made me feel better.  I was on a special mission for God and even though it was hard, it was for a great purpose.  I felt special and hand picked by Him to do this for such a beautiful and deserving couple.  In my moments of doubt, when the whispers would try to speak, I hushed them by thinking of myself as someone set apart for something truly remarkable. 

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