Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Permanent Like Super Glue

Something fills your lungs when you are about to make something permanent.  It's like a gluey coating when you inhale.  Exhaling it makes it all stick in some cosmic way, I am sure of it. 
I felt that way when I got married.  It was exhilarating to get ready for my wedding. I remember having the whole day to primp and celebrate with my bridesmaids.  We sang in the limo 'Chapel of Love' all the way to the church but when I stood with my dad and the doors to the sanctuary as they  opened, I inhaled and the sense of permanence filled my body. I knew I was making a decision for the rest of my life.  But that was a happy kind of sticky. 

Any feelings of more time wafted out the door as soon as my adoption counselor arrived.  Upon her greetings and minutes of small talk, Brett and Kayla were asked to leave the room with Alex and it was time for us to get down to business.  It was time for paperwork.  I tried to slow my breathing as she pulled out the papers.  The weight of anticipation made my whole body feel slow to move.  She tried dutifully and carefully to explain but what was the sense?  Anything I didn't agree to or couldn't sign off on meant the deal was off.  She read and pointed and I had my pen in hand and tried to lightly lift my clammy fingers off of the paper with each sign so they wouldn't stick.

I didn't ask any questions, I just wanted to get through it.  I hadn't changed my mind but I wanted more time.  If I had a thousand years, I still would have wanted a thousand and one.  Sooner or later, I was going to have to say "good bye".  Every page made the decision stick a little more.  The last page and it was done.  A fixed decision in my life.  There is no divorce from this covenant unlike marriage. 

People have asked me what was more painful, having to bury my husband or letting Alex go. The honest answer is that I don't really know.  Both of  them were equally painful but how I feel about those losses are incredibly different.  Although Greg and Alex will never be mine again, I can still see Alex.  In fact, I have had two great visits already.   I didn't have any warning for the day I'd lose Greg.  I had several months to see the day I'd terminate my rights to parent Alex.  That didn't make it any easier though.  Greg is in Heaven with Jesus right now.  Who could ask for him to be anywhere better even if it isn't with me?  Alex is with two of the best parents I could ask for who love her more than their own lives.  Could I have wished for anything more for her? 

In the cases of my widowhood and my birthmotherhood I can say one thing about them both. They are both losses, they both hurt sometimes but I have healed by the grace of God and I can see the beauty in it all even though I wish sometimes that it could have been different.  I wouldn't change either one of those covenants.  I can sleep well in that.

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