Sunday, February 17, 2013

the day is drawing near

March 4th is drawing near.

The day we met James in that hotel conference room so many miles away.

It was the day we took James in our arms and marched right out of there never looking back.

The anticipation was so great.  We were so excited!

But I have a confession to make.

Despite photos like this one...

where I appear to be in pure bliss...

I was freaking out.

Perhaps I deserve an Oscar.

Don't misunderstand.  I was very excited to finally have James with us in the flesh -- no longer just a photograph or video we watched.

But seeing him in person, seeing his malformed hand, seeing with my own eyes that he really is missing an arm, and witnessing that this child couldn't walk at all, but instead scooted across the floor, was a little more than my emotionally-fragile-freaked-out-mama-heart could take.  

The enormity of what we were committing to was pressing in on me.  

Many who've seen us over the last year with James, may not believe it when I say that while we were in China, I spent a lot of time in my head; deep in thought.  Having thoughts like:

This is all wrong.

I'm not cut out for this.

I'm not that kind of mom -- I don't have the patience, the grace, the capacity to love.

What have we done?

Is this the biggest mistake of our lives?

How can I possibly love him well enough?

At the Created for Care Retreat I attended a couple of weeks ago, I heard an encouraging 'Gotcha Day' story from another mom who said she had it all planned out: this beautiful photo-perfect time at her child's orphanage in Africa; her embracing her child for the first time with tears of joy running down her cheeks.  It was going to be a YouTube-worthy-moment that they would cherish forever.  But it was just the opposite.  She wasn't crying tears of joy.  She was freaking out inside.  They'd traveled so many hours she was weary and exhausted.  They thought they were going to have a night to catch their breath, but were told immediately when they arrived at their hotel that they would be heading over to the orphanage in just a few minutes to meet their child.  She told all of the moms waiting to bring their children home that perhaps all the tears we see on YouTube adoption videos aren't exactly tears of joy, but tears of feeling overwhelming fear and trepidation.

That was the moment I knew I wasn't alone because I had spent a good amount of time in China praying and asking God to carry me.

Asking Him to build my trust in Him.

Asking Him to expand my heart to love James well.

It is such a joy to say that, almost a year later, I am in love with this little Jimmy Jam of ours!  

In fact, I now love his masterpiece of a body -- his 'wing', his little hand, his mismatched feet, his legs: one shorter than the other.  

This is his unique composition.  

Created by the Master Crafter.

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