Adoption is Brutiful.
Glennon Doyle Melton said it best. “Life is never all brutal or all beautiful. It’s both, all the time. Life is brutiful.” This is most certainly true for adoption. The overwhelming brutality and pure majesty it brings will perhaps provide you with a new perspective on life that few others experience. When we choose this journey, we do not get to choose what we experience along the way. Situations will come out of nowhere, you may have to make split-second decisions, you’ll be forced to walk blindly, your heart may be ripped right out of your chest. And somehow, all those things will fulfill you in an unfathomable way. You’ll love harder than you’ve ever loved before. You will witness, before your very eyes, true miracles.
This is heavy, I know. Big words, powerful emotions. But I feel this is important to know up front. Your journey will be brutiful. When we started our adoption journey, I was naïve, uneducated, inexperienced. We were hesitantly pursuing adoption as we were grieving our fresh infertility diagnosis. Our hearts were shattered, our marriage was broken, but adoption gave us a renewed hope and spark that I hadn’t felt in a couple years, anyway. With very little exposure to adoption, I had pretty painted pictures in my head of what it would be like. My reveries of positive pregnancy tests and a perfectly round belly transformed in to thoughts of embracing a birthmother for the first time, attending her doctor appointments, seeing a perfect and healthy child be born, and having an idealistic open relationship. I thought it’d be sunshine, rainbows, and all the beautiful things.
Some of these reveries did come true. However they didn’t come without immense heartache and trials along the way. We experienced situations throughout our adoption journey that brought us to our knees again and again. I cried more tears than infertility had brought me which I wouldn’t have guessed to be possible. When we were matched for the first time, it was with a birthmother who had birthed an “unhealthy” baby the day before who was in the NICU. That’s all we knew. With hardly any information on the birthfamily, the baby, or the situation, we had to make a split-second decision on whether or not this was our baby. Everything about it felt wrong. The weight of the decision felt suffocating in these moments and hours of pursuit. We leaped solely on faith because we were depleted of everything else. There were countless twists and turns that came in pieces. All of this led us down the bumpy, yet beautiful, path to our daughter. We met her for the first time when she was 48 hours old and that moment changed our entire life and perspective of it. In her innocence and perfection, she mended our wounds and lit our souls on fire. She made me a mommy. Brutally. And beautifully. Brutiful.
During our second match, everything was looking hopeful. We experienced five months alongside our pregnant birthmother. We were happy to support her, attend her doctor appointments and get to know her. I got to see our daughter be born. Oh my, there’s nothing in the world that can compare to that. We brought our daughter home the next day making us a family of four. Life was beautiful. When our daughter was three days old, the rug was yanked from beneath our feet when we learned that her birthfather was going to fight us for custody – something we never anticipated. Throughout the next six months we lived in fear as we experienced depositions, court dates, meetings, and emotionally supported our birthmother who was fighting but depleted. Ultimately, we sat through a nine hour trial as we witnessed those who were trying to take our baby away after we had loved her greatly for many months. We “won” the trial although that word doesn’t really describe what we experienced that day. Brutal. But she would be ours forever. Beautiful.
Because of our journey, my heart beats bigger, louder. It’s been shattered more than once but mended back by stronger threads. My marriage has struggled but my husband and I have survived all the tough days together and that has bonded us in a new way. Know that adoption will make you leap with joy and collapse to your knees– maybe all on the same day. Its wicked twists and turns can’t be predicted. Our journey always felt “out of control” as if we were on a giant plunging rollercoaster in the dark. We couldn’t see what was coming. We couldn’t slow it down. But maybe that is the greatest blessing of it all. We don’t have to choose, or control, or orchestrate, or plan. We get to sit back and only take things as they come. Every day, every choice, every time we chose faith over fear, brings us one step closer to our children. I am always humbled to know that I, alone, could never orchestrate such the masterpiece that our journey is. I am not that powerful. Adoption is, and always will be, the most brutal and beautiful experience of my entire life. Even at a mere 30 years old, I’m confident this will always stand true. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most rewarding experiences that any man can endure. And we did it. We’re alive. More than ever. Adoption is brutiful.