This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to hold babies. Yes, little peoples. With gorgeous big eye balls, silly smiles, and cute little dimples galore.
Four days later, my heart is aching. I'm sure it has something to do with this video that someone posted a few days ago. Anything with adoption pulls at my heartstrings, but this one really got to me.
One of the hardest things I experienced with AJ's adoption was visiting the orphange. All of these big eyeballs and smiling faces excitedly shouting, "Hola! Hola!" as we walked in the back door. When the door opened to the front of the orphange, out to the courtyard (surrounded by a high brick wall and barbed wire) AKA the playground, older children bombarded us with "Hola! Hola! Hola!". The look in their eyes was something I had never, ever experienced. "Are you going to be my Mom?" My own mom wanted to load them all in a shopping cart and jump on the plane. I was right there with her.
Knowing that my son would not be alive today if our adoption case had gone a month or so longer does not cross my mind often. Simply because it was not his reality. But it does make me grieve for his brother.
At some point in the last few years I wrote a post about AJ's biological brother. Jose was brought to the same orphanage when he was 6 months old. Their birthmother brought him in when she could no longer feed him. This, despite the fact adoptions ceased in Guatemala six months earlier. I haven't thought about Jose in quite a while, again, because he wasn't our reality. At the time we were told about him, it felt like a cruel joke. Knowing adoptions were closed and that he was literally "stuck" with no place to go. But looking back, knowing he was never a possibility made it somewhat easier to draw that line. To unattach ourselves from the possibility that was...impossible.
A few weeks ago one of our neighbor's son was outside. I turned around and saw the son and his little friend peaking over the fence at me. "Hola!" they shouted, as their big brown eyeballs stared back at me. I had a strange flash of what could have been...AJ and Jose together. I have never had this thought before. Honestly. But the sudden presence of Jose in my mind completely caught me off guard. He's been on my mind since. I have no idea where he is. I doubt the orphanage is still open, since the owner was arrested on bogus charges. If he is alive, I hope that he is well cared for. If he is no longer with us, I hope that he has found peace and love in God's arms. It kills me to know we could have given him a life of love and a life with his brother. Wait-no we couldn't have.
My heart aches for another child. No decision seems absolutely correct. None are easy. Which makes it all the more troubling. Holding babies fills my heart with so much warmth. Don't misunderstand me to be some 16 year old who things that having a baby is all fun and games. Y'all should know me better than that. But the yearning keeps growing stronger and I don't know where to go with it.
My mother-in-law once told me that there is never a perfect time to have a child. You are never totally ready. It is true that some people wait until after school, until after their career has reached a certain level, until they have enough money, or a big enough house. We weren't one of these people when we set out to become parents. It may come as no surprise that many have discouraged us from having more children due to AJ and all of his whoo-ha. Discouraged us from pursuing careers and countless other ambitions. I haven't known Jeremy and I to take the easy route anywhere. While we've wished for the easy route, it still hasn't come. I think we've begun to accept that this is our reality. Why should AJ's disabilities discourage us from having another child? I mean, besides the instant "gasp!" that enters your mind when you think of it, look past that. It wouldn't be so bad peeps.
It took me a few years to understand what "Oh gosh, and he's your first," meant. I know understand it. Completely. We don't know any different.
As I was driving the other day, I decided on a girl's middle name. Which is further than we've ever gotten in the world of girls names. We've never been able to decide on a first name. But I know that if we ever have a girl, she'll have the perfect middle name. This epiphany lead to more tears (I should be banned from driving long distances) as I thought of the babies I held over the weekend, AJ, and Jose. Having an impact on a child's life has brought me more joy than I could have ever of dreamed possible. I love being AJ's Mom.
I'd love to be a Mom again.