I’ve been really sick lately and it’s left me with a lot of time to think, when the cold medicine or fever haven’t made a mess of my brain. Most of the time I think about our future daughter.
There have been some delays in the process and while sick I’ve worked toward removing one roadblock. I’ve done what I can and everything is in other people’s hands. I’m a girl who loves spreadsheets and organization, so obviously it’s hard for me to not be in control or working personally toward a goal. Yet adoption has a lot of balls to juggle and the prospective parents only have control of a couple of those juggling balls. When someone like me doesn’t have any control at all and isn’t well enough to lose my mind in other projects, I begin to mentally circle the subject, think about the risks, think about possible ways to fix or prevent such risks, and whatnot. No matter how much I circle it, research, and prepare for, I keep coming to one theme of questions. Will I be enough? Can I do enough? Will my love be enough? And what is “enough”?
These foster children have been through such trauma in their short lives, and although we are working toward adopting a teenager, she may have not received the help and love that she has needed to work through her trauma. If I’m bed bound for several days, how can I ever be enough? Although the flu and possible pneumonia will pass, my illness will remain. Due to that, I have a weak immune system and there will be more days like this in my future. Is love enough for her when I’m unable to be at a sporting event or some other teen activity? Can I ever be enough for her?
Thankfully I have been blessed with an awesome support system who will be able to help when I’m sick or I’m unable to do something. And deep down I know that my questions, my doubts, about being enough, are born out of fear. I’m scared of her never attaching to us, never being able to truly bond, and never being able to feel like we will always be there for her, even if she makes youthful mistakes or slams her door in that incredibly passionate way that only teens can. The heart of my fear is when we meet her will she look at me and wonder if I’m enough for her. What if we fall in love with our daughter and she finds us lacking?
I have realized that this is why adoption requires strength and faith. I cling to my faith that God chose this path for us; cling to that moment when that strong sense of purpose and joy filled me. And you have to be strong enough to know when to reach out for your partner’s hand any time you can’t see the path anymore.
When fostering or adoption is such a difficult thing to do, and the system beats at their hearts and confidence sometimes, isn’t a person bound to wonder if they are enough? So many classes, binders full of paperwork, tons of research, and tons of time waiting; they eat away at you. The doubts attack in the darkest hours like childhood monsters under your bed.
A wise man I thankfully married told me during one of those attacks that we all ready came this far, so we have to keep our faith to see it through. Even though I’m sick, I will be enough. God believed it when he set us on this path and although there has been a rough journey so far, I will have to remember that God is preparing us for our daughter. I’ve often looked at myself as if I’m a broken toy, due to my illness, and our daughter is somewhere probably feeling the same way, although for different reasons. As my friend helped me realize, I’m not broken. I’m strong because I survive and I try, and it’s made me “enough” to find our daughter and be the best that I can be for her, regardless of my fears. And if I’m enough, then I’ll be able to help our daughter learn that she’s enough, too, no matter what she’s gone through. She may never open her heart to us, but at least she will learn that her past has made her into who she is and made her strong enough to overcome her fears. We are all “enough”.