Thursday, October 31, 2013

We're not so different in the end

This is a little post to all of you who perhaps didn't view adoption as their #1 choice. To those of you who dreamed about a houseful of little babies that came from your tummy. To those of you who put pillows up your shirt when you played house. To those of you who begged your mom for the Cabbage Patch doll that looked just like you...

Last Saturday night I had a brief phone conversation with a dear friend from college. Life has taken its toll on us and we’ve gotten busy and lost touch. But on Saturday my brother ran into her at a wedding and while he was talking with me, passed the phone to her. The conversation went something like this.

Friend: “Congratulations on your adoption! It’s so awesome. You are getting everything you ever wanted! I’ve been praying for you and your daughter. I’m truly happy for you.”

Sweet friend. Thank you for praying for us. What a kind soul. I appreciate you Anna!

And she is right. It is awesome. Being an adoptive mom is something I have always wanted. And it’s been a cool journey that has been bringing me even closer to my faith, which is ultimately what I have always hoped for too. So it’s really really awesome.

But people, let’s get real, I wouldn’t say the Nikki of Baker University, circa 2003, would have chosen this. If the Nikki of 2003 got what she always dreamed about, what she always thought she wanted, Nikki would have adopted a Chinese baby. A healthy, Chinese, baby. The Nikki of 2003 would have also planned a lot longer for this adoption of this child. The Nikki of 2003 would have thought that she would have had all $32,000 sitting in a bank account marked “Adoption” to just start using and never had to worry about money. The Nikki of 2003 would have thought that she would have had a little more time as a newlywed before she had a 10-year-old sleeping a mere 8 feet away. The Nikki of 2003 would be all caught up on her work so she could finish her last home study and get on a plane and not have to think about work for a month.  The Nikki of 2003 would have wanted her husband to be more set with his work too so they could leave for two-weeks so he could be completely mentally present during the adoption trip.  

But dear ones, this isn’t the Nikki of 2003. This is the Nikki of 2013. 10 years has passed.  And Nikki now isn’t just a Nikki, she’s now a Nikki and Brian. And she’s sharing her life with another person and now about to devote her life to the vocation of mom as well. And so we find the Nikki of 2013 is working through adoption paperwork on top of her already busy work schedule with five jobs at four not-for-profit-agencies. The Nikki of 2013 does not have a fully funded adoption bank account. The Nikki of 2013 is learning how to fundraise and grant write her fool head off. And the Nikki of 2013 has successfully put off (for one full month now) a visit to because she’s too afraid to see what that will offer to her family (and because the website is jankety and she doesn’t have time to sit and wait for it, but mainly because she’s afraid).

And the Nikki of 2013 is learning more about what it means to walk with Jesus and to be humble and submit to plans that are not her own.    

Yes, we chose our child! We know this is God’s plan and we fully embrace it. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. Now I can’t even imagine my life if I was adopting a healthy baby. I don’t want that anymore! I want Yan Yiyi. She is my daughter! 

                                                       So happy for updated photos!

I’m really enjoying learning about blind resources and have loved being in the Empowered to Connect class. We’ve got a meeting coming up in November with the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) and I can’t wait to have our first appointment with the International Adoption Clinic at The Children’s Mercy Hospital. Although fundraising isn’t natural for me, I am just in complete awe of the generosity of our friends and family members and even some strangers who have come out of the woodwork to support us on our adoption journey. Although a ton of work, I can say that I’ve enjoyed learning more about the grant writing process. I’m a social worker, so that’s just a good idea to know and a good skill to have. Though all of this, I’m becoming a better social worker and advocate for the children from hard places. I love learning about resources and I love sharing it too. This journey has been amazing and our daughter isn’t even home yet.      

I wouldn’t have gotten any of this if the Nikki of 2003 was still here today. I wouldn’t have gotten any of this if we adopted the way I thought we would.  I would have missed all of this gold. This is life changing. This is faith. This is growing. And I’ve learned how to tame the frizz in my hair too. So, I’m pretty grateful for this decade.     

I don’t know why, but I thought my path would look different. And then it occurred to me, I’m not walking my path, I’m walking down our path. And while that path may look to some like I am getting everything I ever wanted on the surface, look deeper, and see that I’m not so different from you.

We haven’t struggled with infertility. I have always wanted to adopt, this is true. But in the end, our families will look similar and our journeys will too.    


1 comment:

  1. Nikki,she's a beauty! How far along in the process are you?