our advent

this period has been different. not necessarily bad, just new.

this period of anticipation feels more tangible. some days scary.

i folded some of our first baby clothes into a dresser in our spare room.

there has been a crib there for two years. waiting.

i haven’t wanted to expand. but we were told to be prepared.

for the adoption call.

my heart has begun to become a little excited. still unsure of the safety outside my net.

but nothing will ever be “safe” or “sure”…

but hope still whispers.

hope that this is the right thing. this is God’s plan. despite the brokenness of the situation. an unplanned pregnancy. the inability to care for a new life. God is providing another way.

there have been new feelings of guilt. who am i to say i can raise your child? who am i to say, pick me? trust me with your unborn child. my mom changed her mind. i can’t imagine not knowing the woman who bore me. but there was another family. i don’t know how that life would have been different.

recently, we attended an event at a crisis pregnancy center. moms came with their children. children they chose to keep. my emotions swam before me. i heard their stories: thinking abortion was the answer, before arriving at the clinic. choosing to keep the child versus adoption. because what would i tell that kid if i had more? i gave you away, but kept the rest. i did’t want my kids getting lost in the system… it was a dip into reality. acknowledging up close the other “choice” our potential birth mom could choose.

and i totally respect her right to make that decision.

i am having to remember, that we are not trying to replace this child’s parents, we are coming alongside them. really, we are all adopted. by God. adoption is not a bad thing. it is a beautiful thing that has been created to restore.

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“in which i return to nebraska”

fall

a new poem by ashley brittingham

dark arms reaching, unfurling.

their gnarly hands arthritic.

they lend themselves ever upwards

toward the great orb of light.

upon their arms are layers,

rough stories from birth and time.

hail or snow.

wind or human.

stoic, they stand through all.

in their hands

bright yellows blind

cluster and float

like billowing florescent umbrellas.

they wave hello

aware of their time.

in that moment

my feet lead me through

their aureole, their chuppah.

the staccato–

crunch.

crunch.

crunch.

echoing through damp cold

changing yellow to brown beneath my soles.

i awake.

the coolness disappearing,

and the glow of the nebraska fall

dims into the land of nod.

tearing out the roots

i would describe this season of my life as apathetic.

there, i said it. i have named it.

it has been hard to not fall into this listless toll

of not really feeling, caring or wanting.

our journey towards a family continues

to bear heavily on us–sometimes needing to not talk about it

so as to create some form of relief and prevent burnout.

sometimes i fear that i will become a clanging gong

to the ears within my close circles.

i remember in high school and college, judging the women

who seemed to “drag” their infertility behind them–

but now i understand that they were being somewhat brave

and present to their feelings of need, loss and of something greater.

lately, God has been sending in some amazing women to speak to me and help start to

shift this layer of apathy farther from my grip:

that i do need to celebrate those who are becoming mothers

because i am called to rejoice with others–even though my heart would rather be mad.

that perhaps enjoying all the newborns around me needs to be ok–

enough, for this time of my life.

that this is a time where i can pour more into my spouse–

treasuring this time of freedom–

even though my heart “wants” to embrace whatever chaotic madness

a full house of children would bring.

(your kid is screaming and driving you bonkers? yeah, i want that.)

i am not sure really what is next on the list.

the “how to wait” is a vast question–for any number of things: a spouse, a house, a new

job, a friend, a better life, a purpose–kids is just one thing on this mighty list.

for now, i am thankful for the community of women God has placed in my life

to reflect his grace, wisdom and everlasting love.

thanks for being my family.

now, i am going to finish my oatmeal and fold some bulletins….