John is sleeping in his crib now. Thankfully. He's been a snot nosed little boy these past few nights and hasn't been sleeping well because his adorable nose is stuffed up and breathing is hard. I was so tired last night and not feeling well myself that I cried as I tried consoling him. My husband heard my tears, swooped in, and comforted both me and our son. And on that ever so realistic glimpse into real life...Hi...I'm Ashley O'Brien and my husband and I adopted John in an emergency placement domestic adoption.
Just like those women who pop a kid or two out au'natural, in our home, we struggle, too. John has the sniffles. He tests his limits as he enters "toddlerdom", he walks and falls flat on his handsome face. But, I will say this, on the flip side of the coin, if my husband and I were to make a baby, no doubt in my mind, it would not be as awesome as John, and no doubt in my mind, we would not be as close to God.
As we waited for our son, which in the adoption world was in a blink of an eye, the entire process took six months, the actual wait for match which was about three weeks, was rough. I was up. I was down. I was happy. I was sad. I was so incredibly dependent on the Lord because I knew nothing else, nobody else, could sustain me like He could. And as we ventured through some tough times over the past year, that same God that sustained me then has done just the same now.
Our son has been amazing. Pretty close to perfect. Perfect caramel colored skin. A huge award winning smile practically plastered on his face since he was two months old, easy going & resilient, a great head of hair and eager to give kisses. See, perfect, right??? But let me tell you, friend, as the mama in this adoption, I've struggled. I've felt guilty for taking another woman's child. I mean, I know she chose to make an adoption plan for her son, but I think about John's birthmom quite often and feel guilty that I get to see all these amazing moments and she doesn't. I've struggled with old-fashion family members who have disagreed and expressed worry over our decision to have an open adoption. I struggled with people who judged my decision to adopt and I bawled as Johns birthmom asked to cut off contact because she just couldn't handle the pain. See, she wants John, but she has said she is not ready to be a mama, and her family has been judging her everyday since for her adoption plan and telling her she is an awful mom. We were able to text her that an awful mom would never ever give up so much for her son. She is amazing and and beautiful and people who tell her otherwise are lying. We never heard back from her.
But, I know that The Lord placed John in our home for a reason.
The guilt is a "gift" from the enemy and I've learned to refuse it. I knew that open adoption is what was best and I patiently would explain to my family just so, and that John's birthmom was and always will be a member of our family and I will protect her as fiercely as I protect my son. I have learned to brush off naysayers who judge me for adopting a child of another race or who think I'm not doing well enough. Words hurt, but they don't always matter and I've learned to walk away with my head held high. And as for the sad day when Johns b-mom asked for her space...my heart still hurts, but I turned back to The Lord for His strength and peace. And I think it's good for me, too. I need some space to be the only mama and reconcile this guilt and sadness I still feel every now & then. Plus, I know...I just KNOW in the depths of my heart, we will hear from her again.
So, now that you know that post adoption not everything is perfect & anybody who portrays otherwise is not telling the truth! But, there are days that are so close to perfect, there are moments that are so overwhelmingly precious and memories that make me wish that somebody would build me a time machine so I can go back and experience them again and again...I hope you know that the roller coaster of emotions doesn't end when you bring a little home...that's when the adventure truly begins! Then you'll feel your heart stretch in ways you didn't know it could. You'll feel SUCH joy and incredible surges of love you'll wonder how your heart hasn't burst from overload. Being a mommy is amazing & you are in for the coolest ride of your life!
So, if you're still reading this..and you're still waiting for your baby, please know that there is hope! Your son or daughter will come...use this time to cry out to The Lord and grow ever closer to the King of Kings. Know that when your precious baby arrives, via plane, train or stork, your mama instincts will kick in and trust your gut. In all things, you will have struggles and you will have joy. Just like every other mama out there. So with that said, please stop over to my blog and say Hi, you can check out our entire adoption timeline, and you can be assaulted with way too many photos of my son. You're welcome. And for you sister, I pray often for you. I may not know your name but every now and then I remember that there are families waiting for their children to come home and I stop what I'm doing, and I pray. The Lord hears my prayers on your behalf and He is good and will bring your babies home.