This week we celebrate Chloe and we remember and we try to reconcile the fact that two years ago I took my baby from the woman who had raised her's arms. That God can take one of the greatest signs of brokeness in this world and use it for good. Adoption is symbolic of the best thing, the God of the universe choosing us, of redemption, but to be sure the need for adoption only exists because of the fall, because of sin, because of evil.
So as my mind travels back in time today I feel the knot in my stomach and the tears sting my eyes, but then I look at her, this amazing gift, and I smile and I can breathe. Two years later she is mostly healed and she is mostly mine and she is mostly a carefree three year old girl.
On that day two years ago, we had headed out to the "Walmart" of Seoul, having not been able to find children's training chopsticks no matter where we searched in the days leading up , so we had taken the subway all the way out to use our last hours baby free for more shopping. We found them and also bought Chloe a baby doll set. But as usual we had underestimated the time it would take and so we had to travel straight from the store to our appointment. We splurged on a taxi, which turned out to be the right decision and the most soothing way for me to travel in the moments leading up to one of the hardest things I've ever done. We ate a quick lunch and walked down to our agency.
We were early so they had us wait in the lobby and at the sight every foster mommy who walked in carrying a baby my heart stopped, was that her? I hadn't received a picture of her in six months and was sure that I would not recognize her. I begin to cry overwhelmed with the stress of sitting in a room waiting to meet my one year old daughter for the first time. I tried so hard to stop myself, I knew I would shed so many tears in the hours and days to come, it seemed wasteful to start them so early, but my soul needed a release, a way to relax all that stormed inside of me.
When I finally met her in that room, it is only now that I can say I again recognize the girl who sat in her (foster) grandmother's lap and ate cheese puffs. She was confident and bossy, she was independent and sneaky. Kyle recorded our meeting this time something we regretted not doing with Jack, so I have a video of that entire meeting and it is one of the most painful things for me to see. The way I was so broken, I could not get a grip on myself, the bigness of the situation was not lost of me. Knowing what was to come, the way she was so oblivious to the forever goodbyes she would say, without any understanding of what was happening to her.
God never gave me more than I can handle, instead he was my strength through that entire time. I had long ago reached my end, it was Him alone working through me that day and all I could do was obey moment by moment, breath by breath.
A few days ago, I lost her at the store, it was her birthday and she was wearing a fancy pink dress with a fancy pink sweather and her nicest shoes, her sister had dressed her for the outfit she deemed appropiate on a third birthday and although I knew that it was way too fancy for all the things in would encounter throughout our day I embraced the celebration. And then there I was standing in Kroger, having turned my back for a second and she was gone. In scariest 90 seconds of my life, I felt the panic rising up in me, and had the strangest thought came to the front of my mind, how will I tell her birth mom that I lost her.
There is nothing simple about my children's stories or the way I feel about them. There is no way I could explain to you how deep I have learned to love, how much adoption has been used in my sanctification, how my greatest gifts can be some the hardest most painful days of my life. But today we just celebrate because it all boils down to, Chloe. A gift from God, a blessing and a privledge, my baby girl.
CSC- Thank you for giving up everything in your world to be my daughter. You are the bravest girl. You are so beautiful that sometimes I cannot believe that you are real. You're my girl.