I’ve spent most of today organizing Mollie’s room. Half organizing, half nesting, half sorting and prepping hand-me downs for a consignment sale. Yes. That’s three halves. That’s how busy I’ve been.
I think, perhaps, for the adoptive mother, nesting is integral to the adoption process. Even more so for the international adoptive parent with a photo of a child a world away. With a biological pregnancy, a woman nests as she imagines her family growing. She envisions the snuggle time as she selects bedding, imagines the click clack of tiny church shoes in the foyer as she hangs smocked dresses on small pink hangers. These dreams are coupled with the inner kicks and nudges she feels as her little one grows safely inside her.
I nest not only because I dream of our family in the future, but because I long to be close to Charles and Mollie. To feel the nudge and flutter of them growing. I long to know they are safe and warm. To hear their heartbeats or see them flicker on a screen.
I don’t even know if they’ve eaten today. I chuckle at the irony that I’ve hemmed and hawed at the pros and cons of putting Mollie in a crib versus putting her straight into a twin. But y’all, right now they are most likely sleeping on the floor. Perhaps even a dirt floor. I will literally have to teach my three year old son to use a pillow. Does it really matter that he will be on the bottom bunk?
I stay up every night until midnight to pray. Not because I’m super spiritual. But because at midnight on the east coast it is 7am in Lumbumbashi. And in that quiet darkness, I feel as though they are right here. I close my eyes and if I lay still enough (and Sloan isn’t snoring too loudly), it’s almost as though I can hear them waking up. Charlie all grumpy and wanting to go back to sleep and Molls bright eyed and bushy tailed, playing in the satin sheets I’ve bought for her.
I pray for their days. I pray that they will eat more than once. I pray for clean water. I pray they’ll receive the care packages we’ve sent. I pray that they’ll get to eat meat this week. I pray that their foster mother will be loving and kind. I pray that they will be told Jesus loves them and that their parents are coming for them. I pray that God will introduce us to them in their dreams so that we won’t be strangers when we first meet. I pray that God will bind up their memories of the Congo in a tender place so that when they’re ready to remember, it won’t be lost. That they’ll always remember what their first mother smelled like. That I will know how to foster a love of their country, but that I won’t force it upon them. I pray that I will be patient with them and they with me. I pray for Henry and Grace to understand that for awhile, we will need to focus just on Charles and Mollie. I pray for them to share, be kind, and to be patient with them as they learn English. I pray that Charlie and Mollie learn English quickly.
So as we gear up to fundraise some more, know this: yes, yes, we certainly would like to invite you to join us on our adoption journey. And we are expecting God to go before us and provide financially for this adoption. But each tshirt sold, wreath wrapped, frame painted is how I tell my children I love them. It’s my proverbial pregnant tummy rub; it’s all I got.