• Leah Outten

Adoption Openness Doesn't Always Numb the Ache

I've always had peace with my decision of adoption because I absolutely feel I did what the Lord called me to do and He has granted me peace in return.  I know I did what was best for her and for myself 10 years ago.

But that doesn't mean it is always easy.

I miss her. 

The absence in our daily lives, the silence of how she is doing today, her smiling face around our dinner table, her big blue eyes not here to look at me as my other children do. I just miss her. I want to know her more. Most days, I am content and okay knowing she is exactly where she is supposed to be.  Most days, I am so busy in my own life that the silence isn't so loud to my soul. Most days, just knowing that I can call or email if I need to helps.

But, oh, how this 10 year milestone is getting to me.  Her birthday is next month.

Yesterday was the always treasured and much anticipated Birthmom Buds Retreat. As usual, it was amazing.  Catching up with old friends and making new ones, sharing our stories and our hearts. Finding the common thread of our love for our children despite the differences in our details, it bonds us like nothing else ever will. That feeling of connecting never gets old! God brought some amazing women into my life, thanks to my decision of adoption.

But, everywhere I looked around the room yesterday was the number 10. You see, it is Birthmom Buds 10 year anniversary as well. At times, all I could see was the number 10 staring at me in bright happy colors, reminding me over and over how long it has been since my world changed with her presence so close and forming inside me. I could only think about how 10 years ago she was still in my belly, growing her last few pounds before delivery. A time when she was still only mine, I didn't have to share just yet. I could only think about what all I have missed these last 10 years.

Of course, I'm so thankful for what I haven't missed thanks to our open adoption. I know I am blessed. I know. I have been there for every birthday. I have been there for first solid food feedings as a baby, I've given her bottles and rocked her to sleep.  I have seen her artwork and watched her sing and play. I've heard her tell me she loves me. Those memories absolutely help, but it doesn't always numb the ache for her presence in our daily lives.

I can't remember the last time I cried about her not being with me, I honestly think it has been years and it was most likely on a birthday. Birthdays are hard for birth moms, ya know.  Today I did. I sobbed in church--the snotty ugly crying-- as music played worshiping our Father. The song talked of how in brokeness we can hear Him more and how much we need Him.  How true that is for me...both 10 years ago as I made this decision for us and now as I feel the weight of that decision.

I trust that this Anna shaped hole will be filled with His presence tonight-- and always.  He lead me down this path 10 years ago and so I will continue to trust His guidance for the next 10 years (and many more, I hope!).

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