The sorrow side

Well, I cried in IKEA today.

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I think about redecorating... my house, an imaginary apartment, someone else's living room.... for some reason it calms me down and lulls me to sleep. My special version of counting sheep, you could say.

A few nights ago I was lying awake in a buzz of Christmas excitement and I started thinking about how we're going to set up our little guy's room once he comes home. Until now I haven't spent very much time thinking about this kind of thing at all. I think it was a "I don't want to get my hopes up" coping mechanism, developed after so much disappointment over the past year and a half. But this night something was different. I felt a quiet sense of peace... a whisper giving me permission to dream. To plan. To hope.

So, lying there in bed, I dreamed up a bedroom for a little boy. For our little boy, in our house. And then I was so excited that I went online and started looking for a bed frame. Obviously my "think about redecorating to fall asleep plan" did not succeed.

I did, however, find the perfect, affordable, bed frame at IKEA!

So this afternoon John and I went to IKEA. We were standing around in the bed section, looking at the bed, measuring it and trying to picture it in the space when John asked me why we even needed this bed frame, since our twin mattress currently sits just fine on one of those metal frame like this:

It was a fair enough question, but still my voice broke and tears came to my eyes with the answer:

"Because I don't get to buy a crib."

I don't get to buy a crib. Yes maybe someday I'll buy a crib for a baby, but I don't get to buy a crib for this baby. I'm missing the crib days. I'm missing the swaddling days. I'm missing the "bum-in-the-air-sleep-position" days. I'm missing the baby days and that's.... well, hard. Hard enough to make me cry over a bed frame in IKEA.

This weekend a friend and her family received a long-awaited referral for their adoption. She told me that even after getting the referral she didn't immediately feel joy- first, she just had to weep. And she told me the most beautiful thing- that there is both grief and joy in the road to adoption and that she has come to accept both.

Her words ring true for me. This is a journey with both grief and joy. Both need to be felt, fully. This is life: the depths of sorrow and the heights of joy. To get to the joy you need to feel the sorrow. Hold it close for a while. Work through it. And let it come and go in its own time. Our journey to adoption, even in it's short span thus far, has been incredibly joyful. But it is also punctuated by the pain of loss, for everyone involved. I am learning to accept this and embrace it for what it is.

After a mid-IKEA embrace and tear wipe, John and I bought the bed frame and it's sitting in his future room for when we're ready to put it together. Maybe this weekend or maybe not for a little while. I have a feeling that when I'm ready, I'll hear that quiet little voice giving me permission to dream, to plan, to hope... and I'll know.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jill, what a beautiful expression of your heart. Praying that as you travel this path, your joy will be complete, even and maybe especially because of the sorrowful moments. We learn in life that true joy can be felt only when we accept and embrace true sorrow. Thank you for this precious reminder. Blessings


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