I keep the receipts in my center drawer. Right next to my old journals and a wooden box my sister brought back from Haiti, they pile on top of each other. I don't open the drawer often - only when I have another slip of paper to add to the collection. They mock me in a way. With the drawer closed, I forget they're waiting. I can wash the onesies, organize the swaddling blankets and form a plan for what our room will look like in eight and a half weeks without the whispers of those papers hitting my heart.
What if? they ask.
I don't have an answer outside of a shrug and welly eyes.
So when our social worker called yesterday to check on us (we're fine) and see if we've spoken to the birth mom (we have), I wasn't expecting the phrase she's mentioned every single time we've spoken before.
"You know, Elora - just keep in the back of your mind that this may not work out, there's always that small chance she decides to keep this baby."
And then glory how my heart twists. It's all a mess in there :: my fears having a parade complete with the rhythm of my heart's pounding. This is something we don't talk about often, you know. It's something we don't like to entertain. Because it's true :: what if?
There's so many layers to this question - so many emotions between strangers. To some, it seems foreign. "Wait. Wait. A mother keeping her baby will cause you devastation? This seems backwards."
Trust me. I know. I know.
Do you know how many twisted prayers I've thrown up heaven's way these past few years? Do you understand what this does to someone's heart? The please let her choose us....does mean someone will lose.
Someone - maybe us, maybe her - will be without.
Those receipts were the first thing I thought of when my social worker began reminding me of the risks. Tucked away safely, they symbolize so much fear. Trepidation. Expectation.
And I've realized lately the theology I thought was becoming more centered still leans a little off-kilter. Here's my secret :: sometimes, I fear God will take this all away simply because I want it.
So those receipts - the small reminder spoken by someone in the middle - the hesitation to pick colors and nest and prepare and do everything a mother does when she finds out she's expecting - it's all an acceptance of something that hasn't even happened yet. Vindication. Manipulation.
Hear me. I'm not saying if this doesn't work out and if our birth mom decides to keep the baby I will immediately jump to this conclusion and belief that God did it out of some misaligned punishment. I know He is good and faithful and loves His children. I know this. I know He can give good gifts and believe this well for friends going through similar situations.
But when it comes to me - I struggle with the belief hitting me square in the chest.
When I began this blog, I set out to write about the process as honestly as possible. In so many ways - so many ways - the beauty of adoption captures me and my soul and brings me to the Throne every time. And in so many ways, I cringe at my views of God being laid bare for me to see. But I want to put these thoughts together - an altar of sorts. I want to look back and shake my head and wonder, really? I was there? And now I'm here?
Because if there's one thing that's followed us these past two years it's this :: we cannot do this alone. Alone, we're lost. Alone, it just won't happen. Not with our fears and doubt and lack of faith and resources.
From the very beginning, I've prayed that this would happen and people would know it was God who did it. And can I say something? Can I whisper a truth in your ear?
The fact that I'm here - writing these words and not curled up in bed with fear is God. There is no emotional protection here. None. Those receipts may be a safety blanket, but it doesn't keep out the cold truth that in eight weeks we may have a baby.
And in eight weeks we may be back to square one.
Either way, I cling to the truth that God knows how it will all turn out - He knows our baby. He sees her. Loves her. Protects her. He's sinking deep in her chest the truth that her birth mom is one of the bravest women we know and that there are two people who will love her unconditionally - no pretense. No manipulation.
And when she comes, I'll throw those receipts away with joy.