Monday, March 16, 2009

We are good. But we are not good enough.

I posted here awhile back about our intention to adopt our niece, Abigail. I spent a good chunk of last year trying to make myself relevant to her life, beginning with telling her my name. Where I started visiting her at social services, observed through a two-way mirror, we progressed to her having overnight visits at our house.
This was a big deal for our family. We are a tightknit group. We are all very much like each other and very, very different from everyone else. Some say that's snobbery. Notice, I didn't say we were better, just different. David and I talked to the children about what we were thinking. We all agreed it was the best thing to do. What better gifts can you bring to a child? 
Here we are. It's your family. Throwing it all out there because we want to pull you into us. We want...we choose you.
But after court dates and home studies and various other hoops, the greater court system of Lynchburg decided it was in Abby's best interest to stay with her maternal grandmother. And perhaps it is, after all.
I have been thinking on this really hard, like an ever-lasting gobstopper for the mind. And I am all the ways one would expect. I am disappointed. I am relieved. I am resigned. I am indignant.
Abby's grandmother is a nice lady. I don't doubt Abby will be happy and well-cared for. But I was ready to be her mother. And David was ready to be her father. And our children were ready to welcome her as their sibling, their familial peer.
I can't even begin to go into all the ways David feels about this. It would be insulting to him to try. So, I won't even attempt it. 
I guess it's not often that I really want something; that I really throw all caution and reason to the wind and say, "Yes. Here. Me, yes, I want that."
And I'm still sincerely trying to make sense of it, but I guess if nothing else, I can say of my family, we don't back down. When pressed, we don't flinch. My little band, we have hearts wide open and we'll always come through in a pinch.
Whether you need us or not.


Anonymous said...

It's not that she doesn't need you. She probably does need you, very much. It's just that no one really recognizes it yet (except, of course, you guys). If it's true what everyone is telling me about knowing you're loved making up for a ton of garbage thrown on top of you, then you have already done her more than anyone in her life has thus far. Someday she will know - they loved me, wanted me, THAT MUCH.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I know she needs us. I was alluding more, I guess, to our frustration with the seemingly very ambivalent "system". Abby's social worker was great, don't get me wrong. Everyone throughout the process was very nice, but in the end, it was the system that was upheld.
I do hope that when Abby is old enough, she will feel loved by decisions we made last year. That was part of our motivation.
We had to do something. Because I was that little girl. My grandmother was that little girl. My mother-in-law was that little girl.
And as my grandmother pulled me through in way no one did for her, I had to do something for Abby...and all I could do was try.

Christi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christi said...

"I want to be more than a pithy retort or witty rejoinder. There has got to be more to life than that."

A) that CRACKED me up Jenny
B) I totally agree with the sentiment
C) I LOVE YOU (and every time I read something you've written I miss you more)
D) Sorry you "stepped in it," but end of the day, you can only control what you did/said....not how they react.

Keep loving, my friend.