Last week, I was on an adoption related forum, and a bunch of the posters were talking about adoption Christmas ornaments. I have to say, I've seen many, and I've never seen any that were my taste at all. (If you're reading this and thinking, "I love adoption ornaments and I have 35 of them on my tree!" I'm sorry and I don't mean to insult you or your tree. I'm sure your tree is lovely, but adoption ornaments have just never been my thing.)
Anyway, on this forum, one lady posted a picture of an ornament that she got while she was waiting to adopt her daughter. It said, "We will hold you in our hearts until we can hold you in our arms." For whatever reason, that struck me as one of the most lovely sentiments I'd ever read. And it was phrased nicely. It just hit all the right notes for me.
I told Mister about it, and he rolled his eyes. He doesn't get this whole "waiting" thing. His perspective on having an ornament to acknowledge "waiting" is that it's mournful, and hanging a reminder on the Christmas tree of what we don't have. So the idea of holding someone in our hearts while we wait only serves to make us sad about who's not here instead of celebrating and enjoying the people who are here with us now.
I kind of get it. Kind of. I didn't really have a response to him about it either. But here's why it's different for me. Being sad about who's not here (which I totally am) doesn't fall into the "adoption waiting" department. When I'm sad and mad about who's not here, when I get annoyed at the fact that EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE of my friends has kid(s) and that they get to send picture Christmas cards and buy Baby's First Christmas 2010 ornaments and write jackass messages on Facebook about how many diapers they've changed or when was the last time they slept (last Tuesday) or whatever, I don't blame adoption for that. Oh no, those complaints go straight to the source - infertility.
In my mind, infertility = bad, terrible, angry, sad, all those feelings that make me mournful for who's not in our house for this Christmas, last Christmas, any Christmas. I can be angry with our infertility. I am furious with our infertility. It has robbed us for the last 6 Christmases of the holidays we dreamed of. That's the infertility department. That's where all the hateful feelings go.
But adoption = hope. We Wait in Joyful Hope, remember. I am angry, furious, even hate infertility. But infertility is not the same as adoption. Sure, we're adopting because of infertility, but I come to adoption with an absolutely pure and hopeful heart. When I think of adoption, I don't think of that feeling of having been robbed for the 6 Christmases in the past. I think of the future, and all the Christmases we will have together. Someday.
You know how people can read the same thing and get a different meaning? "We will hold you in our hearts until we can hold you in our arms" doesn't emphasize empty arms to me. It emphasizes hope for the time when I will hold our baby in my arms. It's not empty arms, it's full heart. To me, that ornament says, "Hang on, Baby. We're coming. Someday we'll all be together."
On the other hand, I don't need an ornament to tell me that I have a heart that's full of hope for the future. "Hang on, Baby. We're coming. Someday we'll all be together." Well, that's what I say to myself every day, every breath. Every fiber of my being is waiting. This baby does not leave my thoughts. Hanging an ornament wouldn't change that.
Honestly, I probably wouldn't have gotten a "waiting family" adoption ornament anyway. As I said, it wasn't really ever my style. But I absolutely will be holding this baby in my heart until I'm holding him/her in my arms, no matter what I hang on my Christmas tree. And some Christmas, my arms will be as full as my heart.