My Mat

So, last night John and I had the pleasure of speaking with our new social worker, Johanna (silent H). We've been emailing back and forth for the last several weeks and I have spoken with her on the phone once, but this was much more lengthy. We really like her and I feel much better than in the past that she will help us complete our paperwork. She actually seems to care whether we get a baby and acts like our adoption is important to her.

That being said, we have to do a lot of paperwork over. I mean a lot. Like almost everything. So, that's a bit discouraging. As a positivity guru, part of me says, "Well, at least we know what we're doing this time, so it should go much faster," and, "We are in a much better place financially than we were a year ago (with John's salary), so we will look better on paper," etc. Those things are true, but I don't know if that is God's reason for all this delay or not. Perhaps our baby just isn't ready yet... but I know we are.

The truth is, this has been one of the hardest years of our lives already, and I hope that it doesn't continue on for another whole year. The adoption wasn't all that contributed to this year being hard, but it was definitely a part of it. So, alright Angel, here goes for the bearing of Emily's soul for all to read. (I don't do this very often, but I'm assured it will be therapeutic and good reading for the rest of you).

John and I chose this road. We have never tried to conceive a child, so that is not a reason for our adoption. We knew before we got married that this was the path we were supposed to take. And we have not faltered in that decision. We knew this path would be difficult and different and we are totally okay with that. And I have never begrudged anyone the choices they made. I just want to let you all know that before I go on. Because I feel alone in this decision a lot (I say "I" not because I'm excluding John, but because I don't necessarily want to speak for him). I know that our community supports us in this decision and that you are all praying for us, but it's the part of really understanding what we are going through that's different. When a member of my community gets pregnant, all the other women who have ever been pregnant sit around and talk about what that experience is like (a lot). They give advise and warnings and they can truly appreciate the joy of feeling a first kick, etc. But we don't have that (especially a visual reminder). I feel I have to explain the adoption language to people, something I don't really understand myself very well. Very few people have felt what we are feeling right now.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining about my friends or family or anything. It's just that sometimes the road less traveled is a lonely one. I feel like because we chose this path deliberately, I'm not allowed to complain or be upset. If someone is having a hard time conceiving, people can understand that. It's not their fault. But I feel that just by making this choice, we have lost our right to be frustrated or something. "If we really wanted a kid, we could just have one the regular way." And I know that statement is true. But then there's a small Ethiopian girl waiting for a family that will never come get her because they didn't want to wait, or fill out another financial form, or get another background check. There has been a little girl growing in my heart for the last 15 months and I don't want to give up now. Someone who gets pregnant doesn't give up on their baby and I don't want to either. (And I can only imagine how a woman would feel if she was pregnant for 15 months!)

But it doesn't make the wait any easier. No one would ever say to a couple having problems conceiving, "You're so lucky you don't have kids yet," or, "At least Mother's Day doesn't affect you." (Both have been said to us recently). We want a child as much as anyone else and we want the one that is meant for us and we feel that she is in an orphanage in Ethiopia. So we will wait and we will pray and we will try to be patient some more. But if you all could wait and pray and be patient with us, that would be really helpful. Because we might have chosen this mat, but I feel like we need some help carrying it. Thanks for loving us through this, we appreciate all of you that pray. I know that God hears you, so speak as loud as you want in the next few months!


Jenn said...


Thank you for sharing your heart with us! I am so thankful for your willingness to share where you are emotionally in all of this. The strength that you and John have found in Christ to walk this path is incredible, and I will continue to pray with you in this journey. There is a beautiful little girl that one day will be yours and this little one will be incredibly blessed to be a part of your family. I'd be honored to help carry your mat as you continue to journey.

I love you.

Alysa said...


Thank you for telling us all what is in your heart. It is hard for those of us who have never been through this to understand everything that you feel. I DO however understand the waiting part. I understand how frustrating it can be. I understand trusting God but wondering why He is making you wait. Please keep sharing your heart with us. We will continue to pray for you. And if you ever need to yell and scream, my ears are good at taking loud noises (thanks to my husband haha) so feel free to call me! I love you!


Anonymous said...

You did it! And, it didn't kill you. And, now people will know you need help with your "mat." I love you and I'm proud of you.

Jeff & Alysa said...

E to the mily,

Wow! That was a good one! I appreciate the authenticity of your blog. People do need to hear what you guys go through because you're right, they (we) don't understand. You were very real and it was totally refreshing. It's not often I get to hear your heart and at the same time get to hear you vent! We love you guys! You're girl is coming and she is beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us in on your emotions. It is good to hear your heart! I hope you feel permission to share what you are going through just as much as any expecting couple would. Waiting is a hard thing and I can't imagine 15 + months! We are praying for you, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of a beautiful little Ethopian girl.
Love you,

Anonymous said...

Emily, my heart aches for your frustration. I can empathize with the difficult part of being around everyone growing their families the biologic way while you are taking a different path.

As humans we "know not what we say" sometimes. Just smile in response to the awkward comments and remind them that baby elephants take 24 months... Ethiopia...elephants...
So, did this at least make you smile (please)???

heaps of love to you both, Carol (aka one of your daughter's grandmas-to-be)

Angela said...

Emily, I am so glad that you wrote this. My eyes welled up with tears many times throughout reading it. I feel like you are paving a way for many others in our community to walk this road. And sometimes the paving process is the hardest. Thank you for your diligence. Thank you for not giving up on your little girl. She, and your experience, are going to impact our community in mighty ways, and already have! I love you guys so much and can't wait for your victorious arrival!