My brain no longer works.

I think I’ve reached that point in every adoption where a woman’s brain can only do so much before it limps to a halt and refuses to go anymore. On Tuesday (was that yesterday?? I have no idea becuase as you’ll see, my brain is broken), I got a call that said we were approved to do a Both Hands Project. We raise money for our adoption by working on a widows house for one day. It’s a project based on James 1:27 where it says “True religion is dwelling with widows and orphans in their distress”. This project is a good thing.  I’m really excited about it, becuase it gives a chance to meet new people and make new friends.  But as I read all the stuff they sent me, I started to feel it happen. My brain was slowly grinding to a halt: I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t going to have a long time to pull off a time sensitive thing involving major things, like find a widow, build a team, send out support letters.


But for reasons I now no longer remember, I called the agency and asked how long it takes from receiving the paperwork to traveling. And they told me we might be traveling AT THE LATEST in two months. Now, I know to take that with a grain of salt. I really do. And I know that most of our waiting is behind us now. But we’re 1 and 1 on the time frame thing: We got an unexpected referral in August after I was told that we probably wouldnt see anything until october. THen on our first trip, we were told to expect paperwork in a couple of weeks and it took 3.5 months to show up. So yesterday about 4:30 I was feeling like things could go either way. And this is adoption, so I’m not far off the mark. They really, genuinely, could go either way

And then my brain slowed down some more and I thought to myself. Nope. Not going to happen. There is NO WAY I can:

get the house ready to rent for two months (if possible)

Pack 4 people for 8 weeks and get 3 them all the way to Poland without major mishap and then 4 back in one piece.

Find a widow get a team together, send out letters, and make this project happen before the end of February.

And then it happened. My brain broke. I could no longer function. I couldn’t remember basic facts like what day it was, where Alex is working today, or even figure out what to do. All I could do was set myself one goal:

Look for a widow during naptime/quiet time. 

So until that time came about, I dedicated myself to my usual wednesday activities of cleaning bathrooms and taking all the stuff that doesn’t belong downstairs, back upstairs. I don’t have to think. My body just does the work for me. Normally I would describe cleaning bathrooms as mind numbing, and today, mind humbing was a good thing. I have clean bathrooms. All the upstairs stuff is at least in a basket on the hall bench, ready to go upstairs. I did it. Sort of.

At quiet time I call my friend who’s done the Both Hands project and I tell her my brain is broken. She tells me that all I need to do right now is to concentrate on finding a widow. So I do. I can check off that task. Small victories.

But finding a widow is very hard. Like harder than I anticipated. I called 3 churches, and Meals on Wheels. Nothing. All the widows appear to have families and houses that care well for them. And I am HAPPY about this. I don’t like the idea of a widow not having family to help her. I can’t imagine that being my experience. So while I’d like to find a widow that needs help, the fact that all the widows I know of are well cared for is good for me to know.

So tomorrow the search continues.

But my brain still doesn’t work. I am totally worn out.  My mom assures me this will all work out and reminds me that when we got our referral and traveled 2 weeks later, I got it all done. And I did.

The City where Violet currently lives is the spiritual capital of Poland. THere's an enormous cthedral there called the Jasna Gora (pronounced yahhznah gora). I'm sure we'll get more time to tour it, but it's an enormous complex, complete with a monastery and some sort of seminary or library. It's a pilgrimage destination and people come there from all over Poland to pray to the black madonna, who's not actually black. The icon is black, and that's why she's called the black Madonna. It's a fascinating place.

The City where Violet currently lives is the spiritual capital of Poland. THere’s an enormous cthedral there called the Jasna Gora (pronounced yahhznah gora). I’m sure we’ll get more time to tour it, but it’s an enormous complex, complete with a monastery and some sort of seminary or library. It’s a pilgrimage destination and people come there from all over Poland to pray to the black madonna, who’s not actually black. The icon is black, and that’s why she’s called the black Madonna. It’s a fascinating place.

I think these are the times in adoption where I have to most cling to the Lord. I honestly don’t feel a lot of stress about this, and it’s not going to keep me up at night. If we can’t do the project becuase I cant find a widow, it won’t be for lack of trying. If I can’t rent out the house for 2 months, it’ll be ok. I’ve been reminding myself that the Lord knows. That’s all. He knows my brain is broken. He knows I’m feeling like I can’t accomplish it all. But he also knows how it’s all going to turn out, becuase He’s already written the end of the story. He knows. And those 2 little words have really been what I hang onto and they help propel me forward and give me clarity and energy and hope. The certain kind of hope where you know that it’s all going to end and end happily in this case. I get my girl, she gets a family. As a distant second, we also all get to eat Pierogis and cabbage rolls and stuffed peppers straight from the source.

So fellow adoptive parents and future adoptive parents: At some point in your adoption, your brain will break. It will be ok. This is the second time for me and adoption related brain failure, and once I find a widow, I think I’ll be back on track. I know I’ll be back on track. But don’t let this deter you from adopting. You should do it. It’ll be worth it in the end. It’s worth not knowing what day it is, and being able to only accomplish one adoption related thing a day (or a week. You’ll be there, too). But when you see that face, you’ll know. You might not forget everything you went through, and I don’t think we should, but you’ll be able to say it was worth it.


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  1. Pingback: Quick updates: « My Blog

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