Saturday, September 1, 2012

All of Me

A lump welled in my throat as my iPhone lit up with a new message.  I just plopped down onto a hospital waiting area couch dressed uncomfortably in a suit, fresh from my second pediatric critical care fellowship interview. It had been a tough week with family and the boys..... Despite this, initially, I was on a high.  For one for the first times in my career, I felt that I could talk about something intelligently and feel a little bit smart.  Then, in an unfamiliar lobby in an unfamiliar city, I sat voice quivering fighting back the nagging pressure of tears trying to make my mascara run.  I had a voicemail from Chernet's school counselor....that is never who you want calling.  Then, I got a hold of JT.  Chernet had troubles in school on Monday and on Wednesday....troubles with personal boundaries and social behaviors (I am going to leave it at that for now.)  However, Thursday was the worst incident. 
As JT re-told the incident, spoke reassuring words to me, explained the plan of the school (who has been remarkably great with us), I fought tears and a breaking heart.....I was breaking, not for myself, but this smiling little boy.... a boy whose previous life we do not know the details of....if these behaviors are cultural, attention seeking or a result of experiences we do not want him to have had.  I knew I may be blowing it out of proportion.  JT, my wonderful husband, had calmly handled all of it.  He was reasonable when I was not....(not always the case).  Even as I let the tears come out as I called my friend and she again reassured me and loved on me with her words, I felt sad.  Could it be normal behavior?  Sure, maybe.  JT called back and reminded me, "nat, parenting is tough.  parenting an adopted child is tough in a different way.  There are past hurts and experiences we can not change.  we are called to this and therefore must love Chernet through this. We have to love him regardless."  Truer words have not been spoken. 
I found myself on Friday afternoon sitting in the O'Hare F terminal, the one for the small local planes without real jetways, trying to drown out the sounds of the air unit and airplane engines.  I put in my ear phones, with only the right ear working well.  My Pandora mix of Wilson Phillips, Katy Perry, Sister Hazel, old school Mariah, Zac Brown, Bruno Mars, and OneRepublic was more than the O'Hare 3G could handle so I was flipped on my iTunes.  I missed the first song as I rambled through a couple of interview thank you notes.  Then, Matt Hammitt started singing in my right ear.  I restarted the song and began focusing on the words.
I first heard this song when JT's cousins, Richie and Brooke, lost their 7 day old son, Eli, in our very own ICU here in Louisville.  This song was played at Eli's funeral.  Upon further reading, the song was written by the leader singer of Sanctus Real,  Matt Hammitt, after his son, Bowen, was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.  The song is completely fitting for the illness and journey these families go through.  While my journey is not like that of parents who deal with HLHS, the words of this song really made me stop and think... Chernet (as well as Tedi) is worth all of my love, all of my tears....even if I can not go back and change his past....I can just love him the rest of his future.  I realize this issue may seem minimal because I am not talking a lot about specifics.... but adoption can be messy and we are called to just keep pushing through and loving...This song helped me realize....JT was right. There you go, I admitted it (only once). We must love.  Continue to love, no matter what. 

Afraid to love
Something that could break
Could I move on
If you were torn away?
And I'm so close to what I can't control
I can't give you half my heart
And pray He makes you whole

You're gonna have all of me
You're gonna have all of me
'Cause you're worth every falling tear
You're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love
Even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I'll start

I won't let sadness steal you from my arms
I won't let pain keep you from my heart
I'll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I share with you

Heaven brought you to this moment, it's too wonderful to speak
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you, even if I bleed
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me

It's where I'll start   

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