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Thursday, January 5, 2012

That bow on your mailbox is getting on my nerves

I realize that I do a lot of venting (a "nice" word for complaining) on this blog about my battle with infertility and the longing to be a mother. God has really been clearly defining my role as stepmother lately, and also as the woman "now playing the part of mother . . ." And slowly, painfully, begrudgingly, I am taking to my position - my lot in life, if you will. So you can imagine that as I am trudging though this "waiting" process to be matched with children in foster care, and as I tiptoe along the delicate tightrope of step-parenting, there will obviously be some tricky spots along the way. And here is a prime example:
My neighbors around the corner recently put a big pink bow on their mailbox. I am about 99.9% certain that no one else in my household saw the dang thing, but it might as well have been that Mount Rushmore had been relocated to my front yard when I went out to my own mailbox one morning. Yes, just minding my own business, checking to see if we won any large amounts of money from Publisher's clearing house, and there it was: the symbol of babyness. It seems like yesterday, this same family had a big blue bow on their mailbox. Well, isn't that sweet? I know it's the same people - although we have never met. I know this because Mr. Baby maker is meticulous about his yard, and has one of those really loud trucks. He is always working in that yard (well, obviously not ALWAYS) and she (whom I have never met) keeps the decorations looking oh-so-nice. There were three or four of those light-up reindeer on the lawn just a few weeks ago, and there is always a nice wreath on the front door.
And yes, I will admit- confess, I was jealous. Now before you go off worrying that I will break in and steal one of their babies and try to pass it off as my own- and end up on an episode of Snapped, let me assure you that in the realm of this infertility journey, it was really just a punch in the guts. I stared at that pink bow for a minute. I felt that lump in my throat. I looked up to the sky and reminded God that things like this do really still hurt me very much. And I swallowed that lump in my throat and continued back up my own driveway.
I came back into my loud, chaotic house full of funny smells, dog hair, junk mail, and that sticky stuff that keeps reappearing on the floor. I looked at the stack of mail in my hands, and there was a letter from our adoption agency. It was meant to come on that same day. It was meant to be there in my hands to remind me. There are some children out there who can't wait to come home - to my home! There are some little ones out there who really do belong to me, but they just don't know it yet, and we are still looking for them. These kids probably didn't get the fanfare and welcome at birth that my neighbors gave to their little blessings. But they will be celebrated when they get here. Believe me- there will be a bow- maybe three or four bows! They will each get a bow, and I will tie them on my mailbox - maybe for a month or more. And I will make sure those children know they are wanted, celebrated, and loved every bit as much as if the stork himself brought them to my door.
So, in closing, I really should say "Congratulations!" to my neighbor. It is a wonderful thing for you to celebrate. Soon, I will be celebrating too.