21 March 2011

on tentacles and ardency.

silly

there’s this thing we do, we Mothers of Many Children, in the softball bleachers, the dairy aisle, the church parking lot. we perform this invisible periodic scan of the premises to ascertain that our littles are all present and upright and hopefully not slinging mudballs at the neighbor’s cadillac.

i don’t literally count kids; four is a quantity one can discern at a glance, and when a child is missing i sense the absence as starkly as if you’d punched a hole clean through me, loony-toons style. when b trekked off to an overnight school trip, for example, or when z spent half a week at summer camp, i schlepped about off-kilter, the axis of my motherhood truncated. those days were an endless loop of scan, panic, remember.

well, a curious phenomenon has developed as of late: i’ll send out my mom-feelers to probe for children and immediately register low-grade alarm at the sense that someone’s missing. i’ll scan again: bee-zee-em-elle. and then it hits me, i’m feeling the yawning absence of our youngest.

obviously, i know he’s in addis. i know we haven’t hopped the succession of planes, haven’t stood a bundle of shaking nerves before a judge, haven’t interviewed for his visa, haven’t plied him with crackers and books and in-flight entertainment and multiple trips to the bathroom just for something to do on the miles home.

and still, somehow, i scan for children and come up limping.

as bruising as it is for this mama’s heart, i’m glad for the preschooler-sized cavity, for the vining ache it grows. i’m glad it cuts me to my knees pleading his case before a Father who loves him clear through. i’m glad God is stoking a slow burn in me, an ardor steely enough to see us through years of distance and the coming days of grieving and exhaustion and hard work as we learn to be a family.

i’m glad, but oh how i want to hope that kid home.




adding to the list of thankfuls, #s 102-108

family and friends who do not leave us to pray alone
indoor plumbing
dr keller’s take on suffering
fresh socks
sturdy loaves of bread
em’s ready smile
yellow


19 comments:

Carolyn said...

I love this photo. I love how one good picture can say so much without any words...and yet your writing is such an inspiration to me....when I read your thoughts, written down in black and white, it pulls on something hidden deep inside me. Something that longs to change from liquid to solid. If I can just hold my feelings in my hands, rather than letting them slip between the fingers of my mind somehow it makes them more real, more valid.
Thanks for sharing
and inspiring
and giving
and loving.
I'm off to try, once again, to scribble my heart on paper so I might see the lines and colors and patterns and balance. And hopefully, in the process, glimpse a sparkle in His eye 'cause He knows I'm trying to be like him, my creative and imaginative Abba.

TheUnSoccerMom said...

keeping you and your littlest in my prayers. I pray he comes home SOON! :o)

Love the pictures of your kids, there's a spot just for the one who is yet to be there.

I'm loving yellow right now too...

happygirl said...

Thank you. You speak a mother's heart so well. Being a mom to an only is different. I guess I tried NOT to see him all the time. He needed to Be without Me sometimes.

S. Etole said...

how I enjoy my visits here ...

Farmgirl Paints said...

praying for that "hole" to whole.

Kimberly said...

What a beautifully written post.

I am a grateful new follower of your blog.

FUDGE! said...

Great post Nic. Wow your kids are getting so big.

Karen Siddiqi said...

Your blog always uplifts me...always fills me with hope. Today, though, after reading I'm punched in the middle over the LACK of yearning I have to adopt. I know we're commanded as Christians to care for widows and orphans and I want it so badly for you, but I can't erase the desire to bear my own babies...it's much, MUCH stronger than a desire to adopt right now and I feel bad about that. I hope one day i can be filled with that motherly yearning the way you are for babies born in the distance, yet destined for my arms.

Raechel said...

Oh, Nic. He is as blessed to have you as a Mama as you will be to have him as your own. You are bonding with him even now. He's already yours in so many ways. And the ways in which he is yours will only continue to grow. But the best news? He is completely our Father's - always has been and always will be. What a comfort in those moments of achey head counting.

Grace and Peace, friend.

jeana said...

Oh Nic! This post speaks to me so. I love the yearning God has placed in you. We are hoping to adopt, but know He is working on some other things with us first. Praying for you.

Jeana

Joybird said...

I want to hope him home with you. I love the way God can transcend distance and time to knit hearts and how He is already making you family.

love said...

you are my favorite. =)

Brandee Shafer said...

I haven't started counting. But, when I do, I think I will make you #1.

Sami Jo said...

there is a little hole in me also as of late... this touched me.

~sj

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This post leaves me praying for you.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Well, I know this won't be helpful. I know I should be offering funny distractions or tucking you into the fluffy weight of a quilt while you wait, but all I really want to say is: When?

See. No help at all.

I'm praying. I'm reliving that strung-out wait right along with you.

keLi said...

that picture makes me smile ... but not quite as wide as i will when there's a fifth face there.

peace to you, friend, in the waiting.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Well, I know this won't be helpful. I know I should be offering funny distractions or tucking you into the fluffy weight of a quilt while you wait, but all I really want to say is: When?

See. No help at all.

I'm praying. I'm reliving that strung-out wait right along with you.

FUDGE! said...

Great post Nic. Wow your kids are getting so big.