On Being Chosen
The following was written the morning of July 3, 2013 - the day we met Nathaniel for the first time.
We are meeting Nathaniel today.
I am scared I won’t feel love towards him. And yet at the same time my heart beats so hard in anticipation of loving him that I think it might explode. I wake every morning wondering how he did through the night. I am scared that his medical stuff will scare me away. And yet at the same time every doctor’s note and diagnosis I read in his file gave peace rather than alarm.
It is a very odd thing to be chosen as an adoptive parent. Our official status is a “pre-adoptive" foster family. We've been identified as the permanent placement, but start as a foster family. After six months in the "pre-adoptive" foster category, if all goes well and Children's Division gives a final consent, we can petition the court to adopt.
There is a special ceremony at S-F Boy Scout Camp during summer camp weeks for scouts being inducted into Order of the Arrow. On Thursday night the scouts stand in a long line along the waterfront; their parents across the lake. An Indian runs back and forth searching for the scouts chosen for the Order of the Arrow honor. The actual selection process occurred prior to Thursday evening and is based on the scout's character and determined by his peers. On Thursday night, one by one, the Indian identifies the boys. He stands in front of them, pounds loud on his chest, points, and yells, “You are chosen.” The call echoes across the lake as a deep roar as if spoken from another world. The chosen boy steps out and is escorted to his first challenge – spending the night in the woods alone.
This ceremony came to mind the moment we found out we were chosen as Nathaniel's forever family.
It was as if God thundered down loud from heaven, “You are chosen.”
The words are humbling.
Paralyzing almost to know that at this moment, for this child, we have been chosen. All of our life experiences. All of our skills. All of who we have been and who we will yet become is going to intersect this little fragile life. It hits me in a way that I never felt with my birth children. Perhaps because I wasn't interviewed for an hour and a half by a panel of fourteen to become their mom. Perhaps because I realize after raising seven children what a huge responsibility this panel of my peers has entrusted to me. Adoption is often spoken about as the parents choosing a specific child over all the others available. Today I am humbled that out of all the parents and families that could have been selected to love this baby, we were chosen.
Photo credit: David Plocek