Monday, January 3, 2022

Story of Us

My bare feet are propped up on the railing of a lanai in Central India. The breeze, while warm to me, has the locals in their winter wear. I feel it rolling off the water in front of me as I look out and see the most vast, open, unpopulated area I’ve seen since we arrived in this country two days ago. It’s the only space that hasn’t inhabited people upon people and I prefer to look out at it.

The ride to our tiny hotel was New York City on steroids. Horns honk constantly and outside the window tuktuks share the road with mopeds, walkers, cars, bicycles, and motorcycles. The weaving and beeping is unreal as the road lines are completely ignored by all who dare drive them. Entire families squeeze on motorcycles, the women with a side saddle approach and the kids sandwiched in between their parents or the handlebars. I had to look down a couple of times so I wouldn’t see how close we came to grazing people who didn’t even flinch.

The lush landscape boasts beautiful flowers and the city walls and structures are a sea of color. I’m romanticizing it, though. I’ve never seen such far stretching poverty either.

I feel sad here.

My Ari Jo spent her earliest days here without a family.

It’s not ugly to me, but the dense smog drains the sky of all color and makes me feel dreary. Inside I see my husband covered completely in a blanket, trying to shut the world out. I did this to him. The last time he was in the East, he was at war and ask any veteran, it’s hard to separate the two. I see him trying, though. It’s the way he calls her “our daughter” and “our little girl” that remind me he would do anything for us, even facing his biggest fears. I hope he sleeps. Tomorrow we get to meet our daughter for the first time and life will never be the same.

In my early college years, I always imagined I would adopt. Looking back, I see that it was a desire God planted in my heart, but at the time I think I just wanted to keep my body to myself. Little did I know, there’s no mother on Earth, biological, step, adoptive or otherwise that gets to keep a little privacy. Every bathroom trip or shower, every bottle or breast, every sleep deprived night, is shared with the little ones you love.

I grew up in a small town outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. I decided to leave that little town for a slightly bigger one in a college town in Middle Tennessee. My husband Jordan did the same, although I didn’t know him yet. We met thanks to his matchmaking mother and my talkative sister who were working together in the same office. They exchanged our facebook profiles and the rest is all history.

Jordan and I talked back and forth online and through texts. I thought he was becoming a friend. I agreed to meet up with him when he got into town. He was stationed at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska and was set to deploy in the coming months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Before he left, he would come to Tennessee to visit his parents.  The night of our anti-date, I stressed for hours on what to wear. I suppose that should have been my first hint that I might care a little more than a friendly meeting encompassed. I finally landed on some black shorts and a floral print, silky top. I truly don’t know why I remember that. I recall very little in my head.

He picked me up in an old white Toyota Tacoma truck and we set off for an Italian restaurant that no longer exists. He talked the whole time, asking me questions and getting very little of a response. I liked to hear his stories and I liked sharing mine less. I think it made him uneasy, this woman of few words. He later told me he didn’t think the date was going too well because I was so quiet. By the end of the night, he walked me to my (parents’) front door and told me goodnight. I told him I had a good time and made a bee line to get inside. Upon entry, I wondered if he would ever try to call me again. I knew how I was coming across. I wasn’t not interested, though. On the contrary, I had this gut feeling that I was going to marry him and I told my mama so when she awoke early the next morning.

We spent the next year conversing over emails and AOL chat sessions. We talked about everything under the sun. Everything except adoption.

I put my desire to adopt away for awhile as I fell in love with him and an idea of a family one day. We were wed on a snowy day in January in the hills of Tennessee and we started our lives together in the Alaskan Winter of Fairbanks after he returned home from the Middle East. We knew we wanted to have children and so we wanted to get started quickly if we could. We struggled for awhile in the beginning. About eleven months after we were married, I found out I was pregnant. It was a beautiful, scary, and special time in our lives. After that, the babies kept on coming. It wasn’t fair, I knew. There were so many people hurting, struggling to become mothers. I sat on my couch with four kids surrounding me and felt overwhelmed but happy. The urge to adopt was faint, if not all together gone.

I can’t say when it changed, but change it did. I started feeling very aware of the great need for parents for children domestically and internationally. I became involved in foster care and then started testing the waters of international adoption conversations with my husband. Over that year, every sermon I heard was pointing me to His plan. Every song in worship brought me to tears. I knew I was standing in direct opposition to what God was calling me toward. I felt miserable not walking with Him. Jordan’s stance was clear. “We have four children, Kacy. Now, you want five? Why did I have a vasectomy if that was the case?” The conversations never went well and I decided that I had to give it to God. For the following year, I didn’t bring it up, not once. Instead, I prayed, “Lord, if this is not for us, please remove the desire from my heart and Lord, if this is for us, please give the desire to Jordan.” Then I waited.

At the close of 2019, he took me out to a nice dinner and told me he wanted to talk to me about something. We dressed in our best and sat down in an elegant steakhouse we could ill afford. It was there over flickering candlelight and boozy coffee drinks that we toasted to our next adventure: international adoption. He had come to me that night and said he had been thinking and he thought we should move forward in what God was calling us to do.

Obedience. That’s what has me listening to Hindi into the setting sun and typing up this love story for a girl who has for two years been on the other side of the world, but who is now just on the other side of town and tomorrow will be on the other side of this couch.

That conversation my husband and I had over two years ago happened right around the time that a beautiful, worthy, image bearer of Almighty God was born in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.

There are no mistakes.


Adiel said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing ❤️

Skylar said...

Beautifully written and inspirational, not just if you're pursuing adoption. Well done.

Kace said...

@adiel @skylar Thank you- Love you, friend.

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