21 May 2009

pharaoh's daughter

Thank you. I am overwhelmed by your generous support.

I am never given a lightening bolt. Never. I don't ever sit bolt upright and know what to do.

I just have a heart that...changes to surety. It's not really that solid of a feeling. It's just knowing what is right.

I didn't start adopting because I had a burning desire to be a mother. That sounds horrible. But, it wasn't that intense. It was quiet. And it was something that I just knew I had to do. I had to give up a job I loved and start over. And it would all be good--even when it wasn't GOOD--because it was what I was supposed to do.

I struggled with the fact that I was single. I think children are much better off in a loving family that has a mom and a dad. But when the family isn't loving, or there is no family, a single parent must be better, right? I knew that, but still felt uneasy.

Then I read the story of Moses being adopted by Pharaoh's single daughter with a different ear, one that was captured by the single mother instead of the baby floating in the river, and I was reassured. Can you imagine the upheaval in her life when she took that baby in? I think the story reads as if it were a whim of hers to take this baby in to her life and her home. But it had to be more than a whim. I imagine she faced innumerable obstacles as she brought in this little Hebrew baby boy in the face of her father's edicts. She became a single mom.

And, really, do you think she didn't know Miriam was his sister? Yes, she could have been completely fooled. She could have been delighted at the convenience of having a baby appear and a nurse for the baby offered immediately. But, I think she knew exactly who Miriam was and who the nurse was. I think God working on her heart to do what was right for this baby and this family is much more in character with my God than it is to think that He used deception to further His purposes. I don't know, but I think Pharaoh's daughter may have known exactly what she was doing and did it anyway.

It has been my prayer all along that the right child or children be referred to me first. (No referral yet, so calm down.) I was hesitant about meeting "Miss Possible" last fall, but told my agency to move ahead. Because she was first. And she was presented to me.

As it turned out, she wasn't meant for me, and I was relieved. But, I did get involved with a series of events because of her that may lead another little girl to her family.

Now, there is a possibility of my meeting sisters who are six- and eight-years-old. Somehow, when I heard that they were six and eight instead of four and six, I felt like I'd lost four years with them. But rather quickly, my heart recalled the faces of my pre-teen girls whom I love so dearly. I was reminded that I'd asked, over and over, not to have to say "no" to a child. And the face of an eight-year-old girl became more important than the darling size four dresses I have hanging upstairs.

We've got two more possibles now. If we go from possibles to referrals, I'll let you know! Please keep all of us lifted up as we wait.


Denyse said...

I think that it all comes down to the old, but much often said phrase....You will know in your gut when you see YOUR child. That is what is said over and over on blogs and posts all over the place. So, maybe pharaoh's daughter just knew that Moses was HER child.
The possibilities are endless,but with the RIGHT referral you will know.
Just my 2 cents....still keeping good thoughts for you and the possibles...

kate said...

Maybe, Denyse.

But I've heard so many stories from parents wracked by guilt because they didn't know right away. They were convinced that they were supposed to KNOW. They thought they were somehow lacking because they didn't. They starting doubting themselves and their children.

I hope I have that knowledge.

Room to Grow said...

I didn't have that certainty like other parents that Rita was "the one" but I did know when we received referrals and they weren't right for us. So when we received her referral we knew we had to go to Russia to meet her.

I know that a part of me didn't want to feel certain about her because of the possibility of things falling through between referral and court. It was when we were leaving her hometown I really felt like it was real for us.

6 and 8 year old sisters sound great!

Anonymous said...

Me too, I didn't have that 'knowing' feeling. It was more like there wasn't any reason to not go through with it and love grew from there. I had faith that I could love many children in this world, but still nerve-wracking. Best to you!

Annie said...

I think I know what you mean... We'd thought of adopting an infant...then got too old and forgot about adopting altogether.

Then, along comes Sergei. At nine. I was initially feeling that lose of time, loss of "formation". Perhaps I felt he'd be more of a stranger to me than a child I'd "formed". But having (ha!!) formed (so to speak) my two biological children, and then having adopted older ones.....I'd say there is no difference. Your biological ones learn from others and suddenly are using phrases or words that you'd NEVER use which makes them seem surprisingly foreign....and your adopted child can sometimes seem to have sprung directly from you, full-blown, you feel you know them so well and love them so powerfully.

Well, you teach second graders so you know that 8 is a most wonderful age.

I love those thoughts about the Moses story.... I'm so glad those stories impacted you like that. I'll have those experiences too, sometimes with Scripture.

I certainly felt as Denyse said with Sergei and with Ilya. But not really with Zhenya (who is nevertheless the dearly beloved apple of my eye) or with my precious daughter Anastasia. So....it is hard to say. I bonded differently with Aidan (ZAP!) and Lydia....bit by bit....too, though.

The thing I would be wary of is...recoiling. I know that sounds awful, but with our foster child, that was my first physical response....there is nothing at all "wrong" with him...but it was as though there was a physical reaction there....perhaps because because of the intimacy involved in having someone in our home. He is a perfectly wonderful boy in so many ways, and it is possible to love him. But after three years I have to will myself to love him. Choose it. Almost always; it is only occasionally and very fleetingly a surge of love from the heart.

Tina in CT said...

I'm hoping that it comes soon for you.

Jen said...

I pray for you Kate... I hope that your heart and mind will know your daughters when you are led to them.

Lindsay said...

Like you I didn't have some overwhelming burning force driving me to adopt. I kind of fell into the whole thing and then it just took off from there (thank God!) Although I had always said I would adopt one day, it was a glib reaction to others asking when I was going to 'settle down' more than anything else. And then I did suddenly decide to do it with no soul searching or deep thought. In all honesty, I decided to adopt in one spontaneous second whilst watching a TV Comic Relief show about abandoned children in India. All I could think was 'someone could love that child' and I realised that I could be someone too. Everyone thinks you must spend weeks, months or years on your decision: but we are all different and come to it differently. And I know a single parent household is better than none. Hannah's joy in life shows me that every single day. I contrast her riches of experiences with the monochrome life in an orphanage. Yes, these children are better off in single parent families.

I read all the stories of people falling 'in love' with photographs and knowing this was 'the one'. And I didn't feel that. I wonder how many people really do deep down, and how many go along with saying it because it is expected. Do you know that child is 'the one' because you have a soul connection to them thru a photo? I don't really think so (because it wasn't my experience): I think what you can be overwhelmed by is the potential to love that child and the excitement of finally seeing a photograph.

The hardest thing I have ever done was choose between the two referrals I was given. I still think of the other child, the one who didn't come home. She was equally adorable, healthy and loveable. I didn't want to choose: how do you set aside one child in favour of another? I didn't 'know' and, trust me, I wanted a fire bolt sign in the sky to tell me I was getting it right. I worried if I got it 'wrong' I would end up adopting the 'wrong' child, would not be able to love her, or she would come with insummountable problems: all because I got it 'wrong'. So before they even read me the two referrals I decided to 'take' which ever was read first. My heart broke for the other baby - only 11 months old and just a darling - but I couldn't take both and I couldn't make a deliberate choice.

Looking at the referral photo afterwards, of a new born when I knew Hannah was already nearly 6 months old, it only felt surreal. I felt a sense of oddness that this was my daughter as well as excitement. The two weeks I had to wait before meeting her gave me the chance to grow into the security of knowing she was my daughter. I remember being shocked during the visit - at lunchtime when Hannah was napping - when the nuns asked me if I 'liked' her and wanted her: my decision was made the moment her details were read to me. I was visiting my daughter - not visiting a child to decide.

We all come to the 'knowing' differently. There is no one perfect way and the lack of any 'sign' is not a bad omen.

The Holmes Crew said...

ditto on the "you'll know" train of thought. Continuing to pray here in MA.

Rachael said...

I think you would be a FABULOUS mother to 6 and 8 year old sisters. I think your 3.10 girls have proven that and prepared your heart for that as well.

With Katya, I was really, really nervous about accepting the referral. On paper, it could have been disaster, but there was something in her eyes, in her spirit and her character that drew her to me and I knew in my heart she was my daughter even though my mind kept arguing! It's different with everyone, I know. But, I will continue to pray for clarity and wisdom and peace of heart and mind for you.

AND...I will be on pins and needles til I hear otherwise!!!

Maura said...

As the others have said, you will know when the time comes. It may not be a simple "this is right" or "this is wrong" kind of decision, but you will know inside of yourself whether they are your children. Trust your instincts and your faith in yourself.

And as a mom to an 8-year-old, I'm kind of biased in saying it's a wonderful age!

Prayers and hugs to you, and hope we hear more about possibilities.

Kristine said...

I love this post. There could be/should be a book about this when you think about it all....maybe there is somewhere...I will have to look. Anyway... I am praying that you will have clarity if and when these girls become referrals for you. Clarity that will help you decide if these girls are yours and I am also going to pray that the Lord will either shut the door or open it wide open to help you with your decision.

I am sure that Pharoah's daughter was led by God to do what she did..it could not have come all from her own abilities...He placed the desire, He placed the wisdom, and He placed the love in her heart.....just like He does with all of us....myself included with my adoptions...and oh my goodness, the love I have for each of them...but it wasn't always immediate with each of them....it is stronger than ever now. Hand it over to Him and let Him work through you.


Sitko Family said...


I have been following your blog for sometime. I've been planning on adopting an older child from Russia as a playmate for my nephew who is growing up alone (w/o siblings his age & cousins). I come from a huge family and so this seemed absolutely terrible to me. I am single, by choice. My immediate family has numerous illnesses and helping them has been my focus, not finding a husband. I had wanted a child within a few years of his age.

I had finally made my announcement to my family when my family's health was on the up swing. A few months later, my brother found out that his friend's 16 yo daughter was in denial about being pregnant and the family had just discovered this. My brother was very upset about this because she had decided to have the baby adopted. My brother really wanted to make sure that she knew what she was doing. He brought over his stethoscope for her to listen to the baby's heart beat. When his efforts were fruitless to convince her to change her mind. He talked to my mother about it and decided to approach me about adopting the baby. I found myself saying "sure" and then feeling overwhelmed.

Like you, I had it all planned out. I was a teacher, so I had planned that a school aged child would go to school and I would go to school. No daycare, needed. No sleepless nights with a baby.

Well, God had a different plan. Somehow he knew that I needed a baby. I had difficulty passing my homestudy, even though my daughter was home with me. The social workers felt uneasy about my hesistancy and confusion in the change. It all worked out and I had an approved homestudy.

We have a wonderful relationship with both sides of her birth families. They visit her about every 2 months. She is showered with love and gifts. I truly believe that God brought us together. If I had stuck to what I had hoped and dreamt about (an older child) I would never had the joy of my daughter. My family and her birth families feel so happy and blessed about the situation.

I am sometimes in awe of how God prepared me for her coming into my life. I had dreams of holding a little girls hand and walking with her. I knew that I had a very close relationship with her, she suddenly came into my life, she was about 6 years old in my dream and her name was Violet. When I spoke with her birth mother for the first time, I knew this was my Violet in my dreams. We didn't know the baby's sex at the time but I knew it was a girl.

I still want to adopt an older child from Russia. The time for that has not come. My brother was recently in a coma and is in the long recovery process from it. I have his son during the times when he would care for him (he has half custody). If I had an older child, I would not be able to have the close relationship that I have with my nephew so we can share all of our feelings with each other during this difficult time. I sometimes wonder if I ever will adopt an older child. Only time will tell. My daughter's adoption still is not finalized.

I hope my story helps you to embrace the child(ren) that God will bring into your life. Trust in him. I am so blessed because I did.

Heidi said...

I've always followed my heart, even when it was hard to do so. I think this is very wise of you.
Keep breathing! Deep breaths!
It will come to you and you will follow your heart. And trust your gut.
You've come this far, you can do it!

Heidi said...

WOW! Just read all the comments! Amazing stories and so very beautiful of everyone to share here. Amazing! Very special!

Quickly, as I have one to feed at the moment, I will share too.
My son was referred to us and I was instantly "in love" with him once we got the call. My first daughter was a very different story. I was stunned and while I thought she was precious, I didn't actually "fall in love" with her until we'd traveled back home between trips and we were on a short weekend trip to NH with relatives and went on a boat to a little island that had a chapel. Suddenly, very suddenly, I couldn't stand that she wasn't with me and I was in love.
Our 3rd child; we sat in an entry way and were asked which of two children we wanted (they gave us ages only). I was instantly sick. What kind of decision was this to ask of us? We got through it, somehow. But I'll always regret not saying "both", but I was in a state of shock I guess.
Always in my heart will be the others I never met. The little girl that was referred to us and another couple at the same time by accident. A little boy we were "asked if we wanted" while in the back seat of a car in Russia getting our daughter. The 2 sisters that were "tied up" in court proceedings that we waited so long for and the littlest girl whom had cancer which wasn't put in her referral papers.
I wish I could have taken them all.
And there you have the short version of my story as well.
We don't call it a "rollercoaster" for nothing.
My prayers are with you,

votemom said...

great thread here. i know God will show you the way.... one little tiny step at a time, or one giant leap at once. it's all good.

habeshachild said...

wow - this is big stuff. I agree that you will probably know - but I've never been so lucky as to be the recipient of a lightening bolt either. The best I've gotten is "I think this is right" and then, later, confirmation that it was. So I'm forced to conclude that some of us KNOW, with great certainty, what we are supposed to do. Others (like me, and perhaps you) have to look for more subtle signs/feelings. But I have to say, even the way you are writing about these two now feels like they are something special.

Debbie said...

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Phil 4:13

I believe everyone needs to make the best decision they can and trust that God will guide that decision to how HE wants the future to go!

Praying for your peace of mind...

Matt & Carla Morgan said...

I am praying, friend. And, I trust your sure heart and the faith that communicates through it. And, you know that I did not claim my sweet Nicholas right away. First time motherhood in a Siberian orphanage overwhelmed me. Beautifully and thankfully, God knew he was my son. You have the knowledge that God is driving the ship - His plan, not yours. In the end, that's really all we have.

Hugs to you - cm

Annie said...

This last post caused me to remember that while I had expressed some general interest in adopting, when the agency called me about taking Sergei when he wasn't matched with his family during his hosting visit, I went into reverse! I came up with every excuse why we couldn't really host him, after all... I can't believe it now. And, she had him visit two other families. My stomach lurches to think how close we came to his not being our son. Yet - as the previous poster pointed out - God has a plan. Sergei was meant to be our son, and no amount of stupidity on my part could change it.

Jenni said...

I'm catching up this weekend, and it seems I've missed a lot!

I have to tell you, in all honesty, that we almost said "no" to Vika and Eamon's referral. I felt a connection to Eamon almost immediately after looking at his picture, but Vix was older than I had anticipated, and I didn't feel that same "jolt" with her. It took a little longer to feel connected and sure about her than it did with Eamon; however now, I can't imagine any other girl being my daughter.

I'm excited to see what happens with the possibles and how your family unfolds. Just remember, if you feel that a match is really wrong, there is no obligation to accept the referral. It could be that there's another family out there that fits that little girl better. I for one, am very thankful to the people who declined Vika and Eamon's referral before us!

Ktates said...

Wow - and here I have been absorbed in Matroyshka bedsheets.

Well - I think all the comments are great and show one important thing - everyone's experience and how they approach is different.

We didn't have that instantly fall in love moment. I was so nervous on making the wrong decision - not knowing what to look for, was I missing something that might lead to a situation we can't handle. But it came down to - can you say no to this particular child that needs a home and ALL that might entail from there.

Older children are different - it is a different type of work or mothering when adopting them. You are well aware of all that might entail. As far as missing out time - I don't think you will really feel that. Being a mom is so wonderful - yes of course I wish I had that extra time with my daughter - but what we have now and each and every day...is amazing. And so it will be for you as well. Age is just a number on the file...there will be so many things you will teach them and experience together. The joy of the girls that you visit is a perfect example.

for the longest time I thought I was doing my daughter a disservice because I didn't feel that love or know she was my daughter instantly. But now I think it is better for her and I - we have learned to love each other for who we are - not for who we might represent or some image we might turn out to be - know what I mean? My husband - whom I thought was going to take MUCH longer to love her - fell in love by day 3...so go figure!

Hugs and Prayers!