So, I want to preface this post with a statement…this post is not me throwing a pity party so please don’t feel sorry for me…it’s also not some sort of weird boast where I want your praises either…this is just my perspective of what life as an adoptive mom looks like…it’s a little bit of our reality.
The last 10 days have held a lot of changes for my family. I’m no longer Mrs. Dizon the art teacher I’m just Katie again. My boy is no longer a middle schooler he has become a high schooler. And we will both no longer spend all our days at Calvary Christian Academy.
Reading that, it might sound like a little thing to you…and in the perspective of eternity it is… but to us right now, it feels REALLY big. CCA is where we, as a family of three, became a family. Most of our days as a family have been spent under that one roof; teaching, pastoring, and being a student.
This change is a good change, it means good things both for us as individuals and as a family. The transition from middle to high school is a natural and necessary one, the transition from teacher to wife/mom/entrepreneur is a good one. These changes hold excitement and opportunity…there is a lot of hope wrapped up in these changes…but as it so often is with changes, they are hard! They mean saying goodbye to the way things were.
The hardest thing about the change is the affect it will have on relationships…because things just change when you go from seeing someone every day to having to make time to see them.
Most of us know this grief, the grief that comes with change. Those things in life that are hard and hurt, the things that are the end of something, a letting go…we’ve done these changes. Most of us spent our childhood learning grief in this way, in the growing up kind of a way. But last week, as I watched my boy on stage at his graduation I found myself overwhelmed by a different kind of grief, a deep, sorrowful, painful grief.
I suddenly saw this series of joyous moments in my sons life… graduations, weddings, births…and realized that each one of those moments will carry with it this same grief. The grief that comes with the absence of my counterpart.
You see, 2 and a half years ago my boy lost his mother she wasn’t the one who carried him, he lost her 15 years ago, but she was the one who chose him. She chose to love him and to raise him. At 12 my boy had to walk through the incredible grief of loosing his only parent and watching his entire world change around him…him name, his family, his home, his pets…
Whenever life’s joyous occasions happen for my boy…someone will be missing.
Whenever I feel proud of him I am reminded that someone else would have been so proud of him.
I sometimes wonder if this is a bit of how a widow feels, to look at their child and with every proud and happy moment to be reminded that someone else would have been so proud and happy at this moment too. R.A. was my boys mom, but so am I. She loved him so much, the way only a mother could…and yet so do I. It is a strange thing to be linked to this woman in this way, to feel the grief of her absence, to feel a longing that she was still here…when her very absence is what allowed me to be his mom. It doesn’t make sense, and I don’t understand it, but it is the reality of my life.
And for my boy…change and grief will not remind him of moving schools or houses. Grief will not immediately be associated with these growing up things of life…but of death. He will have to remind himself that this change is different than death. He will have to fight to keep the perspective that as friendships change, as he changes schools, even as he gets rid of shoes and buys new ones…that these changes are not death.
This week I have found myself meditating on a verse shared at graduation.
“The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
It rolls through my brain over and over. There are moments when I think back over the years and I see the truth of it, and there are moments when I scream inside IT DOESN’T FEEL BETTER RIGHT NOW! At moments it is a comfort, sometimes as encouragement, sometimes as a reminder to focus on truth and to not let my feelings overwhelm me.
My family finds ourselves at the end of a lot of things, and the beginnings of others. Someday we will look back on this and remember again how sweet it was to have begun it, and all the things that came as a result of our patience in pursuing it.