Adoption at the Heart
Wow. 2007 was such an exciting year for Mike and I! We were working to get Rejuvenations up and running, but there was something hurting our hearts that very few people outside of our families knew about.
For three years, every month, we cried in disappointment to learn that we were not pregnant. We would hear friends excited for their families to start while we just sat here with each other. I would joke that the sperm didn't just crawl across the bed for us as one of my friends swore that the cause of her fourth pregnancy was just that. Mike and I joke and laugh all of the time, so this was a new set of emotions that we were not used to navigating together.
As I turned 31, my heart kept sinking. I started to realize that it consumed my every thought. I remember praying and being reminded that God says (I am paraphrasing here) 'what ever you pay attention to will become your sole focus'. Well, that is the truth. I began to see that a baby was all I focused on rather than focusing on my husband, my marriage, and the life we already had. I shifted the way I believed for the sake of my sanity and my marriage. We had began classes to foster parent nearly a year prior when our case worker mentioned adopting children that were in the foster care system. It was as if God said there is always a way.
Here we are, 12 1/2 years down the road, with two teenage boys. The Fleenor version of twins, five months apart in age, with Jaxon being 15 and Roqua hanging on to the last few months of 14. These boys are the perfect combination of Mike and I. As teenagers, they have a quick sense of sarcasm that we love, along with a heart for service that is at the core of who we are. I wish I could say that they were made for us, but I know better. In reality, their situations were not the kind that rationalized them being taken away from their parents. Call it circumstances, lack of ability to fight a system, or a defeated sense of self, but our sons were born to other women who very much loved them.
We got our sons when they were two and three. Instead of first birthdays, we threw adoption parties. We have never kept it a secret that our boys were adopted. Mike and I cannot lie to our own children, keeping adoption so secretive as if it's a dark corner of an attic that we don't talk about at parties. We cannot ever know that there is opportunity for them to not trust our word. We love our sons so much that we would be devastated if they were devastated by our own choice to hide their history.
Sometimes, when I am watching these young men light the fire pit, plant perennials for me, or fry chicken while jamming out to rap with their 72 buddies, I am scared for when they leave us....four years seems like a ticking time-bomb. But I also get excited for the day that they choose their career paths, excited for the spouses that they will undoubtedly be picky about, and excited watching them raise their children-although I think they'll appreciate our grandparent mode over our parent mode!
On National Adoption Day, I think of the moms who cannot hold their babies to watch them grow. I think of both of my sons birth moms and dads and the loss they feel while I have a full heart. I also think of the day that my sons will consider reaching out to their God-born family. Through all of it, I hope that Michael Fleenor & I have done their first family proud to raise Christian sons who will fight for what is right and not worry about the popular vote; we have planted the seed to raise husbands and fathers, that work hard and play harder; we hope we have succeeded like we prayed that we would back in the beginning before we had met them.