It's 11:30pm. I should be sleeping. I can't. My mind won't stop. I'm too nervous and excited and scared and out-of-my-mind-happy to fall asleep! I was reading over the post I wrote in which we announced we had lost Laina. Then I was reading some of the comments. One comment was a prayer that God would restore our joy. And he has SO done that! In a way only God could, he has allowed us to continue grieving, while restoring our joy at the same time.
I still get very sad thinking about our sweet Laina. It's like a knife to my heart when I hear Zoya's little voice run into the baby's bedroom and say "Nay-nuh," or pick up a baby bottle and say "Nay-nuh." Or when talking to Shawn when I accidentally say "Laina" in referring to our soon-to-be daughter. I was thinking about the day we got the news and how I felt like life had just stopped. How could we ever move on? We didn't want any other child. We didn't want anyone but our sweet Laina whom we had come to love already as our daughter. And now just weeks later we are days away from travelling to Laina's country, except, not to bring her home. That is obviously sad, but in a strange way we are excited and full of joy because we are fully trusting God that He's got this one and He can see the big picture when all we can see is the stone in front of us. If I were to read my own story I wouldn't understand how I could possibly feel joy, but I do! I feel joy for the daughter that we are about to meet and I feel peace with God steering the ship. Even in the past when I've let go of control in life, I've never felt as peaceful as I do now about letting go and following God's lead. I don't understand it, but I know I feel it.
One thing that keeps making it's way to my mind is a locket I bought for Laina's birth mother. I searched high and low for the perfect locket for her. I was going to put a picture of the three of them in there and give it to her on our farewell day. It is a beautiful sterling silver locket with diamonds and it reminds me of her birth country. I was sure this was the perfect gift. So I ordered it online and had it shipped to the store. 30 minutes after we got the news that Laina would not be ours, I got a call from the store telling me the locket was in and I could pick it up. It was already paid for. Up until that point I had only soft silent tears knowing in my heart Laina wouldn't be ours. Shawn didn't even know yet, he was working and I was waiting for my neighbor to come over to stay with Zoya so I could drive to his work and tell him face-to-face. But when I got that phone call telling me that the locket was in, I lost it. I'm talking take-your-breath-away sobs. It hit me at that moment. I'd not be giving that locket to her birth mother, which meant I'd not be meeting Laina, which in turn slapped me with the brutal truth that I was not going to become her mama. It was a punch in the gut. It literally sucked all my remaining composure right from my body. Out of the entire day, and days to follow, that moment is stuck like glue to me. I can't figure out why. It was just a locket, but it represented so many hopes and dreams.
And now it sits on my dresser and every time I pass it I wonder what I should do with it. I didn't plan on bringing the locket home. I did go to the store, thinking I'd just look at it, pretend I didn't like it and send it back and ask for a refund, but when I went in the same guy who I had originally spoken to in my initial locket-search was there. When I first looked there I told him what I was looking for and shared our entire adoption story so far with him. He was very interested and seemed touched by our story. When I went into the store, he remembered my story and what the locket was for. He had it all ready and was so excited to show me. I couldn't stand to tell him what happened. I didn't even know him. But I put on a fake happy smile, murmured through answering his questions, which included, "what picture are you going to put in there?" And I don't really even remember what I said because I was trying so hard to keep from melting into a muddy puddle right there in the store. The locket was far more beautiful in person than I could have imagined. I couldn't send it back because there was no way I could pretend I didn't like it, and I certainly couldn't tell him the truth. I took the locket, and left. I wanted to cry, but in a strange way, I felt like I was carrying some hope inside the bag. I don't know what the plan for that locket is, but I'm going to hang onto it until I figure it out.
With all that said out loud now, please know we are ever so excited to meet our new daughter even though we are still sad that our Laina-chicky won't be coming home with us. I just don't have the words to explain how one can feel so joyful while continuing to grieve because honestly I had no idea you could feel both ways at the same time. Joy and grief are woven together, forming the beautiful strand that is leading us to our daughter.
I think it's going to be beautiful.