I’m not being metaphorical when I say I’m dusting off the ole’ blog this morning. Literally, the laptop sitting in the nursery, next to the recliner, the chair in which I spend most of my mornings, was covered in a layer of dust. It’s never more than an arm’s reach away, but lately, opening it has just been “too much.” I chose this room for the nursery 5 years ago when we first moved to this house because of its big window and abundance of morning light. I imagined positioning a chair just right, so we could watch the swim team kiddos ride their bikes to practice in the early mornings. I knew we would just love seeing the “big kids,” towels draped around their necks, groggily pedaling towards the neighborhood pool. Now, here I am, one week until I board a big airplane, a nervous wreck if I’m honest, to bring home my bike-watching buddy. Before the swim season is even over, we might squeeze in just a couple of mornings to watch the bicycle brigade. But today , that beautiful light almost-comically illuminated the dusty lap top, beckoning me in a way to face the facts, face the reality. This is happening, and I am scared.
Now I realize most of you don’t have an emotional connection to your laptop. It’s not personified and certainly doesn’t taunt you. This may all sound a little strange. But for me, in these last few weeks, this blog has been my place to sort it all out. To organize the swirling thoughts and emotions combining to create a truly-gnarly brain fog consistent with only pregnant women. This is some third-trimester stuff for sure. This blog has been a respite of sorts. A place to declutter and make room in my heart. And for those of you reading it, I pray it’s been a place for a few of you to find some common ground. To hear of and take part in a big God story, told by someone with just as many flaws as you. I hope it’s a place to see and know God is still “doing stuff,” writing beautiful stories through broken people.
Ok. Let’s talk for a second about what’s been going on around here over the last two weeks, since we last spoke. You know how when you’re really, truly in the thick of something, it’s hard to appreciate it for all it’s worth. Right? Ya’ll, I’ve been in it. The drama knows no end. We don’t need to hash out every little detail, but let’s catch everyone up to speed with a short, paraphrased version of the dialogue between us and our adoption agency:
Them: “Congrats, you’re traveling in July! A month before you even thought!”
Us: Total glee.
Them: Two days later, “JK, China says no more July consulate appointments. It will probably be the end of August before you can go, but you’ll definitely be able to pick her up from her foster family in Beijing.”
US: Complete heart break.
Everyone I talked to: So much prayer.
Them: Two days later, “Actually, scratch that. How does July 13th sound? We made it work. You can get her in Beijing and then take her back to her Province a few days later. ”
Us: Guarded glee.
Them: “Change of plans. She has to go back to her province now. You can just travel around in Beijing for a few days, see the sights, and pick her up the on the 18th in her province.”
Us: A little heartbreak, knowing our sweet Willa is going to have to experience such loss twice within a few weeks. But also joy, knowing we officially have a plan in place to make her ours.
Through all of this, this bungee- jump ride of emotions, chronicling my thoughts seemed almost wreckless. I was all over the place. If I’m honest, even now, I feel incredibly vulnerable writing at all. It’s like I’m bringing you along on a train ride through a long, winding tunnel. Sure, there’s some light at the end, but I’m going to a place I’ve never been. A place I’m excited to see, but a completely unqualified tour guide for sure. I’m definitely not on my “turf,” and won’t be any time soon. Maybe I should just get my bearings for a few weeks before letting others watch me fumble my way through in real time. Right?
When I think about all the reasons I shouldn’t be blogging right now, I think about how rare it is for first-time adoptive moms to share their journey. There’s probably a reason for that, right? We don’t know what we’re doing! These days, my social media is pretty much chock-full off adoption stories. I like it this way. It’s all I think about, so it’s fun to see others living their lives a little further down this road. Photos of 3 to 12-member families with skin colors in every shade fill my feed every morning. I love it. I’m constantly trying to absorb the wisdom of these moms who’ve spent their lives building beautiful families, rescuing orphans across the world. Then I think about me. About Katelyn and Chad Fuson, a normal couple who just wanted a child. Who were clearly told that child was in China.
I am not a rescuer of any sort. Willa is going to receive love, no doubt. My heart could burst with it at any moment. But excellent parental care and guidance? Lord, help us. We will try. The truth is I prayed last night Willa won’t have head lice from the orphanage, because reading about how to get rid of it almost made me gag. I itched for hours. The insecurities here are so real. Scabies? Ya’ll, these are skin mites and very common. Jesus, take the wheel. So then I think, what insight can I possibly offer when I am still so very much in this story? In a tunnel, looking towards the light, but shaking like a leaf. And then it hit me, maybe having nothing to offer is a gift. Maybe there are one or two other waiting moms out there, who need to know they aren’t the only ones googling “what to pack for adopting in China” and “how to change a diaper on an international flight.” Or maybe adoption isn’t part of your current story at all, but you need to hear about the beauty still experienced in waiting, in feeling unprepared for something, and in being forced to trust in God because you’re frankly terrified.
On my own, Katelyn Fuson has ZERO skills to impress. Zero bravery to emulate. But what I “offer” is somewhat rare. It’s the opportunity for you to watch God work in real time. He’s doing it all over the place, but I am publicly counting on Him to do His thing here in the next two weeks. I hope this will be a place where you see fear doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks, but it also doesn’t have to be overcome immediately. I might not thrive at first, but I’m going to have to keep moving. Maybe you, like me, don’t need to wait until you figure out the ending to trust God’s story. I’m going to give it a shot, and I hope you’ll give me grace.
I spent the holiday weekend at the lake with my entire family. This waiting-mama brain fog is real, but there’s something about riding a rollercoaster of emotions that makes everything all the sweeter. When I held my sassy and sweet 2.5 year old niece, I wanted to freeze her “littleness” in a way I’d never felt before. I witnessed my nephew losing a tooth, overcoming fears, but still snuggling up next to me. Six is a sweet age. I got to watch them giggle at each other in the pool and moments later, squabble over the water gun. I love them so deeply. I’m also glad Chad and I are starting this whole parenting thing with just one child. Phew.
Sarah Jane, one of my best friends, drove up for a few hours. We played cards with my nephew, and he hung on her every word during fireworks as she pointed and explained the chemistry behind it all. A few hours later, we were all witness to one of the sweetest displays of affection ever, when he declared in front of us all “he just knew he was going to marry Sarah Jane one day.” Right to her face. It was awesome. Never change, Timbo. Yep, this weekend was just what my soul needed. I thought being at the lake would be a good “distraction” during this time, but even in the waiting, in the ups and downs, with the mental to-do lists every growing, I soaked it all in.
I’ve learned so much in the last few years, about changing plans, about surrender and putting down the pen. But maybe my favorite lesson God has written on my heart is how to flourish even in the waiting. How to not push off anything sweet, any excitement or joy, any trip or adventure until the next bridge is crossed. I have not mastered this 100% of the time for sure, but I’ve gotten a good taste. I hope this is a skill I’ll continue to perfect over my life. I guess it’s funny then, the insecurity about continuing to share our story during this time. I just kept saying to friends, “I don’t have anything to write about.” Truly, all I feel is excitement and fear. All day long, excitement and fear. Surely no one wants to read about that, right? But here I am, writing while still smack-dab in the middle of the story. In the excitement, with hopes so-vulnerably high and fears so-incredibly real. I know better than to “figure it all out” before trusting God. It never works that way.
I guess I just needed a few days to feel the weight of what’s before us. To sink in the water a little, so I’d turn my eyes back to the Rescuer. This will probably be my last post before I board that big airplane next Wednesday. This Saturday is my baby shower (glad we didn’t plan that for one week later, right?) and those bags from the lake aren’t going to unpack themselves. I need to go to Target, and Walgreens. I need all the children’s Tylenol, and Benadryl, and lice treatments money can buy. I need disposable hand gloves too, just incase. The thought on lice eggs in my finger nails. I’d rather die. I may try to squeeze in one more post on the nursery when it’s all finally done. I’ve had the time of my life decorating. It is so precious to me for so many reasons, and eventually I want to gush about every detail.
But if you don’t hear from me again for a few more weeks, pray I am soaking in the sweetness of leaning on Jesus, pray I am packing our bags with patience and all the things we’ll need. Heck, pray that I am not picking fights with sweet Chad as we fumble around, getting our house ready for a toddler. My cup is constantly being filled with encouragement from sweet friends and people I hardly even know. You guys, a gift was delivered to my doorstep yesterday from a new Instagram friend I’ve never even met! She has a heart for adoption, and is obviously just way nicer than me. Seriously, God’s people are blowing me away.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few pictures of this weekend that make me smile. If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably well-aware of my obsession with the new camera and probably also a little concerned about the amount of time I’ve been spending taking phots. Ya’ll, it is so fun for me. Don’t judge. If you need me in the next 7 days, check the aisles ofTarget. I’ll be buying one of everything…
I love this place so much. The light. And the constant smell of bacon.
Smithville, TN Fiddler’s Jamboree. Nothing like it. Fried everything.
This is the face of a girl who’s had 4,326 Cheetos. Also, Chad Fuson #modelstatus amirite?!
My mother in law is just a tad bit excited. Keeping a countdown until she meets her granddaughter at the airport. She’s also the queen of appetizers.
Fireworks over the water. Not focused, but I love it just the same.
Young love happening right here. My sweet Timbo.
And my bigger sweet boy…
I could eat her up.
Our neighborhood knows how to do the 4th justice. Love living here.