Wow, it's been a while! I finally found (made) some time to write while my husband is still sleeping and before I make blueberry pancakes for our big Sunday breakfast (haven't made them in weeks and am having major pancake withdrawal!) We went to mass last night and so have all day to relax, explore a few places around town, and be together.
Lots has happened since my last post:
We're moved in, praise God! As I anticipated, all the stress and work and setbacks of getting ready for the move - which was a LOT; the house needed some last-minute work that we weren't aware of until just before our move - is already but a bad memory. We love our new place - it's plenty big, has lots and LoTs and LOT of windows =) plus hardwood floors and closet space and a nice homey feel already. Our new housemates are great and their dog greets me at the door after work! This whole week I've been hit with a wave of gratitude at our new home and how it positions us to pursue adoption, among other good qualities. Thank you God!
Mass for hope & healing
The weekend before our move, we attended the Archdiocese of DC's second annual mass for hope and healing. It was well attended - more people than last year, even though we personally know of three local couples who wanted to come and couldn't. Similar to last year, I felt so loved just by the mass happening, by priests taking time out of their busy schedules to minister to us in a very focused way. It was definitely an emotional experience. I cried during most of the mass and a lot of other people did too! That was the hardest part for me - seeing others suffer with a cross that I know pretty well, wishing that they didn't have to go through IF too, and grieving with them. It was both the saddest mass I've ever been too but also very healing. And the talk afterwards was fantastic - a personal testimony by a couple who struggled for 6 years. They were blessed with a daughter last year but didn't make their story one of a perfect tidy happy ending. They were honest and open and real and acknowledged that every person's journey is different. Looking around the room, it seemed like everyone was soaking it up, the chance to talk about such a hidden topic so openly.
Another mass for healing
The day before the mass - looks like I'm updating in reverse chronological order! - Mr. M and I were immensely blessed to receive a private healing mass from a local priest. This priest is known for his gift of healing and his willingness to fit everyone and anyone in his schedule, and it's true! Mr. M contacted him requesting spiritual direction. The priest replied immediately, they met that week (while I was out of town) and he offered to have a mass for both of us the following week. I was so touched and felt so loved! The mass itself was intense. I cried through this one too, naturally. Father annointed us both with blessed oil and prayed for healing. He also gave us some beautiful words to ponder about suffering: that the Church "needs" our suffering (in the sense St. Paul talks about "filling up" what is lacking in the suffering of Christ) - that we are offering a beautiful gift to God in our suffering, etc. It was very consoling to hear words of comfort and encouragement from a spiritual Father. Afterwards, he asked whether we'd like to have another mass. Um, letmethink...YES!! So that's in the works.
Current adoption "plan"
...and yes, I hear God laughing! =) Before our move, we had a wonderful long talk about where we envision the adoption process going and when. The tentative plan is: spend all of August settling in to our new home and getting it the way we want it (pictures, curtains, etc.). September-October-November, research different agencies and kinds of adoption: go to information meetings, make phone calls, and pray. By my birthday (Thanksgiving this year!): apply to an agency. Hopefully get accepted, then begin the home study process in January 2015. And go from there.
It may not seem like a lot, but to us even having those very simple steps decided on feels huge! I in no way feel like we're right around the corner from being parents, and I've even tried looking around our new home and imagining a crib in the corner, or little footsteps on the floor, and it just feels too surreal. My hunch is that moving forward with adoption will also mean peeling layers upon layers off my heart of barriers against all things motherhood related. A good but scary prospect!
For now, I am just so happy and relieved to be here, finally, after almost a year of knowing that our other apartment was not adoption-friendly, and after a few months of actual planning and preparation. *huge sigh of relief*
Now onto those pancakes and a big ol' overdue DATE day!