Thomas Wolfe said, “You can never go home again.” He was speaking figuratively, of course. After an adoption trip, like any trip, you do go home again.
You sink gratefully into your own bed, clutching your somewhat lumpy, yet beloved, pillow and closing your eyes without even knowing it. Later you watch your new family playing together on the living room floor and it’s not just like you imagined – it’s better.
Except when it isn’t.
Because being deposited back on your own doorstep means you’ve arrived. It means you’ve made it past the red tape and bureaucracy, past the mounds of paperwork and the long flight. You’ve arrived to the place where there is endless hot water but also dishes, laundry, and a car with a gas tank. You now have the comforts of home, but you also have compromised sleep because your child isn’t used to her bed or the smells of the house or the sounds of her room. You ache when she whimpers and grimace when she screams because you know that the still silence of night is new to her. You know she’s accustomed to the ever-present cries of the baby room and this new quiet jars her soul.
When you finally wake bleary from the restless night spent on a yoga mat by her bed, there will be another child who will want your attention. A child clamoring for your whole being, not the apportioned part you now have to offer. He will melt and rage because he knows what was once his alone has now been divided and that the mathematics have taken place on his own turf.
There will be morning when you when you hug him though his storm and send him off to breakfast. As the footsteps descend, you’ll hear the answer “eggs” in response to the question the man who is knee-deep in this with you asked. Then you’ll hear the skipping of a beat and a, “Ohh, buddy, I’m sorry. Your sister just ate the last one.”
From the upstairs railing where you’re eavesdropping, you’ll curse the inartful phrasing of the response. ‘Blasted rookie mistake,’ you think. You’ll pause for a second, listening for the torrent of hurt and angry that will send your feet flying down the stairs.
But it does not come. Disappointment has been replaced by excitement over a trip to the egg ranch in, wait for it, daddy’s car.
Now that the moment has passed, you’ll sink down to the floor and lose it. You’ll cry, knowing that it’s ludicrous to cry over spilt eggs, but it can’t be helped.
Your life will never be the same.
Hallelujah. Your life will never be the same.