Tag Archives: Faith Tests

It’s Been A Year

It’s been a year since we left our old church. And to be honest, it kinda feels like I’ve been wandering around the desert ever since then. We visited a number of churches over the last year, but in the end, we landed at the neighborhood Universal Unitarian church.

We are there because Hope likes it; there are a couple of kids from her school who attend and unlike our old church, she seamlessly slipped into the social scene at the UU church.

Me? I haven’t; but I’m realizing that I’m not much of a joiner. I’m constantly intrigued by how my neighbors all seem to know each other, but despite my living here for 15 years I don’t have to many close relationships with my condo neighbors. #IDigress

It’s cool though, this church thing isn’t about me, and my discomfort at not being at a distinctly Christian church isn’t really that big of a deal. I have been creative about making sure that we get Christianity infused throughout life.

In the midst of all of these developments, I kept getting mail from the old church.

Each flyer, giving statement, newsletter cut me like glass. It has taken every bit of this whole year to try to get past the heartbreak of feeling rejected by my church.

It’s taken the whole year for me to wrestle with the fury of anger and the tears of sadness. I felt like there was a mini setback every time I got something in the mail.

Shortly after I received the last giving statement for the year that I would use to finish my taxes, I received a “reminder” about the pledge I’d made at the beginning of the year on behalf of myself and Hope. I gave towards the pledge until we left.

Last fall, when I received a “reminder” I sent them an email about how we were not in fellowship there anymore and that I was allocating those funds to another house of faith.

And then I got the last “reminder.”

And I let it sit.

And sit.

And sit.

I called Grammy to ask about her opinion. Let’s just say she hasn’t worked as hard as I have to forgive. Lest we forget, not only did they hurt me and Hope, but they denied her and my father a public opportunity to embrace Hope and join me in committing to raise her faithfully.

There’s quite a bit of pain in that too. We all hurt.

So, today, I sat down and wrote my former pastor a long letter. I talked about how I came to attend that church, how my being in fellowship there definitely marked a major chapter in my life—starting and finishing my doctorate and becoming a mother. I shared how I felt all during the 7-8 months it took for them to grow a pair and say we just weren’t the cute adoptive family that everyone wants to see. I shared about the times the pastoral staff were condescending. I shared about how ironic it was to hear adoption used as a Christian metaphor so often and what that irony felt like. I shared about my last conversation with the family pastor who was dispatched to share the news that Hope and I didn’t fit the motif of the church. I shared how we were attending a UU church now and how Hope was thriving there.

I asked to be completely erased from the mailing list. It’s simply too hard to have stuff from them coming to my little crazy sanctuary.

I printed the letter. I printed an envelope. I peeled the stamp. I licked the enveloped. I dropped it in the mailbox.

And a burden was lifted.

Just in time for Easter.

I am grateful to totally close that chapter.

The Background on The Church Thing

An Amazing Dedication

Being Gracious

An Adoption Blessing

Radio Silence

About Face

About that Church Thing

Supporting You from the Back Room

Finding a House

 


The Day After Someday…

One day I may share the details behind these feelings in more detail, maybe, maybe not.  Just know that today rates as one of the lowest days of my life.  This adoption thing is a beast.  Trauma lingers and just wreaks havoc long, long after the original incident.  It’s stunning how the long the reach is and how devastating its touch remains.

Today was so difficult because I had to step up and be the mom of a child who has endured unspeakable trauma.  I’m not proud of the stripes I had to earn with the decisions I had to make today, but I made them just the same.   And I am heartbroken by them.   I have had some tough days in this life, but few will compare to the day I had to make a decision that will be one of my and Hope’s life crucibles. I know that everything will change after this.  It’s scary, but there’s also hope in the midst.  Just know that today was a tough, tough day for me and for my lovely Hope.  But tomorrow will be a new day for us.

Tonight I am practicing my own self soothing behaviors watching trash tv, eating fried chicken fingers, eating a rustic loaf of bread slathered in butter and cheese and losing myself in a bottle of blush vinho verde…yeah, the bottle, it’s yummy.  Oh and I’m trying to catch up on a few things at the office.  I shudder to think how my late night, tipsy emails about spreadsheets will read in the light of day.  Oh well.

My wish this evening is that someday my precious Hope will find it in her heart to know that the drastic decision I was forced to make today was in her best interest, that I did it out of love, that I did it to save her.  I hope someday, sooner rather than later that she won’t be so very sad about leaving bad things behind and embracing goodness and light, and that she will, on her own volition, someday choose to step into happiness in this new chapter with me, the Furry One and all of the many people who have come to love her after only a few weeks and months.

I hope someday that the trauma of the necessity of my decision will fade and that the hurt, anger and downright fury born today will be replaced with love, joy and true healing.  I hope someday that she will know and trust that I will always have her back, to care for her, to always put her essential needs first.  In the face of anger and heartbreak I proved that today.  I hope that we both recover from all the events of the day and that we will find our happy together, healing and healed, safe and sound, loving and loved.

This journey is the greatest test of faith I have ever endured.  Everything before was a test for this moment. My Holy Homeboy doesn’t promise us peace, he promises us peace in the midst of the storm.  I’m still paddling in the storm; you can’t see all my tears because it’s just raining so damn hard.   But we’re going to be ok, we will make it.  Be encouraged, somehow, I am.

Amen.


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