I’ve let myself go these last few weeks, and the small gray room with the yellow curtains has evolved. I painted shelves and a picture frame. A dresser has joined the plush gray chair as furniture pieces. I even placed bright yellow nobs on the closet and drawers. I feel as if it is no longer just a room, at some point it became a nursery. Between hand-me-downs from friends and a few careful purchases we’ve acquired the basic. We have a rocker, a car seat, and I’ve even started filling the dresser drawers with just enough clothing for the first few weeks of our baby’s life. To some extent, we’re ready.
As I said before, nesting while waiting to adopt is a dangerous thing. It can be therapeutic, but it can also be destructive. It can keep hope alive but it can also drain you of your energy to move forward. So what do I do now? We could get a call tomorrow, or it could be years. How do I keep myself sane?
Yesterday my baby got its first present. Not a hand-me-down, not a purchase I made to keep busy during the wait, but a gift, hand stitched with this child, my child, in mind. It hit me like a ton of bricks, a wave of emotions that at first I couldn’t put my finger on. It was an overwhelming feeling of love. Somehow a few yards of carefully laid out fabric made my child real.
Pregnant women receive gifts for their unborn children all the time. No one thinks twice about a gift for a baby no one has met. But everyone knows that child exists.
When you’re adopting you dream about your child just like a pregnant woman does. You feel them in your soul. You know they’re out there. You’ve begun to pick out a name, planning a home. It already has a place in your life and in your heart. But you don’t know where, and you don’t know when you’ll meet. And you feel like all these emotions are irrational. How can you love someone who you know nothing about? How can you love someone who doesn’t exist yet? How can you feel so strongly for someone who isn’t real?
And then suddenly, in one small gesture, your emotions are validated. You may not know him or her yet, but your baby is real. With its initials hand stitched on the fabric, this item was created specifically for my child. My child. Because that exists. My baby is real.