I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a strong sense of romance and story. I believe in happy endings and fairy tales. I believe in magic. If something “would be a good story,” I go for it. I love hearing stories about how people met. I love telling myself stories of how things are going to work out.
This storytelling tendency may be one of the quirks of being a writer – like carrying a journal everywhere you go, or ordering special pens from Staples. (Pilot EasyTouch Fine Point. Perfect.) Or it could be part of being human. Brene Brown spoke in one of her talks about how the brain loves a good story; our brains latch onto stories, regardless of whether or not they’re true.
When I tell the story of my life, it’s a series of meant-to-be moments -the good stuff and the not-so-good stuff. I graduated early from college, so my dad got to see me give my graduation speech. I spent a weekend in DC with my AmeriFriends, so I was together with my sister and my brother on the day my dad died. I stayed in Maryland to be close to my baby nephew and met my better half two weeks after his birth day. Everything makes sense. Everything has rhythm and reason and rhyme.
This story-telling has made things really difficult during the adoption wait. Because I always have a story in my head about how things are going to fall into place.
We’re waiting to hear about a possible placement, and it’s three days before Christmas! The baby will come home on Christmas Eve. My mother, my sister, Tee, and I will scramble all around to gather together what we need, and we’ll spend Christmas Day cuddled up and warm inside our home, with a precious baby girl being passed around like the best gift ever.
It’s Father’s Day, and I can feel my dad’s presence. My dad is working together with the universe to bring Our Baby home. The baby will probably be born on Father’s Day – or come home on Father’s Day – or we’ll get the call on Father’s Day. Definitely something like that. And the baby will be like a gift from my dad.
This weekend, I’m flying to Houston for a friend’s wedding. But – maybe I won’t be able to go. The baby will come home early this week, and I’ll have to call my friend and share the news – and I’ll be somewhat disappointed, but it will be completely overshadowed by my joy.
My baby niece will be born any day now! And we’re waiting to hear about a placement. If they were born during the same day/week/month, it would be so wonderful; they’d be as close as I was with my cousins growing up, and we’d take adorable photos of the two of them side by side.
My mom is in Europe, and we’re waiting to hear about a potential placement. This baby was born weeks ago; if this is Our Baby, I’ll trace back and I’ll remember what I was doing and thinking and feeling on the day Our Baby was born. This baby will come home, and I’ll call my brother and my sister; my sister will come visit and I’ll cry with happiness the whole time. We’ll FaceTime with my mom, all together, so that she can see the baby; and then she’ll fly back to Maryland and come straight to our house to meet the baby. (And to take over our kitchen making sauce, meatballs, lasagna, and sausage and peppers.)
The list is endless. There are hundreds of stories I’ve told myself, and my brain latches on to those stories, as brains do. The most dangerous stories I’ve told myself involve things I can do to make the adoption happen faster. One of the stories I’ve made up is that if the baby’s room is ready and I’ve practiced diapering, the baby will come home. One of the stories I’ve made up says that if I am peaceful and content and serene, the universe will know I am ready and Our Baby will come home.
Sometimes, we are the authors of our stories – and sometimes we’re not. I can write the story of how I live my life today, but I can’t write the story of when Our Baby will come home. Which sucks. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a beautiful story.