It plagues me.
I've never talked about this here - or anywhere, and I never have allowed myself to realize how much this haunts me - until today. I'm going there, but I am not yet sure if I can make myself publish this.
I dream about it, waking up in a cold sweat, heart pounding, and my stomach queasy. Fear hangs over me, and I hate it. It dampens the joy a bit, and it hovers mockingly. I know the fear is not from God. I wish that fear would just leave my life forever. Its grip is cruel and ridiculous. I am frustrated that I am still dealing with this old, horrible issue. The same issue I have battled my entire life.
I fear this will all end, and he will be sent back. To type that just adds to the fear, to admit "out loud" the possibility that this really could come to an abrupt and ugly halt. And although sometimes my fears are irrational, this one is wrapped up in reality. I know that my God is bigger, and I know and marvel over all that God did to join our family together. But the fear snakes around my heart and hisses the fact that his visa expires this July, and that really, we have no ties to him. That's only a little over three months away. I know the truth that he can stay on an expired visa, but just the thought of an expired visa makes my heart race a little faster.
The truth is, he's not mine.
As much as I feel like he is, as much as I know in my heart that he is my son, and that there is no difference with the way I love him, then if I had carried him nine months and birthed him; I also realize that beyond that, I have no real, legal rights to him as my son. And just being completely transparent, it is a scary place to be. I have lost my heart completely to this child. I am trying to savor every single moment, with the knowing that it could be taken away. It makes me physically sick to understand what that means - for him - for us.
My camera documents everything, my eyes and heart have been opened to anything that we can celebrate and cherish and applaud. I have written down memories upon memories, and I have tucked so many of our conversations into my heart. These past, almost eight months, I have poured my life out into all four of my children, but especially into him, because if something happens, if this all comes to a crashing, horrific ending, I don't ever, ever want him to question whether he was loved, wanted, and cherished.
The truth is, none of these children are mine, and for a person with chronic control issues, that's a tough pill to swallow. I know that any of the four could succumb to an illness or a horrible accident at any time. I know the truth that they are all God's, and that He is just letting me steward the responsibility of raising them in the here and now. Tomorrow is not promised. But I don't sit in fear over the other three. It's just the one.
I am not just sitting here wallowing in fear, though; we are fighting to make this permanent. Most days that knowledge let's me push back the fear. But today it's choking me. I just want to cocoon my family away from the world, away from the questions as to why we chose this, and the accusations about why we post on facebook so much about Habi, and why we make such a big deal about Habi, well, I guess this is an authentic, painful peak into the why. I guess this is one of the reasons why we are told not to judge people, because so many times we do not have all of the facts. Perhaps if you were in my shoes, with the reality that you could lose your child, you would do something differently. I hope that I would accept that.
There is nothing beautiful or glamorous about this post. It's not very thought-out or well-written, and I cannot wrap it up into a sweet, little spiritual conclusion that ends in a but it's all going to be alright. We have no guarantee that this will end the way we are fighting for it to end. What I can do, is hug that big boy extra tightly when he comes home tonight, and memorize the way he smells, and the sound of his laugh, the way his hair curls against his ears, and how his eyes light up when Jamesy says a word, and the kindness that radiates from him when he is helping Scotty, and the spunky way that he picks on Cadi, and then moments later wraps her in his arms and tells her what a good sister she is. I can celebrate his 100% on his vocabulary tests which he worked so hard on studying for, and I can notice the way he watches his dad, then emulates him, and beams when his dad calls the man out in him. For today that is what I can do. I cannot do anything to be certain that this will last, or that he is here to stay, but I can be present in the here and now. I can and I will do that.
And for today, that will have to be enough.