A few days ago, I was heading out in a hurry somewhere, and was impatiently urging Matthew to get into the van. As he climbed in, I turned around and opened my mouth to encourage our other children on, only to snap it closed again as I realized what I was doing. I had to fight my tears as I stood there, forgetting for a moment where we were going and wondering what to do. The fact is that not all of my children exist in our family yet. At least, not in our day-to-day existence. We pray for them, talk about them, think about them, imagine them...but they're not here yet. It feels like members of our family are missing.
This isn't the first time I've had the experience of looking over my shoulder to check where the other kids are; it happens more often than I'm comfortable admitting. And about two weeks ago, the cashier at the grocery store, after chatting a bit with Matthew, asked me how many children we had? "Three," I answered automatically, as I handed her my credit card, then quickly changed my answer to "one." She looked at me like I was a bit psycho. Maybe I am. But it's like they're always there, part of me. Part of the family. Just outta sight for the moment.
A mother of two asked me not so long ago why I couldn't be happy with 'just' one child - why did I feel that I needed to adopt, to have more than one child? My response was to ask her what her life would be like if her second child hadn't been born; knowing what she knows about how much she loves her second-born, would her life feel complete without that child? Of course, her answer was 'no.' I said that I feel the same way. I have three children in my heart, in my life. Only one of them is home with us right now, and there's a pretty huge hole in our lives and hearts while we wait for word that the other two are coming home.