There have been so many concerned friends and family members and ward members and even blog readers who have asked us how we are doing since the adoption fell through, and many many more who likely have not asked because they know we are probably being asked that a lot. And I feel like after a couple of heavy-hitting emotional posts after everything went kersplat I have retreated to fluffy little happy posts about bike rides and hikes and goals. Everybody's okay with that, right?
But seriously, it is kind of a difficult question to answer without a lot of complicated analysis these days. The short answer is that we are doing okay.
The longer answer is that Paul and I feel like we are much stronger and closer to each other and to our Heavenly Father after having gone through what we went through. Evenings after Paul gets home from work somehow seem more purposeful, although I don't know why that should be or what that even really means. We are trying to grab hold of this summer and squeeze it for everything its worth - not just with bigger things like hikes or trips to Disneyland, but with the tiny important things like the way it feels to coast down a bumpy sidewalk in the evening while the daylight is long and warm and sprinklers are whirring in our neighbors' yards or by savoring freshly made guacamole with warm homemade tortilla chips.
One thing I have learned about myself is that I have a really hard time accepting condolences or even sympathy. I'm not a huge hugger to start out with, but I am more of a hugger when I am feeling strong and confident. If you hug me in a moment of weakness (or even when I am coming back from a difficult place) I will most likely either go ramrod straight (please don't be offended, it is just a weird reflex) or start to get all weepy on you and turn to mush. Either way, I will probably make an awkward attempt to change the conversation (which totally happened in church this Sunday and was super confusing for me because I know that I have honestly been doing so much better with all this). It's like, when I am hurting I don't want people to be too nice to me. But it doesn't mean I don't want to be hugged, it just means that I am bad at being the recipient of a hug. Which makes me feel a little messed up.
But that said, we are doing better. We have felt the many, many prayers offered on our behalfs and attribute much of the recovery and strength we have felt to that. Many of you have sent the most comforting emails or messages that have been a boon to our troubled hearts, and if I haven't responded please forgive me. I have been trying but sometimes I just don't know what to write back but that doesn't mean what you said didn't help immensely. Paul has been really busy at work and I have been busy at home. Clara is showing us all sorts of new things every day. Today it was saying "fall" and "grandma" and opening the dressing room door by reaching up to the handle and yanking down when I was in the middle of changing clothes. Yep, she totally did that - embarassment! Yesterday it was lugging a heavy new bottle of conditioner out of the bathroom and down the hallway while I was in the other room and then dropping it so that the lid popped off and conditioner belched out onto the hardwood floors.
We aren't just keeping busy. We are living. We are happy. We are still sad at times and we don't always like to talk about the little boy that was almost ours but we are strong. We have lots of support. We have prayer and a Heavenly Father who loves us and has comforted us. We have each other. And we still have hope. I didn't know if I would feel that again so soon, but the darkest clouds have cleared and peeking through are rays of hopefulness.
Anyway, to end on a little more lighthearted note, here are some pictures I took of Clara today after she let me french braid her hair while she ate her breakfast of peaches, buttered toast and yogurt.