“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” —Brené Brown
As I write this, I have a sleeping infant swaddled on my chest. I can hardly believe this little precious babe is my child. It’s barely the middle of November, but my season of giving thanks and celebration began on October 28, 2015, when my son Asa was born, and his birth mom placed him in my ready embrace.
In the months leading up to his birth, Asa’s birth mother had created an adoption plan for him. That plan ultimately came to include me and my husband Matt as his chosen adoptive parents. This was an incredible and welcome surprise. We had waited for years, hoping against hope that our family would be created in some way, not knowing exactly how or when.
But we couldn’t have prepared for that moment, standing there in the hospital room just after he was born, me, Matt and Asa’s birth mother all huddled around our child, holding him and one another, with no words to describe the depth of what we were experiencing. Our collective tears of joy and relief, awe and wonder and pain—hers and ours—it was the experience of meeting one another’s naked humanity. I had never felt as deeply connected to this universe or God’s presence as I did in those moments, under the fluorescent hospital lights. I felt the warmth and energy of a love so big that I sensed the “me” of myself slip away. In its place, there was this glorious “we”—the four of us, the nurses and hospital staff, all of us melded together in a suspended moment of sacred, intimate connection.
Asa is now 3 weeks old. His name means “healer”. He is beautiful and healthy, and I am more in love with him than I ever could have imagined I would be after such a short time. I had thought it would take time to connect to this new being, particularly because I didn’t carry him in my own body. Conversely, the heart energy pouring from his birth mother to him washed over me in a way that felt immediate, visceral and undeniable as soon as my arms wrapped around hers, and then ours around him.
Not all of my holiday seasons have looked this picturesque. This is a happy ending to an arduous and exhausting journey. I can recall past winters when the darkness of the days coupled with the holiday cards of happy families only exacerbated the tenderness around my heart.
During those times, I relied on my friends and my therapist, and I dug into my yoga postures, breathing, chanting and meditation practices. In those spaces, my worried mind released its grip, and my heavy heart surrendered its weight. I found the solace in each stretch and each breath.
Whether this season finds you celebratory or somber, or traveling “the middle path”, I hope that this issue of Natural Awakenings will be along for the ride, offering you the inspiration to stay connected to faith and grace at every turn.
With you in awakening,