Much to my dismay, being home again didn't alleviate my stress by any means. What did happen was that, because I was left to my own devices during the day while my mom worked, the conflict I faced became internal rather than external. I was somewhat blindsided by emotions, thoughts, and memories of the past few years, moments in time that I had not allowed myself to deal with. It seemed as though, while in survival mode, I had pushed reality down so far that I wasn't even aware of it anymore. Mentally returning from this self-imposed apathy was like the aftermath of a storm. Choices I'd made, people I'd lost, those I had hurt during my incredibly manic and selfish phase swam around in my head, frequently leaving me a mess of tears. Some I reached out to, some I vowed to at a later date, and finally some had to be let go. I could not give up, I could not dwell on the past. I owed someone a life, a good life, and I had to push past the heartbreak and gain clarity if I was going to make the right decisions for him.
I didn't leave the house much. My friends would visit, call, and occasionally make me get out for a while. But what I needed was the solitude and those around me understood this. I was healing, slowly, and I knew that I would have to also steel myself for the days ahead. It seemed in the few weeks I was home, a year passed, I had all this time now. I wasn't running anymore, I wasn't fighting anymore. And this may have been the strangest and most difficult lesson of all, learning to stand still.
My mom's sister called one night. She lived out of state and had mentioned to her church family the decision I was facing and asked for prayer on my behalf. She was introduced to a woman who said her daughter and son-in-law had been trying to adopt for a while, and would it be alright if she mentioned my situation to them. My aunt wanted my permission first, not knowing if I had other options in mind. I said yes, and that if they were interested in contacting me, I would be open to that as well. Something about the chance exchange between these two women felt serendipitous to me and I was intrigued.
A short time, and several phone calls later I received a letter from the perspective adoptive mother. I had asked her to tell me about herself, her husband, why they wanted to adopt, and so forth. She sent me a copy of their file from the adoption agency they had been with in their attempt to find a child, which included background checks, Bios, and interview notes. All of these were outstanding, but what most impressed me was her letter. It was hand-written (which I have always preferred) and completely honest. It was not a desperate plea for my child, it was not filled with expectation. The tone was hopeful, and the words came from her heart. I knew that I loved this woman for my child, knew that this was what I had been holding out for. I had never been so sure of anything.