I was listening to Björk’s “it’s not up to you” the other day, and it struck me as being a very good description of what the whole process has been like. You can listen to the song here, if you are curious.

The song starts on a quiet note, with soft clicking beats and strings creating an uneasy sense of waiting. The lyrics start talking about how the thing she’s “always longed for… could still happen”, and giving images of a world that’s not quite the way she expected. I think we went through a lot of that while we were still trying to conceive. Even during the adoption process, when the tasks ahead of us seemed overwhelmingly complex and time-intensive, there were times when the road ahead looked unclear and difficult.

But out of the tension bursts a huge chorus singing “it’s not up to you”. And it’s a wonderful sound – it’s a sound of pressure being lifted, of self-doubt getting blown away, and of acceptance of the fact that there’s much in life beyond our control. On alternating days, Betsy or I will get so caught up in the process that we forget that very true fact of the family-starting process. The other one of us is always there to help bring the first one back down to earth, and there really is something freeing and wonderful about the recognition that we “can decide what to give, but (that) it’s not up to (us) what (we) get given”.

One of the best things about the adoption process has been the lessons we’ve learned about ourselves. It takes some people a lifetime to recognize that what happens in life isn’t up to them. We’re still in the process of internalizing that lesson ourselves, but I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to see this truth in action in our own lives and get that much closer to giving up the control we never had to start with.