Adoption - Not for the Faint of Heart (and we aren't even at the hard part yet)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm tired of waiting. So, so, so very tired of waiting. Honestly, it really seems as if our adoption will never actually happen. 

It's been more than two and a half years since we started this journey (26 months since we've been paper-ready to adopt). The only news we've consistently gotten is that 1) We need to pay more and more money than originally anticipated (and we anticipated a lot) and 2) there will more and more and more waiting.

Up until this point all the increased waiting has been on the front-end (before receiving our referral). However, about a month ago we were told that the US Embassy has changed some of their procedures so now we can expect a longer wait on the back-end as well (post-referral). What used to be a 4-6 month process post-referral will now be an 8-10 months process. 

That means 10 months of looking at a beautiful little face on my refrigerator door, 10 months of monthly updates, 10 months of longing for someone who's name I know and face I love but being unable to bring her home. This is definitely the worst news about waiting thus far. 

I must admit that this last bit of bad news revealed something to me. Instead of breaking down in tears, as I did first time we were told things were going to be more difficult than we thought, I found myself hardening my heart. I could feel a wall being built. Protecting myself from further disappointments. And protecting myself from the reality that this whole thing could actually very well never go through. (I don't think that's the case, but it is possible.)

When we started this journey I was raw all over. God had broken my heart for the orphan. He had stripped me down and poured his Spirit over me; "breaking my heart for the things that break His." I had never felt closer to the Lord. I knew I was in His will and following His leading. I felt vulnerable and fearful but also extremely excited and joyful. I was a bundle of emotion. I was the Israelites right after crossing the Red Sea. My God was moving and I was (am) on an epic adventure with Him! I was pumped-up!

That was months ago. I'm wandering the desert now. It's dry and dull here. Each day is a day closer to my promise, but there sure are a lot of days to tick off until I get there. (PS - 40 years was a LONG time! I've only been waiting 2!)  I will remain steadfast, but I must admit that the flurry of excitable energy that cursed through me at the start of this journey has dimmed considerably. 

But I tell myself, maybe this new state of being isn't actually a bad thing. Much like marriage, the honeymoon phase has ended, but the commitment is stronger than ever. I love my husband more today than I did nine years ago, but I don't really get those same fluttery feelings every time he brushes past me anymore (sorry, babe). Years after standing at the marriage alter I have a more realistic view of marriage: the time, energy, commitment and self sacrifice it takes to make it work. 

In the same way this waiting period has taught me so much about adoption. I've been able to make friends in the adoption community and learn from them. Through discussion groups I've learned of common difficulties and struggles with adopted childen. I now have a more realistic idea of what to anticipate when brining our daughter home. God allowed us to add Parker into our family during this wait period. Not only is he a blessing but he's shown me that it's tough to grow one's family. There are growing pains. It's worth it, but it can be hard. I've grown these past two years and feel as though I'm much better prepared to mother our adopted daughter than I would have been 26 months ago.

So in many ways I am thankful for the wait. 
I still really want it to be over, but I am thankful. 

Since hitting the 24 month DTE mark a few months ago I've been struggling more than ever with the waiting. But I daily try to remind myself that God's timing has always been perfect in my life. And He sees the big picture. He knows what's best for my family (RJ, myself, the boys, and our daughter). I will trust Him. Trust is an action not an emotion. 

(And for the record we have made some progress during this incredibly long wait. When we sent our paperwork to Ethiopia we were number 55 for an infant girl and now we are number 17 after 26 months. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. And with faith.)

1 comment:

Jessica G. said...

Beautiful words and so honestly written.

Two Cent Sparrow.
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