When Joel and I were thinking about adopting and beginning the process I began to hear the phrase: “Adoption is not for the faint of heart”, and I would read that again and again and again. To be honest, I questioned how accurate this phrase was. I mean, there was no labor and delivery, no chance of miscarriage, so what made adoption so hard. Keep in mind this is NOT my current view just what I thought at the beginning.
Now, 8 months into this adoption journey I can completely understand that phrase. It is as if people that have adopted have a secret initiation (the adoption process) and no one really understands until they go through it themselves. This process is definitely not for the faint of heart, but then again, I don’t think pregnancy or birth or parenting is either.
There were 3 months (3 MONTHS!) where there was absolutely no progress whatsoever. In the past 2 weeks we have gone from no home study to a draft, to possibly being submitted for final approval. Things go soooooo unbearably slow and then all of the sudden so much has happened. Then, the next thing you know, you are back to waiting for information about what the heck comes next and what paperwork they do/do not have.
So now we are in the land of waiting, to see if they have the paperwork, to see if the supervisor approved the home study, and to see what the heck is the next step. To be honest, there was SO much information out there on the process up until the end of the home study and little out there about what happens after that. So we wait, and we talk. And we realize that we have NO idea what our lives will even look like in 2 months. I can not tell you what Jan 1, 2013 will look like in the Longanecker household. It could look exactly the same or…..well awesomely and amazingly different.
They weren’t kidding when they said “Not for the faint of heart”. If any of you are reading this and know me personally, not just in blog land you know how difficult this is for me. Or, how difficult this SHOULD be for me. But as of today, right now, it isn’t hard. Sure when I sit and think and think and obsess then my mind takes me down roads that I don’t want to go and I worry and I have a hard time just waiting and having faith. But our faith has got us this far. (Sometimes, I admit I was complaining the whole way, but I still was going).
This whole process has been more than just paperwork and meetings and getting fingerprinted. This process has expanded my ability to handle the unexpected and the unplanned, and the waiting (which has still been the hardest). This process has let Joel and I been more open about talking about what is going on with us with regards to our frustrations and how to deal with it.
Don’t get me wrong, some days still suck and I see kids playing and I long to have my kids, where ever they are, know that I am coming to get them. Some days I read books about an orphanage and tear up because somewhere, at some point in their lives, my kids didn’t have everything they needed and I wish with all my heart that I could have been there to give it to them.
Day by day I am learning more about myself and growing more than I ever thought possible (and I we don’t even have the kids yet!) And when I need to remind myself of what this road is for and why these lessons need to be learned I close my eyes and take a deep breath.