It’s been six months since we began this adoption journey. Shaky hands placing a thin sheet of paper into a crisp white envelope were what started us on this path. We told no one as we took this tiny, yet enormous, step forward. A step of faith. We had waited for the burning bush long enough – it was time to take action.
It’s been a roller coaster ride ever since.
I love reading the status updates and blog posts of my expectant friends. It reminds me of the exciting days when we were expecting a child. I would scour books and marvel at the fact that the child inside me was now as big as an apricot, a walnut, an orange, a pineapple, a small elephant (Sloan…that kid was huge!). I love the anticipation of pregnancy and the posts of growing bellys, gender reveals and approaching due dates leaves me happy with memory.
It dawned on me recently that part of what makes this adoption process so difficult is it feels so…lonely. I don’t have a cute, growing belly to dress. I don’t have weekly markers that point to the impending arrival. Whereas in pregnancy, most mothers can breathe easy after that twelve week mark passes, adoption always feels a bit tenuous.
I keep waiting for the floor to drop, for something to happen to end this journey. I think part of the reason that I feel this way is because I’m not celebrating the milestones – the little moments that mean we’re getting closer.
So here are a few little moments:
– Our paperwork is nearly done. We submitted the first round to our agency for review and were only missing a few documents. Unfortunately, one of them is going to take about six weeks to complete, so we’re in a bit of a holding pattern, but there are things we can be doing to keep moving the process forward so that when the paper comes, we’ll be set.
– We are almost $10,000 into the process. For awhile it felt like we were going nowhere with the funds, then BOOM! We had the next payment. We still have a long way to go, but I’m in awe of how far we’ve come.
Would you like to be part of that process with us? We could still use your help. I have ideas for some other fundraisers that I will kick off in the new year, but for now we are still running our Story campaign. So far we’ve received almost $2,000 from dear friends and readers through online and personal donations. Thank you!
– It feels more real. I get a little scared to admit that, but the fact of the matter is this has shifted from being an idea to being a person. There’s a person out there waiting for us. A little girl. She’s real and she is ours. She is as real to me as any of my children were in utero.
– She has become more real to the kids as well. There isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t mention their baby sister. They are excited to meet her and I’m so proud of how they’ve embraced the idea.
There are still challenges to be met in this process, though, and we would love your prayers:
– We still have a lot of money to raise. A LOT of money to raise. God has been so faithful to provide and we prayerfully wait to see what He’s going to do next. But I am a terrible fundraiser. I am being stretched and pulled in this process and have learned so much already.
– The paperwork needs to be coordinated and sent to various states to be apostilled and I am so nervous that stuff will get lost in the process. We are also on a bit of a clock and with our final clearance six weeks away, this leaves me a little worried that a lot of the paperwork will need to be redone. If we don’t receive a court date within one year from the notaries, the paperwork expires.
– There are emotional challenges to prepare for. I don’t expect that bringing an adopted toddler into our home will be all sunshine and roses. It’s going to be hard and I’m sure there will be days when I sit on the floor and cry from exhaustion and an overwhelming sense of fatigue.
Kind of like I did with every one of my kids when they were newborns and I couldn’t figure out how to manage life with all the change.
In so many ways, this adoption journey mirrors a pregnancy. But it differs in a lot of ways, too. People don’t always understand why we chose adoption. I find myself still feeling like I need to defend our decision to do this and I must constantly stop and remember that we all have a different journey in this life. Our path won’t look like your path and that is okay.
Will you pray for us? As we head into the holiday season, I find myself longing for my daughter. I want to know who she is and see the completed picture. This is the exact same way I felt when I hit about seven months pregnant with each of my children. I was just ready to be done!
The only difference was that when I was seven months pregnant, I knew I only had to wait eight more weeks. At this point, we are very likely still looking at another year.
Adoption is hard. It’s so very, very hard. I may not have the growing belly, but I very much am growing a baby. She is growing in my heart and until she’s in my arms, I fear I will feel incomplete.
Thank you for praying.