Monday, November 26, 2012

The Hard Thing

Hurricane Sandy came and  wreaked havoc on the northeast.  As we Floridians watched, we knew many people there really didn't know what to expect.  It is one thing to see the destruction of a hurricane on the news or read about hurricanes.  It is another thing to experience it.  Once you experience it, you never think of hurricanes the same.

In some ways, this reminds me about adoption.

The hard thing about adopting the first time...

We read about adoption, but we didn't really know what to expect. 

The hard thing about adopting again...

We have experienced adoption and we know what to expect.

I am not in any way comparing the destruction and devastation of the hurricane with adoption, but I am saying that reading about hurricanes or adoption is NOTHING like experiencing them.

I've been thinking a lot about that lately.  Remembering the difficult days from the first time.  Our social worker kept assuring us that after 6 months the storm clouds would break and we would see a big difference.  Many, many days I clung to that reassurance.  In the really difficult days I vowed to drive from Florida (our home) to St. Louis (where our social worker was) and slug her on the first day of the 7th month if she was wrong.  But (thankfully), she wasn't.  So yes, I know that there are tough times coming, but I also know that at some point the storm will break.

I recall those emotions and those struggles as I read blogs of people slogging through those first days and weeks home, just trying to survive.  I understand their words in ways I couldn't just a few years ago.

And, if all that reading, remembering and reflecting weren't enough, I had a rough day with Yuly one day this week.  Just a small reminder of those first days (although, truthfully, the rough days now are much, much easier than the first hard days)  At the end of the difficult morning, I was reminded again how far she has come--although I also wonder why I haven't come farther (shouldn't I be better at handling these by now?!)

So, I also wonder, what will our rough days look like when we come home from China?  We have hints that there will be differences due to cultural differences and age differences, but we know that that there will be an intense process of grieving, struggling, hoping, loving, crying, praying, bonding, coming together and pushing apart.  Although all of these things occur in the process of raising all children, I can say that the intensity (at least for us) has never been equaled to that first few months home with Yuly.

Friends ask about the difficulty in waiting for our newest daughter.  And the question is legitimate.  It is hard to wait.  We know who she is and we know she is far away.  We know that we have to wait for the process to continue and that it is entirely out of our hands.

Despite our experience with adoption and the waiting associated with it, this adoption is so different from our first.  The wait time so different.  The process so different.  After receiving approval from Colombia we waited until we were given a file to review, but this time we (with God's help) chose our daughter.  Either way the waiting is difficult.  I don't want our daughter to be without a mom and a dad one more day than she has already.  I would go tomorrow if I could.  We love her and we know God is already at work knitting our hearts together.  We talk about her, pray for her, and wonder about her.

But, I also know that this is the calm before the storm and while I wait--sometimes quite impatiently--I am also enjoying the daily blessings during the waiting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


No, its not that....

it is Logged In Date.

And ours is November 13, 2012.

This means that our file has been officially received by China and is now the arduous process of translating and approving our dossier begins.  Our dossier has 10+ documents--with at least one of them (our home study) being quite lengthy.  We have invested a lot of time, effort, and finances in these documents, so it is a relief to know that they are finally being reviewed by China :)

So...the next thing that happens is...more waiting.  In about 3 months, we will receive our Letter of Acceptance and then things will really start moving.  So, we are enjoying the calm before the storm.

And we are celebrating that we are one step closer to our daughter.