Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Two Years In: How It's Going
A couple weeks ago we reached the two year mark since starting our adoption journey. When we began, the average time from application to home with your child was 18 months. We told ourselves two years and figured that surely that would be a conservative estimate.
So many of you have stood by our side and supported us on this journey. You've offered up words of encouragement and rejoiced with us through the big victories and the small. (Who knew a notarized piece of paper could be worth so much applause!)
This past year on the waiting list has brought such a rollar coaster of emotions as well as challenging decisions. We've wrestled through doubts about whether we should stay the course, opportunities to join other quicker programs, the reality of waiting children lists, and lengthening wait times that put us years behind where we thought we would be.
I've at times faultered in my faith and doubted the path God has us on. I've sensed a low grade dwindling of enthusiasm from some of our friends and at times have felt rather lonely in the battle to stay the course. We've experienced somewhat pointed questions from some people as to why we would stay on this path, what is wrong with the program that it's taking so long, and doubts as to whether we're really doing the right thing.
During this wait I've had a lot of time to think. Sometimes too long. There have been very vulnerable days where I've let fear creep in and get the very best of me. I've questioned my future aptitude as a mother, feared the very worst in attachment challenges, and doubted my abilities to raise a child with a strong ethnic and racial identity. I've feared that perhaps we live in the wrong neighborhood, attend the wrong church, don't have the right mix of diverse friends, and lack the resources we need to do right by our future child.
I've at times felt an enormous weight from critics in the adoption community to have all my ducks perfectly in a row, to have read all the big titles in adoption books, to be familiar with the big names in attachment and trauma therapy, and to justify every decision we've made about country, age range, agency, and gender.
So why am I writing all of this? Why am I so doom and gloom, and why reflect on all these hard moments? Well, if I'm being honest with myself I think it's actually a huge blessing to go through these doubts and fears and to be able to process all that has been the last two years. This journey has not really been so much about our future child but more about the refining that I needed to go through (and still need to go through!). There is so much about grace, and mercy, and patience and steadfastness that I simply did not know or understand two years ago. I know I am just getting started, but I also know I'm not in the same place I was when we began.
There have also been so many amazing moments where I've seen first hand the beauty that comes from trials, the peace that comes from defeating the grip of the "what ifs", and the ability to relinquish control and trust in the good plan of the One who feeds even the sparrows and knows every hair on my head and every tear that falls from my heart.
So that is where I'm at two years in. Processing. Thankful. Super stellar at filing papers and finding them again ;) (Go ahead... I dare you to ask me where our home assessment is, or where the documents are that prove we're worth more dead than alive. I know just where they are!)
Thank you, dear readers, for sticking it out with us. For weathering my emotional highs and lows, and for your prayers for our family. Thank you for running up to me in the grocery store with "What number are you?!?!" Thank you for sending me links to adoption blogs and for using Google translator to send me messages in Amharic. You rock my dress socks off. You are the bounce in my step, the icing on my cupcake.
Love you all dearly,