Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Up and Down

The past few weeks have been filled with such a wave of emotions that I feel kind of like I'm riding an insane roller coaster that is simultaneously shoving joy and fear down my throat and I just have to hang on and try not to vomit.  It's like the adoption equivalent of gestational diabetes.  You know it will stop when you get to bring your child home, but are stuck dealing with it in the mean time.  And every adoptive parent I know has felt this so it's not a unique experience, just a new one.  I feel like I go from zero to SUPER emotional in less then 60 seconds.

I got PA  (happy happy day)

Home study trucking along (Woohoo! Life is great!)

FBI prints still not here  (WTH)

Home study not quite finished (annoyed, annoyed, annoyed)

Home study can be finished this week  (Woohoo! What was I thinking?  Life is amazing!)

Prints still not here (depths of despair)

And I know it will go on, and on, and on right up until Gotcha Day and there is NOTHING I can do about it. In fact, it is only going to get worse.  As a control freak I find this disconcerting.  As someone who loves my friends and family I'd like to apologize in advance for any wild mood swings  that occur over the next 7-9 months.  I'd over compensate for it with comfort food but I have to fit comfortably into an airplane seat in the Fall so please feel free to tell me to go away until then.

There is a lot of fear that goes along with adopting.  I worry about paperwork getting lost. I worry about attachment (a LOT).  I worry about money.  I worry about getting everything done in time.  I worry about money.  I worry about how he will react on Gotcha day.  I worry that he will freak out and I won't be able to comfort him (which is a real possibility).  I worry about money.  I worry about what his room should look like.  I worry about bringing him clothes that fit (like he'll care).  I worry about natural disasters or Avian Flu delaying the process. I worry about whether or not he will like me.  I worry about accidentally drinking unboiled water during travel and having to use a squatty potty.  And I worry about money.

That's a lot to worry about. 

It's exhausting.

So when it gets to be too much.  I step away.  I watch a 2 minute video of my little guy running and bouncing and smiling and laughing.  And I remember to breathe. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

To China With Love

The journey to adoption is never an easy one and mine has been longer, and more complicated, than some. I started about three years ago when I was sure that I was destined to adopt internationally.  I looked at multiple country programs and nearly followed through with one, but I always had reservations.  Some small part of me that was unsure of my decision.  I finally decided that my hesitation came from my program of choice.  After all, my desire to be a mother has never wavered, but I often pictured myself with an infant and in the international adoption world infant placements are not common.  Added to that the fact that I would be adopting as a single mother,  I was pretty much guaranteed to adopt an older child.

Knowing all of that I decided to enter the world of Domestic adoption.  I completed all the paperwork  and made my profile book and sent it all of in hopes that a birth mother would see it and pick me....

No one ever did.  It sucked.  A lot.  And every time my profile was shown I would tell myself not to get my hopes up (but I did), and not to think about the child (but I did), and not to dream about the child (but I did).

And every time I was rejected I told myself not to take it personally....but I did.  Oh, I did.  And I would begin to analyze every picture and word in my profile.  And my self-esteem, well it took a flying leap off of the Empire State Building and smeared itself all over the intersection of 5th Avenue and 34th Street.  Because those profiles are personal, very, very personal so rejecting it meant rejecting me.  There was something they saw in it that made them say no.  Was it my clothes, or weight, or hair, or house?  I don't know but for two years I watched friends have children and I still didnt and so I was finished.  I have this theory that the female psyche can only handle a finite amount of rejection over the course of a lifetime and I had reached mine.

But then my niece turned six, which is significant only in that it opened the doors to China for me as a single woman.  And my thoughts turned to Chinese orphanages and little kids with my nieces dark hair and almond eyes.  But I didn't say anything.  To anyone.  For months.  Until the beginning of a New Year, and I felt ready to start a new journey.  So I started back down the paperwork trail.  I started looking for grants to apply for and fundraisers to start.

And I started looking at files.  Files of little boys with special needs that didn't seem all that special to me.  And one Tuesday night, at 11:30pm, my sister texted me from her bedroom downstairs to tell me there were new kids on my agencys list.  And just like that.  With the click of a button and a few taps on the ipad I fell straight into the eyes of this boy.

And suddenly it all seemed worth it.