We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The fall after the high

In adoption, until the end, when you finally bring your child home, there is always a fall after the high.  First, you make the decision to adopt (high) then you have loads of paperwork to do (fall).  You get your home study completed (high) then you have to wait for the final copy of it and wait again for state approval (fall).  You send in your I-600A (high) and then it takes forever to get a fingerprint appt. (fall).  You get the fingerprint appt (high) then you wait by the mailbox for an eternity for the approval (fall) - (except in our case when we had an approval within 4 days :)  Your paperwork is finally complete (high) and then it needs to be translated and all that good stuff (fall).  Finally it is submitted (high) and then nothing happens (fall).  You wait (fall)  and wait (fall further) and wait (even further) and wait (further yet) for a referral.  You have fallen so far you barely recognize baseline anymore.  Then you get the phone call - WhooHoo!!!!  You have risen from the valley to the top of the mountain!!! (HIGH!!!)  You realize that the high doesn't last all that long because you are well aware of the fall that is coming.  You wait again - this time knowing your child and desperately wanting to bring him/her home.  Days go by (fall), weeks even (fall further) sometimes months (uuggghhh, keep falling) until you get a call again.  You have a court date!  HIGH - there is that mountain again. 

I was on that high mountain on Friday.  Trust me, I'm so happy that I was there, but those small milestones seem to be placed there, sporadically, only to get you thru the process.  Without the small mountains to celebrate, even momentarily, I'm not sure International adoption would be bearable.  It's so hard to hold onto that celebratory feeling though.  I'm so glad that we got our court date, but it's also very hard knowing that it is still 2 1/2 months away.  On September 28th, our Sara Joy will be 17 months and 12 days old.  By the time we bring her home for good, she'll probably be nearing 20 months.  I so wish we could go and get her now. 

This coming Friday, she will be 15 months old. 

I'm so looking forward to going to Ethiopia and meeting my little girl.  I PRAY we pass court on the first attempt.  I can imagine that is going to be one of those VERY high, highs though.... and the fall that is to come after that - going home without her, is going to be an extremely hard fall.  It's going to hurt.  It's going to rip my heart out knowing she is there, she is ours, and we can't bring her home with us.  We signed up for it though.  I know we will get through it, and I know it will be hard, but it will be fine.  It's just not something I'm looking forward to.  It will hurt.  I can't wait to wrap my arms around her though.  If I could show you a picture of her beautiful little face, her gorgeous, dark, almond-shaped eyes, her WILD dark hair and her beautiful, kissable little cheeks - you would fall in love with her too!  That is one thing I am looking forward to... on September 28th, or shortly thereafter, assuming we pass court that day - I will be able to show the world our daughter!  I can not wait to share her with the world.  Right now, she feels like a secret.  Like I'm hiding her from the world, when all I want to do is show her to the world.  I will have a MILLION pictures to share on that day!  She is a beautiful little girl.  She was a beautiful baby and she is now turning into a beautiful little toddler.  Leaving her will be hard, but there will just be one more mountain to climb after that - the wait to bring her home.  Then she will be part of our family forever!!!

If you know someone going thru International adoption (or domestic adoption for that matter) could you help them through the lows that come right after the extremely high, highs?  Many people don't understand the emotional stress that comes with adoption, but do you have to understand it?  Do you have to have experienced it to encourage someone thru it?

I'm so thankful for my friends who have encouraged us thru this process.  I'm thankful for the ones who are right there with me, wishing I could get my Sara sooner.  I'm less thankful for the ones who constantly tell me how the process should be shorter, how there are so many kids that need a home that they should basically just give these kids away.  The process is there for a reason!  I understand that, I am even glad that the process is there.  It allows me to sleep at night knowing that everything was done to ensure that my daughter really needed a home, and that she has not been taken from one to give to me.  So, in terms of support - don't complain about the system, just stand by me and wish with me that Sara were here.  Wish with me that you could hold her and play with her as well.  I really am thankful for those who stand with me!  And for those who have been thru the process... I couldn't do it without you.  Because you truly understand!

It's a long way to September 28th, so anyone willing to stand with me?


Gina said...

I am standing with you sister! I can't believe how close Sara Joy and Yoseph are in age. He will be 15 months old on the 22nd of July. Have you seen pics of him on the snapfish account? I should send you a photo on email so you can see him. I can hardly wait to meet you guys. I think I am going to sea brook island this weekend. Do you live near that route? I take 77 to 26 (or is it 29)? Anyway, great post of how the process is going for all of us. ;)

Heather said...

I almost picked up some of the cutest dresses the other day at Gymboree for her! Holding your hand girly! Christmas shopping this year will be sooooo much fun!!

Corinne said...

I am right there with you and totally get it !! Those highs and falls are definitely something hard to explain to anyone exept those going through this experience.In a few months hopefully this coaster ride will be over and we will have our treasures home !!

vjanak2001 said...

Charity, I'm with you! And since I've been thru the adoption process 3 times myself, I can totally relate to the roller-coaster experience it is!!!

Paula said...

Well, you said a mouthful! I so hope and pray you pass court the first time around. The two trip system does add that emotional angle of having to leave your child behind. I'm not looking forward to that part. But I'll be praying for you and all of the other international adopting families I know as they make their way through a sometimes emotionally gruelling process. Keep the faith. :)