We had the distinct pleasure of meeting a couple preparing to adopt internationally yesterday. We made arrangements before coming to California and were quite excited to be able to meet in person after having spoke two or three times on the phone. It is a gift to be able to share our experiences with others, hopefully helping them meet their very real and understandable fears head on, and develop bonds that hopefully will last long into the future. We have been blessed more than once when a relationship that once started as an information sharing moment blossomed into a long term friendship.
I also was quickly taken back to our own first experience when we adopted Matthew, how many questions we had...how many remained unanswered until that moment when we first held Matthew in our arms. I still shake my head in amazement sometimes that any of us ever take this huge leap of faith and commit to a child and a process that is totally unknown to us.
The fears we have had each time we have adopted are very real, they are not exaggerated, they are not unnecessary. We are forced to make decisions that biological parents are never faced with, and those decisions can at moments be paralyzing. Each time we adopted simply selecting a country to adopt from was tantamount to making a decision that would alter the course of our lives...for we had to somehow trust that in the borders of that country resided the child that was meant for us. Then there are agency decisions, ethnicity and race decisions, region decisions, gender decisions, age decisions...and on and on. How I hate that part of the adoption process!
The trust we need to place in God...or our "higher power"...or our gut instinct is enormous. But if we let that lead us in our decision making, we slowly begin to see how it all falls into place in the proper timing. Letting go of control and surrendering that control to some unseen force is the truest sense of trust we can exhibit...and sure enough, our children will draw us to them...they will eventually become known to us.
I know this all sounds like mamby pamby new age speak, but for us at least, it has proven so true. And it is not something to be easily discarded, this notion that our children are waiting for us. As I see our 3 boys play with one another, I am filled with gratitude that for once in my life, I decided not to "drive the train" and let God do it for us. It really does go against my nature, as my mom and husband would both attest to :-)
Before we left for California this week, I received a message from our girls, as well as photos and drawings, and I am somehow unable to let this go right now. There was some disappointment as things were explained to them and things were not moving as fast as they hoped, there was assurance that they too feel as strongly that they belong to us as we feel we belong to them.
Mostly though, there is longing. Longing to be together, longing that we were not having experiences that they are left out of, deep longing to see all 5 of our children together romping and playing.
And like our new friends we were with yesterday, longing to just be done with all the hard parts. I am not at all envious of our visiting couple or anyone in the beginning phases of adopting, and am happy that at least for us...many of the unknowns are indeed already known to us this time around. But that too creates its own sense of disquiet as well.
The boys loved the flights coming out, and we spent yesterday doing nothing but laying around, watching TV, doing a little shopping, and catching up with our moms. Dominick has not seen his mom in over 2 1/2 years, so it is great for him to be along this time unlike last year. The boys are old enough to remember Grandmas in between visits now, and it was a warm and loving arrival when we walked in the door to see them both. Kenny has changed so much from last year that they were amazed, he is really a very different little boy.
So after a wonderful evening spent yesterday visiting, we are going to have a laid back and relaxing day just hanging out, helping Grandma with some small projects around her house, and getting to bed early for our Disney Adventure tomorrow. We have mapped out the park, making a list of "must see" attractions in an effort to squeeze as much as possible into the day. We have yet to go swimming as it is actually a little cold here...colder than it is in Colorado!
And we will forget these unknowns that are left that still have yet to be confronted, for there is always another day.