Thursday, February 05, 2009
Yesterday morning was not one of my more stellar moments in life. It was not lousy, it was not awful, it was just another in a long string of little set backs. This time, however, for the first time in 11 years of adoption paperwork I let my frustration get the better of me. I am TIRED of it. As of this very moment I have an email from Josh's agency needing a post-placement report, an email from Kenny's needing a copy of his Kyrgyz passport for some reason or another, and 3 emails from our current agency with translations attached for some of the documents we are redoing. I am trying to fast and furiously re-gather documents, re-notarize, re-apostille several documents that are about to expire so our dossier can be submitted. I am feeling "hemmed in" with documents I must complete and forward, and I can't even begin to imagine the post-placement nightmare once we have 5 to kepe track of. It is no one's fault, there is no one to blame, but things are just moving slowly. During a conversation yesterday I learned that we will likely have to wait another month to get our dossier submitted to the embassy because someone else is done before us and theirs will go first, which is as it should be.
And much to my chagrin and embarassment, I kind of lost my cool. Don't get me wrong, I didn't yell, I didn't use foul language, I didn't "go postal". I just got discouraged and frustrated and even though I explained I knew it wasn't Leonette's fault (our coordinator) I kind of let her bear the brunt of my frustration. Not proud of it, and usually I am more level headed (and I really didn't get that bad) than this, but learning we now are likely to be traveling in later summer just kind of pushed me over some sort of symbolic edge.
I spent the entire morning in a Nasty Rat Girl mood, and for once I let myself vent with a vengeance after I got off the phone. I complained, ranted, raved, acted like a peeved little child. 3 adoptions and not once have I ever reacted this way, I have always been pretty laid back about the paperwork part of the process. After all, what's the big deal if we have to redo something? It's not the end of the world, right? But I gave myself permission yesterday to be as angry and disgusted as I really felt inside. I gave in to it all. You know what?
It felt gooooooood.
For about 4 hours that is. Then I realized that this feeling was definitely not preferable to the more peaceful and accepting approach, that I was only feeling more and more uptight. The quick hit of the Ranting Drug was good for a short time, but it wore off only to be replaced by a desire to just let go of the control and turn it over to God to figure it out.
On my long drive home I tried to see the bright side, as that is actually the place where my heart usually lives..."Sunnyville" is a far more appropriate place to be than "Prickly Valley". Because of the delay we were able to confidently schedule Kenny's first surgery at Shriners for May 7th, knowing we will likely not conflict with any adoption travel. It will give us time to try and earn a few extra bucks to put aside to cover Dominick's off time while gone as he doesn't exactly get a paid vacation. It will let the kids be there for the last day of school, which they had been a little bummed about missing. Traveling later will mean we won't have to take heavy winter coats for 5 of us. It also means that I will have plenty of "nesting" time around the house and I can already hear Dominick's groan of dismay over that one as that always means a lot of projects. If we had traveled as I had hoped right after ski season I would have not had the luxury of cleaning out every cupboard and reorganizing my cans of soup...hahahaha! Seriously though, that nesting period has always been important to me, so that will be kind of nice I guess.
So after a few hours of discontent I came to a place of acceptance, which actually means I didn't tell God to sit on the back burner anymore so I could throw a minor internal temper tantrum. When I was all done He was glad, and so was I.
And yet still there is that other little voice crying out inside my head "But they are growing older by the minute! You are missing even more time!! Longer institutionalization means harder hearts...". Since I can't change it I have decided to tell that voice to shut up for awhile. I may allow it to revisit every so often but it needs to take a back seat so Pollyanna's voice can step forward for my own sanity's sake.
I also realized that even though this is just a typical adoption delay and not at all indicative of something not happening, I am suddenly finding it extremely hard to look at their picture on the fridge. I know it has changed a lot, they are older and it hurts to think of the times we have missed already. I am forcing myself to talk to others about it when politely asked about plans or schedules, but I am finding I really just want to ignore it all and that is a new emotion creeping in. It gets harder and harder when it has taken so long and people ask "So, are you still getting your girls?". It gets a little embarassing to continue to tell people "I have no idea what we are doing in the next 2 months...4 months...6 months" and it drags on and on. We registered the boys for summer camp which is in early July, and I had to ask if we could get a return of our deposit because we might...could be...maybe gone then...or then again, maybe not.
Actually, you know what best decribes what this feels like? It is like living with a possible miscarriage for 2 years.
But as always, God has this way of reaching out to us through others, touching our shoulder and saying "I know it's hard, I am with you. Don't worry." I ran into a teacher friend yesterday afternoon whom I love dearly and she and I chatted in the hall at her school for quite awhile about nothing adoption related, but for some reason it warmed me. I have a cyber buddy trying to chase me down via email and phone all for the purpose of just saying "Hang in there, I'm here if you need to talk." I went to choir practice last night which always-always-always speaks to my heart in the most moving and incredible ways. And when I walked in the door last night, there were three of the most wonderful, freshly bathed, newly haircut boys there all scrambling to give me a hug and make me feel loved. I wish every person in the world could experience coming home to that kind of warmth waiting for them just beyond the closed door. Matthew told me "Mommy, we missed you! We haven't seen you much for two evenings! I don't like it when that happens, it feels weird.". I agree.
I think my head is back on straight, at least for awhile. I spent this morning listening to Jackson Browne on my drive which is some of the most emotive and best written music on the planet. For some it is also depressing, for me it is just the most articulate and well spun lyrics which speak to my life. A song of his struck me suddenly as I was singing along by rote memory to a tune I have heard replayed at least 5,000 times, a portion of the lyrics are below:
Fountain of Sorrow
Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer
I was taken by a photograph of you
There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more
But they didn't show your spirit quite as true
You were turning 'round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by surprise
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes
Yea, maybe that is what I am feeling right now with that picture on the fridge...
and later on what I hope to see:
Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You've had to struggle, you've had to fight
To keep understanding and compassion in sight
You could be laughing at me, you've got the right
But you go on smiling so clear and so bright
Awww heck, it's all feelin' groovy.