People often compare the adoption process to a roller coaster ride. Your highest highs, and your lowest lows… and once you are on the ride, you relinquish all control. (As a Type-A , control freak personality that was very, very hard for me! I should also point out that I don’t like real-life roller coasters either.) I’m sure that the journey to parenthood feels like this for many, but for adoptive parents, there is a lot more uncertainty. There’s a whole lot of paperwork, a lot of unknown timing, and a whole lot of surprises. The best surprise obviously being getting “THE call.” The call that tells you that you are parents. There is absolutely nothing like that call, and the anticipation I feel for it is similar to a child waiting for Christmas or their birthday. Or maybe both rolled into one. But before that call, it really does feel like a roller coaster ride. There’s a quote I stumbled upon online several years ago. It was part of a “sample Maid of Honor” toast, but it really spoke to me.
“As you sit side by side through this roller coaster of life, remember to scream from the peaks, hold hands through the dips, laugh through the loop-de-loops, and enjoy every twist and turn.” - original source unknown
This journey in particular has felt very much like a roller coaster to me. We’re navigating through new twists and turns with the paperwork, upside down loops that have my stomach in my throat, and some unexpected delays at the top of the hills before we plummet down hands in the air screaming with joy.
A couple days ago, one of the more reputable blogs that follows the process in Korea posted that they didn’t believe the remaining 10% of children that were slated to come home this year were going to complete the new legal process. In other words, they might not be home this year as expected. And just like that, I felt that I was hanging upside down, stomach in my throat. My first thought was “those poor families!” Waiting for a referral is hard stuff… but waiting for the travel call?! So. Much. Harder. And to have to go through the holidays when your child, and your heart, is halfway across the world? Unimaginable.
But there is also the selfish part of me who is screaming on the inside “COME ON! Let’s get this coaster started again!” It seems that our agency won’t start sending out new referrals until the current referrals are home with their families. And while I understand that, it’s still hard to process and accept at times. While we’re not at the top of “the list” for a referral, this Mama just needs to know there is some movement.
Why the delays?! Korea passed new laws in August that affects how the International Adoption process works over there. It’s not really clear how it’s going to work moving forward. (And quite honestly, I’m not sure *anyone* knows.) These 10% of children were the ones that were going to “test” the new process. (Not a position I envy, for sure.) When the new laws went into effect, all movement stopped. The program has essentially been on hold while Korea navigates these new laws. So for months now, I kind of feel like I’ve been at the top of a peak, waiting for that drop of excitement when the referrals start rolling. And in a blink of an eye—or a blog post—I feel like I’m suspended upside down, stomach in my throat… and even worse, it feels like we’re stuck. And I worry, “Is this ride broken?!”
I know it’s just a moment of insecurity. A moment where the worries in my head seem so much larger because I have no insight, no certainty. I know it will all work out perfectly in the end. I know that I’ll laugh about feeling this way in the future. I know that right now the twists and turns are getting to me… but before I know it, I’ll be screaming from the peaks, and laughing through the loop-de-loops.
Most importantly, I know that every single moment of this roller coaster is worth it. Because when that phone rings, when I read the referral report, and when I see that face… You better believe I’ll be screaming from the highest point on the ride “Theeerrrreeeee Yyyoooouuuuuu Aaaaarrrrreeeee!!!!!”
In the meantime though, I’m going to hope that someone knows how to get this coaster rolling again.