I think that growing your family—in any way—can be joyful, tumultuous, exhilarating, stressful, breath-taking, and nerve-wracking. I don’t think that any of you would be surprised if I said “International adoption can be really difficult.”
Each and every one of us could probably say that about our journey to, and through, parenthood. While at times this adoption journey is a breeze… there are days and weeks where I wonder “how do people do this???” And considering I’ve already done it once, well… that’s saying something. Granted, that “something” may be that I’m more tired… less patient… any myriad of things. (Just ask my husband, I’m sure he could offer up several hypothesis!) Maybe it’s like childbirth and you can’t really remember “the last time” when you are back at the same spot. Or maybe it’s true that a lack of sleep dulls certain memories. Considering that I can barely remember my pre-kid self most days, a part of me wonders if it was really this hard last time, but I just don’t remember.
Yet at the same time, this process has always been different. It’s more involved. It’s longer. It’s a lot of things, but what it’s not is a repeat of the first process. I haven’t been able to pinpoint why exactly. Is it one big thing? Is it just a bunch of little things? Trust me… the last time we went through the adoption process, it was no walk in the park. There was a lot waiting, there were lots of hurdles to clear. We knew all this going in though. So I sit here, kind of confused about why I’m struggling. And then it hit me… this process requires a lot more faith [in the system(s)].
Faith is not my strong suit. Especially not when it involves multiple governments, half a dozen government agencies, and more people than I have fingers and toes to count on. In part, I blame my lack of faith on my Type-A personality. And in part, I think it’s due to being involved in a process that is currently undergoing a lot changes. Whatever it is… I’m struggling to find my faith here. And—surprise, surprise—the farther we get into this process, the longer we wait, the harder it has been for me to keep the little faith I have. Where there should be anticipation and joy, there are nerves and uncertainty.
So instead of sitting here—waiting to hear the latest on the changes in the program—I’ve been working on finding my faith. (And by “waiting to hear the latest on the changes in the program,” I mean obsessively trolling boards and forums for new rumors and updates.) I’ve done little things: I have the Korean word for “Faith” on a post-it note on my desk, I have bookmarked Korean tourism sites on my computer, I’m working on learning more Korean. But I’ve also done great big things, signifying a leap of faith I didn’t really know I had: My husband and I have combined our offices to free up a bedroom, I’ve come up with an inspiration board for the little one’s new bedroom, I’ve even purchased fabric for the bedding. That’s probably been the biggest leap of faith for me. I craft from the heart, so to actually sit down and plan out a quilt and pick the fabrics for a child I don’t know yet… Well, that’s my equivalent of wearing my heart on my sleeve.
If you know me personally, I’ve been pretty vocal about my feelings about this process. And they haven’t been the nicest, or the most faithful, at times. There’s been stress and worry (especially of late) mixed in with the excitement and anticipation. But at the end of the day… I’ve purchased fabric and come up with a plan for the room. So, whether I admit it or not… I am finding my faith in this process. Faith that we will have a child at the end of it. Faith that it all will work out. Slowly, I’m finding my faith in the systems. And it all started by buying some fabric.
Each time I let the fears of the unknown creep in, each time the “what ifs” outweigh the “whens,” each time the worries seem to much to overcome… I pick myself up and do something productive and crafty in that now empty bedroom. I repair holes. I measure walls. I plot out the quilt design on the floor. Who knows… maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll not only have found my faith… but also have a renewed sense of anticipation and joy.