I bet all of you didn’t know I had magical powers, but look! I just disappeared off the face of the blogosphere for a month and {wham!} I’m back now. Just. Like. Magic. I really think I missed my calling, I should have gone to Hogwarts. Clearly.

All joking aside… I’m sorry for disappearing on you hive. If I left you hanging with my last post, I apologize. I really did have the best intentions of blogging, and then reality sunk in. And that reality involved meeting my [second] son on not much sleep, parenting a jet lagged five-year-old in a country that was not my own (and where I was clearly the outsider), trying to absorb and record as much as I could of a culture that lives in my heart, court dates… the list goes on, but I think you get the picture. Then we came home, and battled jet lag all over again with a chaser of illnesses for all. And then the reality really and truly sunk in.

I had just returned home. Without one of my kids.

I know, I know… that was always a part of the “new process” … you go over, you meet your child, you go to court, you come home. Then you wait out the court case “conclusion” process, and go back. But… knowing that and living that… Oh my. Two completely different things. Two completely different universes, if you will. In theory, it sounded really hard but completely doable. In reality, not so much. In theory, I was going to get. stuff. done. I was going to toddler proof and prep. I was going to finish Pint-Size’s room. I was going to stock the freezer. In reality, it’s just really, really hard to live your life when you left half your heart, half your mind, and half your soul in a country halfway around the world.

It’s so hard to explain how I feel right now. And maybe that’s why no one else has tackled it… and why it kind of blind-sided me. I wake up thinking about both my boys and I go to sleep thinking about both my boys… but currently I only parent one boy. And that’s pretty hard stuff. I want to look in the rearview mirror and see two faces looking back. I want to clean two sets of robot dishes every night. I want double the bedtime stories, double the tuck-ins, double the hugs and kisses goodnight. Maybe that’s greedy of me, but it’s what I want. (I’ll even take double the mess, double the laundry, and double the sleepless nights in exchange!)

I’ve held my younger son’s hand in mine, I’ve felt the weight of him in my arms, and I’ve had the pressure of his lips against my cheek. I’ve seen him smile and I’ve heard him laugh. I got to cuddle him and play with him and love on him. And then I had to say goodbye. Or actually, “see you again soon,” which seems a lot more appropriate for a beginning of the next chapter of our lives.

As a gal who always tells myself (and anyone who will listen), “I am stronger than this,” (whatever “this” may be) it was hard to accept that maybe… just maybe… I’m not strong enough for this. This wait. This period of limbo. This time in my life where a part of my heart and part of my soul are all on the line. A fellow adoptive parent said to me, “I think the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was the wait between two trips. It’s such a surreal position… one foot in your old life and one in the new.” I couldn’t agree more… our lives have been forever altered, but where we all reside now is not how our lives will look in a month or two. We’re a family of four, but missing one of our members. We can’t go back to how life was, because there’s room for one special person in our minds, our hearts, our home. But yet, he’s not here. And the absence is as obvious as if one of the tires on our car was missing, or one of the walls of our home.

There’s always been emotional and financial investments in the process, but once you meet your child and your child is more than words and images on paper, those investments become so. much. more. valuable. Throughout the process, it’s possible to hold yourself back, to keep it all an arm’s length away. Until you meet your child that is, and then all bets are off. You are 100% in this thing. And—at the same time—you are at the part of the process where you have no control over anything. You can hope, you can wish, you can pray… but you cannot influence it. It’s not in your power to control. You just sit. And wait. And hope. (None of which I do well at!) But here I am, sitting and waiting… wishing and hoping.

I think that Tom Petty said it best when he sang, “The waiting is the hardest part ; Every day you get one more yard ; You take it on faith, you take it to the heart; The waiting is the hardest part.” (It should be noted that this song also includes the lyrics “Oh, don’t let it kill you, baby, don’t let it get to you,” which also hits quite close to home these days.) Because—honestly—the waiting is the hardest part. And in a process that’s nothing but waiting—waiting to finish your home study, waiting for referral, waiting for travel, not once but twice—it can take a toll. And when you get to the point where you literally know who you are doing this all for, well… then the waiting is not only hard, but it’s excruciatingly painful.

At some point, this will all be a distant memory… I cannot wait for that time to become my “this.”

*   *   *

One last note: I know that some of you may be wondering, “What Next?” Unfortunately, we’ve hit some unexpected bumps in this part of the road. We’re not sure what’s next exactly… which makes this wait that much more painful. (And a big part of why I have been in hibernation the past few weeks.) I appreciate all of you who take the time to read what I write… and I promise to share what I can, when I can. And believe me, I hope that’s sooner rather than later! 

Baby Paintbrush’s Adoption Journey part 12 of 14

1. Just when you least expect it... by Mrs. Paintbrush
2. Winning the {photo} lottery by Mrs. Paintbrush
3. Packing it all in... by Mrs. Paintbrush
4. One by Mrs. Paintbrush
5. The Birthday Box by Mrs. Paintbrush
6. Mile 18 by Mrs. Paintbrush
7. Making a list, and checking it twice... by Mrs. Paintbrush
8. 163 Words by Mrs. Paintbrush
9. Tis' the Season... by Mrs. Paintbrush
10. We're leaving on a jet plane... by Mrs. Paintbrush
11. Christmas Care Package by Mrs. Paintbrush
12. The Waiting is the Hardest Part... by Mrs. Paintbrush
13. It's "go" time! by Mrs. Paintbrush
14. Finally Four by Mrs. Paintbrush