Pleasant Surprise

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We got an email from our agency a few days ago that had lots of routine information and also the news that something extremely rare and unusual had taken place–a single referral outside of the quarterly groups. It happened in January. Which means that we have moved from #6 to #5 on the waiting list! I emailed with our wonderful rep at the agency and she said we need to “be mentally and emotionally prepared” for a possible referral in March. She said in her opinion it is an equal chance of THE CALL coming in March or June. Yeah, thanks. Now I’ll REALLY have a hard time not getting my hopes up!
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But speaking of hopes and wait lists and excitement, I did a lot of thinking after reading THIS POST by a friend of mine, who has been home with their adopted son for 6 months. At first I felt very defensive, as she talked about waiting families happily moving up the list (as we are very publicly doing) and that she felt conflicting emotions at their giddiness, almost like they were only seeing the story through their own (adoptive parent) lense. But once I read through the post again with less-defensive eyes, read her response to my comment and thought more about what she was saying I came to this conclusion. Excitement for our referral, which is a step towards bringing home our child, is expected and desired. We SO STRONGLY believe that this is God’s will for our family and for our future child and we are as excited as you can imagine to begin our life with him or her! We can’t contain it! However, as adoptive parents striving to learn and grow as we go, the joy is tempered with the somber reality of the tragedy that necessitates the adoption in the first place. Somewhere in Thailand, a young woman has made the unimaginably painful decision to plan for her child to be adopted into another family. I will never know her, but will never doubt that she will grieve throughout her life. Our child was separated from his birth mother, possibly birth parents. He (or she) will then be taken abruptly from the culture, language and only family he’s ever known. He will be grieving and will always have this loss at the foundation of his adoption story. We need to be prepared for a difficult road as we love our child and honor his grief, while happily welcoming him into this forever family.
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So, I will continue to shout out our move up the waiting list until we have news for you. We won’t dial down the excitement! But we will also continue to educate ourselves and attempt to have an empathetic view through the lense of the other people in the adoption triad. And you better believe I won’t be caught dead without my cell phone for the entire month of March.