I think I’ve subconsciously been avoiding blogging about the adoption, because there is nothing to report. No fundraisers, no paperwork completion, nothing but WAITING. Waiting for the last week in June. Our lives seem to run at breakneck speed (except in the afternoons on weekdays, when I feel like time stands still to drive me bonkers), and I always think it will distract me from my anxious waiting, yet I still am marking the weeks until June. My waiting mama friend Jenn blogged today, and it inspired me to do the same. She wrote about how we imagine our baby, what they are doing, how old they are, what milestones they are learning, who is loving on them and are they loving on them enough?! I’m glad we’ve kept the crib up in Sydney’s room, b/c it’s a constant reminder that it WILL be used again. We’ve also entered into the time when I’m pretty sure Peanut will be home by this time next year, so I’m saying things like: “Next Easter we’ll be a family of five and I’ll buy everyone matching outfits!” or “This is my last Mother’s Day with only 2 kids in our house!”
There are little things I do to make the wait less painful. I read other blogs of people who have traveled to get their kiddos. I learn silly elephant songs. I use my precious spending money to buy books for us to practice Thai and a baby book specifically for adopted children. I find other exciting book ideas (Good Night Moon is our FAVORITE!), but need to wait a while before spending more money! I get such horrible food poisoning that I don’t have any coherent thoughts for 2 days. And I try to read adoption books too.
The most recent book I read was Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best. It was a good one and covered a wide-range of topics relating to adopting a child between 12-36 months. The author pointed out something that should be obvious, but is not always: a child adopted as a toddler has different needs than a child adopted as an infant or an older child. They are old enough to understand that something seems VERY wrong, but not old enough to comprehend any explanation given them, or to verbalize their fears and anxieties. Hopkins-Best interviewed over 200 families who had adopted toddlers and examined their “satisfaction” with the adoption process. “There was a strong relationship between how satisfied parents were with their adoption and how realistic their expectations were regarding the child’s needs and behaviors.” The rest of the book goes on to work through those realistic expectations and it was at times sobering, encouraging and informative. I think as naive pre-adoptive parents, we’re convinced that since we will love all of our children equally, that we’ll be able to parent them equally. When in fact, we don’t parent our bio children in the same way, so we’ll definitely need to be flexible and prepared to parent our child with unique needs and hurts.
But I definitely cannot escape the emotional drain of a “2 year pregnancy.” I’m sorting through baby clothes, weeping over my oldest’s lost infancy, and realizing that I’m currently missing my youngest’s infancy. It stings, and I think that sting will only get stronger when I KNOW his/her face and can’t hop on a plane and hold them immediately. I stumbled on a verse a couple weeks ago that I’m clinging too. It is Psalm 27:14, and we now have it written in our dining room.
“Wait on the Lord. Be strong and take heart. And wait on the Lord.”
So right now? That’s my plan.