I believe there are certain points in your life you can never be prepared for. I’ve lived the better part of my adult life being prepared. My profession exponentially fine tuned that existing characteristic in me where I like to feel some semblance of control in even the most uncontrollable of moments.
This adoption journey has taught me plenty of things about myself. For one thing, I’ve become a patient person. I’m sure John would argue that point, but I have come a long way! I have appreciation now for how long things take and even enjoy those lulls because everything, even days like today that are slow, are part of the journey. In case you were wondering, today was one of those rainy grey days that just drags on forever. I sorted out thank you cards for all of our virtual “baby shower” gifts. Then I put my interior designer cap on and tried to map out the remaining furniture we need in the girls’ room.
Whenever I set foot in that room, no matter what I’m trying to accomplish in there, I inevitably get side tracked and find myself just gazing at the cribs thinking they’re going to live here. Then I mull through their clothes, books, Jellycat bunnies and get super emo. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Another thing I’ve come to truly understand is no one is prepared for parenthood. Before we hopped on the plane, I’d already spent hours looking at the girls’ pictures trying to memorize every little detail about each of the identical faces staring back at me, reading through parenting books and adoption research papers, and hyper observing the parenting style of my sister and brother in law. None of it counted for much when we met them.
It was truly a surreal experience to meet two little people who are 95% your daughters after seeing a handful of pictures every now and again for the last 8 months. I imagine this must be what it’s like to carry your baby for 9 months and suddenly there he/she is in your arms. How the heck did you even get here?! How am I even a parent right now??
I anticipated some hesitation since we’re perfect strangers. Thankfully, we bought some of those lightly sweetened rice roller crackers at a convenience store prior to our first meeting. Those little sweeties were on us immediately when they heard the crinkling of the wrappers. Once snacks were out of the way, they played the curiosity game where they sized us up nearby for a few moments before retreating to their foster mom.
We earned (yes, earned) some laughs over the course of our three one hour visits. And what a relief it was! I know it’s going to be an emotional transition for them and a lot of very consistent work on our parts, but I’m hopeful.
Since we’ve been back, we celebrated Thanksgiving and obviously had a lot to be thankful for. Everyday since our return, we rush to our email every morning, waiting for that final email to come through. I’m crossing every part of my body that we can bring them home before the new year. In the meantime, I’ll mail out thank you cards and put finishing touches on my lofty gallery wall.