And, while it's uncommon for adoption (ah hem: our adoption) not to be on my brain, I have been giving it a bit more mental energy rather than emotional, lately. As an aside, I would like to say that while being female rocks most of the time, there are the infinite moments each day when I wish I didn't have the "spaghetti" brain but rather the "blocks" brain. To compartmentalize and focus on but one or two things at a time would be bliss. But no, I'm stuck with synapses that are constantly firing on what seems like all cylinders - and all at once. Always. It must look like the Canada Day fireworks at Kits Beach or something.
Progressing and digesting our current state of affairs mentally, coupled with the meltdown - which I think I should clarify: was initiated by absolutely nothing - but thank you for your heartfelt emails...I seriously have the kindest most genuinely caring and prayerful friends near and far - has brought about some interesting (very logical) conclusions. The singleton trends report which was sent to waiting families a couple of weeks ago likely also impacted my train of thought.
When we started our journey in, say it with me: March 2008, the Ethiopia program was new-ish. It was quick. It was relatively straight forward. It was what a Mama-in-waiting could hope for. Short waits. Young babes. (Relatively) healthy. Smooth process. No big red flags. Growing support groups. Ethiopian (adoptive) communities popping up all over the map. Successful by most definitions thus far. No, not perfect - successful nonetheless.
Fast forward through many months of waiting, followed by one gut-wrenching bankruptcy, continue along through a seemingly lengthy (though not really) restructuring process, followed by several referrals and then all sorts of "stuff" hitting the fan.
And while from one month to the next, it seems that if it's not one problem it's another...
- regional bans
- a contracted orphanage not referring children but being supported hugely financially
- federal courts requiring a court appearance by APs, therefore imposing a second trip policy
- immigration scrutiny and investigations
- more referral slowdowns
(Yes, I feel the et cetera deserves a bullet all on it's own.)
...I am coming to realize something that perhaps most if not at least many of you have already come to realize that in it's most pure and raw form
This. Is. International. Adoption.
"It's not for the faint of heart"
"It's a tough journey"
"There are neither certainties nor guarantees...and there are so many unknowns"
"You never know how long it could take"
"Expect the unexpected"
If I had a nickel for every time I'd been fed one of the above lines...well, I'd likely have enough for at least two court trip return flights.
I digress. Again.
I am realizing - and it's an ongoing, day-to-day, often uphill journey and battle - that this is now the Ethiopia program. It is as 100% "international adoption" as it gets. Some struggles are harder, some easier but this is what "not being faint of heart" looks like from one moment to the next. Painful yet worth it. Heart-wrenchingly uncontrollable though life-changingly sweet.
This is the journey into which we are now needing to morph our current paradigms. Like it or not, the reality is that we're in the land of true international adoption, where the only certainty is uncertainty and the only constant is likely to be change.
And to stick it out, to make it to the goal, to complete our family, and realize the wait will be worth it a million times over, we - I - need to accept the reality of the Ethiopia program and all that it now entails. Not in our time but in the right time. And, we will make it.
We will hold our child and she will be ours.
And grasping all this, digesting it mentally instead of having it continue to gurgle in the pit of emotion, somehow makes it slightly less painful a pill to swallow from one day to the next.
I am certain though that before that reality of holding her is upon us, there will be more ups and certainly more downs...and I guess at the end of the day, I need to realize those are the realities of what will make this journey so very sweet.