All have answers.
In order they could be reciprocally answered by further questioning...
- Will we ever be ready?
- The lists are long...but fortunately many to dos now proceed many ticked boxes which once were empty.
- I am numb. That's how I can stand it.
If we had been given several months' notice of our court date, I still don't know if we'd ever be ready. I actually don't think I can quantify such a subjective answer. I am thankful for the month's only notice.
Are our bags packed? Heck no, they aren't even up from the basement yet. Are the orphanage (non-financial) donations ready? Um nope...verbally we've been gifted much but it's not here yet. Do we have tickets, vaccinations, documents proving the reason for our destination, immigration forms to be passed along, contact numbers while in Addis? Yes.
Are our hearts prepared for all we will see, hear, smell, touch, witness? I truly don't think we can prepare ourselves for all of that. Thoughts of the sights to which we will undoubtedly bear witness, breaks my heart. The thoughts alone have changed me. I can only imagine the effects of our first hand reality of it. I've been there before - Africa that is, not Ethiopia. But the purpose was different. I was different, (fourteen years different in fact).
The question "why", often wriggles it's way into my insides.
Why must such poverty exist? Deep down I feel I know some of the reasons, both tangibly and spiritually.
Why her? This question will be answered as our little family evolves and grows to know our daughter and experience her perfect fit into our family. Certainly it will take years to fully comprehend the magnificence of this plan. She will no doubt change us all, each uniquely so. We will never be ready for all that is about to occur. What we can do is pray and seek to allow everything to change us, to grow us, to make us better, to make us more aware, to break us, even.
I can stand it because I am numb.
I am numb from over three years of waiting and feeling at the brink of giving up during some seasons. I am numb because I am still in awe at the grace shown to us, that we may have this gift of a precious life. I am numb at the surreality of the fact that we leave in less (!) than two weeks and the fact that we'll be heading east about as far as we can without just going the other way. This is still too overwhelming to truly wrap my head around. I am numb because one day (soon) those diapers downstairs, that seat in the car (which still requires an actual carseat!), those clothes in the closet, the high chair in the basement, the soft toys and blankets and crib, they will all actually be in use. That is something, a concept, with which I struggle daily. I am numb.
And I know when this numbness gives way to feeling, reality, pure and raw emotional understanding, I will be forever different. Some of the walls will come down. Some of the guards removed.
I will touch her (this is when I believe the numb will begin to dissipate).
I will whisper to her.
I will look in her eyes - locking her gaze with mine.
We will study each other until she knows, I Am Her Mama.
And the only reason she is not with her Birth Mama is because she was so very loved.