I find it difficult to write about the stage we're in. So close, yet I still find it hard to believe - daily, I find it hard to believe - that I won't wake up from a dream at any given second.
That in itself could sound unbelievable but after 3 1/2 years of waiting and hoping and praying, and yet still not holding her in my arms, it truly is very hard to come to grips with the fact that half a world away, lying in a tiny red crib, likely sucking on her thumb is a little girl who boasts our last name.
It's hard to fathom the fact that the carseat sitting in it's box in our garage was purchased (by yours truly) for a specific person: whose clothes are upstairs, whose bottles are eagerly awaiting her use (is it technically okay to personify a bottle?), whose blankets will all be used very soon, for whom I have "buy wipes!" on my shopping list and also for whom I purchased organic baby cereal the other day.
Reminders that this actually is happening include reading and re-reading her birth certificate and then clicking on her passport icon on my screen to stare at the most recent photo of our child.
At any given moment in the day, I can be seen running my hands over top of the reminder given to me just before leaving for court - and which I wear each day.
When I flip it over - to make sure I am in fact not dreaming - I see her name and know, find simple but concrete reassurance that this is all happening. We are nearly as close as a family can get to completing their adoption without actually having her on a hip or in a sling. I can envision our first skin-to-skin moment realistically enough that my eyes well with tears because of the sheer and overwhelming joy that moment will contain.
We have a six year old obsessed with the time of day. And, at any given moment he will ask what time it is, followed thereafter by the question of how long until our next...activity/meal/departure/arrival, and the list continues. Frequently however, the question "what time is it?" is followed by "what time does that make it in Ethiopia?"...and then "so what do you think Makeda is doing now?".
That makes it real.
As we pick berries - oh the berries! - the comments revolving around how much we need to pick for Makeda and how much Makeda will love all the berries and how old does Makeda need to be until she can have these berries - they are incessant. And I love them. My patience never thins with questions and comments like these.
I love the faith and confidence these boys have. Never waning. Knowing, not all the details but, enough to know the twinkle in our eye becomes brighter and more hopeful with each passing day. The(ir) prayers more bold at bedtime, the talk more prevalent.
Her arrival is just around the corner.
So here we wait...for a DHL tracking number as our documents make their way to the High Commission in Nairobi for processing...or perhaps simply an email telling us they are there.
Who knows. Who cares. We are so close!
And yet I still find it all so surreal.
(Please pray for the most speedy, lighting fast, visa in the history of visas. Thanks.)