There is so much about this process that is fast.... getting documents together, running to the post office, running to the notary (three times after 9pm for us over the course of this so far!) and hurrying to raise a ton of money.
But the largest percentage of time is waiting.
We waited for our home study
We waited for our fingerprints
We waited for our USCIS approval
We waited for our dossier to make it to Ukraine
We are now waiting for our approval, so that we can turn around and wait for our travel date.
So, while we wait. We pray. We prepare a pink room for a beautiful girl. We raise money (only about $8,500 to go!). We try to build a relationship via text message, facebook chat, and rough phone conversations.
The other thing we are doing is trying to prepare ourselves (and anyone else who cares and will listen) for the reality. For, you see, adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is how we are moved from sin into the family of God. It is the picture of salvation. But do you know who needs to be saved? Lost people. People who cannot help themselves. People who are without hope and in need of saving.... those are the people who are adopted into God's family.
Adoption, similarly, while beautiful, represents some of the most painful portions of life. Adoption never happens without first having severe pain.
I am reading a book now that will hopefully help us be able to help Lena process the unfathomable pain that happened at some point in her history. I am constantly on blogs, articles, FB pages. I have said before that we may never know her full story, and the story may come out in parts but whatever it is, I want to be sure that we are as prepared as possible to assist her in processing it. The grief of losing a mother - whether through adoption or death - must be addressed. The love of our family cannot fully be understood or even accepted until she is able to process her past - and that may take a lifetime. I read that to say to an adoptee something like "You are so lucky" is similar to saying to an amputee "You are so lucky to have that prosthetic leg" They my want to respond with "yes, that is a good thing... ya know what would have been awesome? Keeping my leg to begin with!" And, while I realize that many people mean this in a very good way, it can be interpreted to the adoptee very complex.
There are multiple locations and information sites that I can help you find if you are interested in helping your family be prepared for our family's adoption, or another adoptive family. Just comment.
There are days that my tears just seem on the edge of overflow. Today is one of those. I am a simple basket of emotions and just really want to hold her, hug her, tell her that I love her and promise that we will be there for her forever. Knowing that she has homework and someone else is helping her, that she may cry and someone else is comforting, she may be cold and someone else has to give her clothes or blankets to keep warm. We understand that she is in an excellent orphanage.... but you know what an orphanage is not? It is not home. I am ready to bring her home. I am 15 weeks into this process and I am ready to go get my daughter and her princess smile, her awesome sense of humor, her conviction about what is right and her strong opinions. I am ready to learn her language and have Josiah and Lydia teaching her English. I am ready for complicated conversations, charades for primary communication and the whole world being a giant game of Taboo. I am ready for emotions, questions, laughter, dinners, and games. I am ready to be outnumbered children/adults in my home and have them all using language skills that confuse me and Ronnie. I am ready for her to have friends here that love her, along with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Not that I am ready to replace her heritage, but I am ready for her to add to that heritage. We do not want to remove any part of her history that she wants to keep.... we just want to give her some new promises of hope!