Today I read a blog entry by a fellow adoptive momma entitled “Lessons from my son: Adoption is worth the wait”. I knew what would be in this entry before I even read it (well, most of it since we’re not quite finished yet). It was so funny to read phrases in her post that I’ve used over and over again . Waiting – it’s the common thread with adoptive families. No matter if you’re adopting domestically, internationally, from foster care or from an orphanage – even a momma pregnant in her second trimester with her 1st or 3rd child. We’re all subject to waiting.
But with adoption, it looks a bit different. First we wait are “actively waiting”. A time filled with paperwork, preparation and waiting for more paperwork from our agency, doctors, US government, agency again, Ethiopia, etc. all to just be “wait listed”. In Lauren’s perfect words “we were waiting to wait”. As I’m reading all of this, it kicks in hard. ‘Yish! We still have a looootttt of waiting to do’. But as I read further down about how hard it was in different ways for each step – waiting to be wait listed, waiting for a referral, waiting for that first trip – my heart wrenched when she got to the most difficult one: leaving Ethiopia after trip number 1 without your child and waiting on your final court date. You’d think it was hardest waiting for a referral, or waiting for that first trip after seeing their picture. But I agree with her, I think that wait before the 2nd trip will be the most difficult.
You see, the first trip is filled with joy and excitement, introductions, loads of new sights and sounds… and lots of bonding. But it will end on a somber note as we walk out the doors of the orphanage and make our trip back home – with empty arms. You see, in the eyes of the Ethiopian government, we will officially be Effie’s parents with that first trip. But unfortunately, the US Embassy still needs to perform their part of the process. So we go home to wait for our appointment with the US Embassy. We could be waiting only a few weeks or a few months.
But that’s not what this is about. This is about how excited I got just at looking at their homecoming pictures and realizing, that will be us. I will completely forget everything about how hard this process was when I’m standing there for the second time in the orphanage holding her in my arms. She will be ours by Ethiopian AND American standards. None of it will matter when I’m finally holding this little girl who has captured my heart before I’ve even laid eyes on her. That moment, that is what it all comes down to. And just seeing the sheer excitement in my heart seeing someone else’s homecoming pictures tells me one thing: I will be an utter mess between trip one and trip two. Lol. But after trip two, I’m sure I’ll just be beaming…. <3