Things that adoption has taught me (so far):
- Waiting is not my favorite. I mean, duh, right? But this kind of waiting is unlike any other kind I’ve ever experienced because at the end of this wait lies my child, my youngest, my baby. It is very different from a pregnancy wait, too, because there are so many factors out of my control or ability to do anything about. We simply have to trust that the people who are doing all the things we’d rather be doing ourselves are doing them well, and we believe they are. We are so lucky to know that she is very well cared for and well loved and safe, but the process of entrusting someone else with the care of your child is rough.
- Control IS my favorite, and I don’t have any of it. We are currently at the mercy of the Chinese government, then we’ll be at the mercy of the US government, and then it switches back and forth until the end. We’re at the mercy of plane ticket prices, hotel bookings, and other people’s plans. We are dependent on others for advice, direction and “how to’s” on just about everything. I have been so grateful for the people who work at our agency and the people we’ve dealt with in government and the people who have walked this road before me for their advice and patience and reassurances, but I am looking forward to having some sort of solid ground back. But I just realized as I’m typing this that adoptive parenting is, in some ways, a whole new ball game, so I should just resign myself to not knowing anything for a while.
- Fundraising is hard. PLEASE don’t misconstrue that to mean that I am not beside myself with gratitude for all of your contributions. I just mean that I hate asking. I don’t like being the needy one. I am an extremely uncomfortable self promoter. I don’t ask for help well. I am a hard core introvert. I worry that people will get sick of us. I worry that people will make unkind judgments. It’s just a recipe for a lot of discomfort. But we truly could not do it without help, so we’ve asked, which leads me to my next point….
- We have the awesomest people on Earth, ever in the history of the world, period, full stop, do not even try to argue with me, I mean it. I will do a full post about this later on, but just know that we have been truly blown away by how you’ve rallied for us, and how well you’ve loved all of us through this process. People I knew would show up, and people I never expected have lavished us with love and support and good will in way we will never be able to repay. If you want to see me ugly cry (you don’t though, ask Josh), ask me sometime about the things people have done for us this last 8 months. And know that it’s is not only or even mostly, financial support that that we’re talking about. It’s the questions, and the interest and the kind and supportive texts and emails and calls. It’s the people who say “if you need anything, let me know” and mean it. We have such an amazing community supporting us and Jia and we are so thankful.
- Love crosses oceans and doesn’t even need to meet in person to be real. We love Jia. She’s ours and we’re hers and we’re us all together and we haven’t even met yet. That is the craziest, realest, most surprising thing about all of this. It will grow and change and go deeper once we meet, of course, but it’s there and it’s real and it’s not going away. In much the same way that you love your biological children before you meet them in person, we love Jia, and that love gets deeper when you’re in the thick of life together and it’s built on shared experiences and memories and showing up when you’re needed. I can’t wait to get started on that next part.
So, those are a few things I’ve learned so far, and I can’t wait to learn more. This process has been crazy and hard and magical and humbling and achingly beautiful and full of bone deep grief and mind boggling delight. This is adoption, and it’s brutiful (brutal/beautiful).