On Monday everything changed. We’ve officially turned a corner, and today things feel different. For almost three months now, we have been very busy- making appointments, filling out mountains of paperwork, arranging to have things notarized, reading the required adoption books, going to all the various fingerprinting, court, doctor, and notary appointments, getting blood work done, calling all kinds of people we’ve never met in an effort to learn everything we can about international adoption, writing autobiographies of our lives for our home study (affectionately termed “bibliographies” in our house- I don’t know why), taking countless pictures of our family in an attempt to get the required number of up-to-date photos which will be sent to China, ordering birth certificates and our marriage license, and the list goes on.
At first glance, it seems overwhelming. But Steve and I are planners. We like to plan out exactly how we are going to do things. We love schedules and making lists, and we’ve have been steadily moving along on our list of things to do, understanding that the process will be a lengthy one. In all the busy work we’ve been doing, we’ve known that having a child in our arms is a long way off. And when I have to wait a long time for something that I am very excited or emotional about, I tend to set it aside in my heart. I focus my attention on the task at hand; it’s just easier for me that way. Thinking about all the children in orphanages around the world is just overwhelming. And bringing it closer to home, thinking about my child- the one I will love as my own flesh and blood- waiting for me in an orphanage is almost too much. I don’t know exactly where he/she is, if someone comforts her/him when he/she cries, whether he’s/she’s healthy or not, what kind of special need we will be privileged to care for… we don’t know anything at this point. All we know is that God has a child that He created for us, to be a part of our family. So I have set all these feelings and emotions and thoughts aside (kind of) and focused on all the busy work that must be done.
But on Monday afternoon, this all changed. We had a conference call with our family coordinator at America World (our adoption agency), and afterward we were accepted into the Waiting Child Program (the program for families who are adopting children with special needs). For those of you who don’t know, we are asking for a child with a minor correctable special need, such as a cleft lip or palate. Now, usually families will not be matched with a child until their dossier (the HUGE packet of papers that are notarized, certified, and then authenticated) is logged in in China. But families CAN be matched with a child as soon as they are accepted into the Waiting Child Program. It’s not likely, but it’s possible. Our dossier is close to being ready to send to China. But we’re not quite there yet. We probably won’t be matched for a while, so I didn’t think the conference call would be a big deal. But somehow, it was. It signaled to me that we have entered a different stage of our adoption journey. We COULD get matched with a child today. Probably not, but the possibility is there. I can’t put my thoughts and emotions to the side anymore. We’re actually going to get a child! At the end of all this craziness is another member of our family. I am so excited! I can’t stop thinking about it and I don’t want to.