It’s been 53 days. We’ve been waiting 53 days for China to approve us to adopt Peter. This approval is referred to as the RA (referral acceptance) or LOA (letter of acceptance). The wait for the RA is completely unpredictable and spans anywhere from 30-120 days. Two families can begin the wait at the same time, and one family can receive the acceptance in 30 days, while the other family waits 120 days. Why? No one seems to know. That’s just the way it is.
At the beginning of our wait, we were just so excited. After months of paperwork and appointments, we had finally been matched with Peter. At last, we knew who our little boy was, and I was so excited about the huge love that had swept over me. We were thrilled with the wealth of pictures we had received (seven of them), and were excited and optimistic about beginning the RA wait. But sometime in the span of the last 53 days the feelings in my heart shifted. My excitement about Peter remains unchanged, but it has been overcome by the intense love I feel for him. I am consumed by it. Just as my love for each of our girls grew stronger as they grew inside me, my love for Peter grows deeper each day. He isn’t growing inside of me, but he may as well be. Because I feel exactly the same.
Yet, things are different. When I was pregnant with each of the girls, I had the joy of feeling them move and kick. I could hear their heartbeats. They could hear my voice. I knew they were safe inside me. And I loved that. But with Peter, I don’t have that comfort. Peter, my fourth child, lives in an orphanage in China with 300 other children. Is he getting enough to eat? Probably not. From what I understand, most of the children in Peter’s circumstance are fed regularly, but never have enough to feel satisfied. When he feels afraid or sad, does anyone comfort him? I don’t know. When he tries something new, does anyone cheer him on? When he accomplishes something grand, is there anyone there to applaud him? I pray. I pray that someone has a special attachment to our sweet Peter. I pray that someone loves him. I pray that someone will hold him today and smile at him. I pray. Steve and the girls pray. We pray and pray and pray. And that is ALL we can do. And it is hard.
I know that God is holding Peter in His arms. I know that He is covering him with His love. I know that His timing is perfect. And I know He has a perfect plan for when we will get to go and get Peter, and it is for sure so much better than anything we could plan out. I know all these things in my head. And I’m sure of them in my heart too, sometimes. But my heart is hurting all the time these days. It’s hard. It’s so hard to remember the things that I know to be true. Peter is my little boy, and I want to go and get him. I want to know that he will be held today, because I will be the one to do it. I want him to know that he is loved and cherished.
But alas, we wait. This is the close of day 53. While the wait span is 30-120 days, the average wait is around 50 days. So we’re right at the average. However, China’s offices were all closed for a week during the Moon Festival a couple of weeks back. I’m not sure if that week of waiting counted? I sure hope so. I have done so much speculating and guessing and calculating, trying to determine when the RA will come. And all the time I know it’s ridiculous. But I just can’t help myself!
In the end, it all rests in God’s hands. And He is faithful. He loves Peter more than we do (which is hard to comprehend), and He will do what is best for Peter and for us. And He will do it at just the right time. I am doing my best to leave it in His hands. I’m just not very good at it.