Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Diving In...

"Diving in" seemed an appropriate follow-up to "Jump then Fall"...because we have jumped, fallen and are now diving, head over heals, into adopting from Haiti. It's hard to believe that we are on this journey. It takes so much just to get started. Of course, you never know what you're getting into until you go for it.

As of right now, we are in the major paperwork overload stage. We are filling out our home study packet and preparing for our social worker to visit us soon. Who knew all the information you have to reveal about yourself? It's certainly necessary, but I guess I've never really thought much about it because I haven't actually walked through this process myself or alongside a close friend.

The questionnaires and paperwork are revealing and reflective. While I filled out the marriage questionnaire, I reflected on what I love about my husband, how we communicate, what we struggle with, what our challenges are as a couple and how we resolve conflict. I retold the story of falling in love with Don and fell further in love with him as I told it, and thought about so much in our lives that I never really spend much time thinking about...this has been a good exercise and worth the time that it has taken.

There's also the "autobiography" of sorts that you have to write plus a parenting questionnaire. Each step has caused me to process more of who I am, who we are as a family, and who Don and I are as a couple and as parents. Perhaps this is part of the design of the home study, or maybe it's just a side effect. Either way, it's been so good for me to spend time writing and preparing, thinking all the time about the little boy or girl that will come into our family.

Because the process takes so long (18 months or so), and we don't know yet who our child is, there is a strange feeling that this isn't "real". So many others are much further ahead. We have so many steps to complete, so many government agencies to go through and so much waiting. The adoption of a child is often compared to a pregnancy. I like the analogy.

For me, the paperwork has seemed a bit like morning sickness and the overwhelming tiredness...something to get through but also a reason to cause me to slow down. At times I've thought, I will never get through the paperwork. Other times, I've been so tired from thinking and writing, but the process is good...necessary.

When the paperwork is done and the documents are sent to their respective places (after many notarizations, government clearances, translations, etc.), we will begin to wait. When you're pregnant, you have to wait too. Why should it be any different with adoption? We will wait. Sometimes we will wait patiently. Sometimes we will wait in anxiousness.

Our labor will come in stages...first, through our referral (when we get an emailed picture of our child!), then a first visit to meet our child and finally bringing our child home forever. I think the labor pains will be strongest between the time we first meet our child in Haiti and the time when we bring him or her home.

Anyway around it, it's all a process. The process is good, though, and worth it. Good things come to those who wait; and all things good are from God, and He promises that our labor will not be in vain. Thank goodness His process, plan and timing is perfect.

So, here we go... dive with us, head over heels. The journey will be worth it!

WARNING: you will get wet on this ride!

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