"Take an action each day that alleviates suffering in the world. Bring light into darkness."
-Angeles Arrien

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't.
--- Richard Bach

I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody [to no one]
--Mother Teresa

We were not separated at your birth.
It was the moment at which we began our journey toward each other
-Nancy McGuire Roche

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Here is a little something I found that explains how I am feeling and what I am going through right now.

Waiting for something is an inherent part of human nature. It is something that you have had to deal with ever since you first came into this world.

An infant waits to be held, fed, changed
A student waits for recess, lunch, summer vacation
An adult waits for payday, vacation, promotion

The above list is obviously just a small sampling of what we have all had to wait for during our lives. However, as adoptive parents or parents-to-be, our patience has faced a new challenge.

When a woman becomes pregnant, we all know that the 'wait' for birth is roughly 9 months. Sure, there can be complications or circumstances where the timing might change, and the child might be born sooner or later than this time frame, but for the vast majority of pregnancies, the parents-to-be have a general idea of when to expect the child to enter their lives. You can pretty much schedule your vacation around it.

Adoption is different.

With adoption, you are at the mercy of others from the very moment that you request the application from your chosen agency. You are forced to rely upon their response time processing your request, as well as the time that it takes to get their approval back to your mailbox. Next, you must weave your way through a mound of paperwork, resulting in more challenging waiting periods involving social workers, local, state, and government officials, as well as the Chinese government.

And when you have finally completed all of the required paperwork, the real wait begins.

There is little that can be said to you during this part of the wait that will make the waiting any easier. In contrast, what is said to you can -and usually does- add to the pain of the wait itself. "When will you get a picture?", "When will you know?", "Where is she?", etc. While most of the comments are meant in good faith, the bottom line answer to all of these questions is: you just don't know! You can narrow things down by selecting a waiting child, but you will still be unable to answer the "but when will you travel to bring your child home?" question.

So much is out of our hands as adoptive-parents-in-waiting, and yet we all strive to have some sort of feeling that we are in control. It is this struggle for control that often drives us crazy while we wait.

The last thing that you want to hear is someone saying to you, "The wait will be more than worth it!". In fact, you sometimes want to hit the next person that says that to you. However, this is one statement that can actually help you survive the waiting, but only if you allow it to.

Having been through two adoptions, I can definitely say that once we received our child's picture, the memories of the paperchase and any delays that we had faced quickly vanished. They were replaced by thoughts of joy, of amazement, and of anticipation for the journey of a lifetime!

You will have packing lists to consider, as well as arranging time off from work, lining up someone to watch your house, mow the lawn, pick up the mail, etc. There will be care packages to send, along with announcements of your big news! There will be the search for new bills so that your money will be accepted. There will be checks and double-checks to ensure that you really will be able to recharge your camcorder and not burn up your hair dryer. There will be the mad dash to the department store exchanging clothing that you had picked up for your child because the child referred to you might not fit in what you had picked up. Do you have enough film/memory for the camera? Will everything fit inside of the suitcase? And so on.

A lot of this you can prepare ahead of time -at your own pace- which not only will give you something to do to pass the time, but also will leave you with less to fuss about once you receive your referral, and allow for more time sitting and staring at your child's photo.

Is the wait long? Yes. Is it difficult, emotionally? Definitely, as you will feel as if your emotions are on some wild ride at Disneyland. Can you make it to 'the call'? YES!

Referral day is an experience that is somewhat difficult to put into words. I felt somewhat giddy for our two referral days. Both times I was at work, and both times I was totally useless, just staring at the phone, waiting for the sound of music (phone ringing). And once I was on the phone, it was somewhat surreal, as I quickly jotted down all of the information that our agency was telling us. And then the picture ... wow! As if I wasn't already useless that day, following the call I didn't do a thing! I couldn't. It is hard to function when you are floating above the clouds!

Adoption is clearly a life-changing event, for both your child-to-be and YOU! And believe what you hear - the wait is far more than worth it!

So how can you find the patience to endure the seemingly endless wait? Keep a sense of humor. No, I am not talking about being a stand up comic or anything like that, but instead begin to look at life through your child-to-be's eyes. Think of what they will be seeing when they are with you. Think of the many new experiences that they will share with you. For example, while waiting for our first referral, I remember walking to the park each day while on my lunch break. I would sit on a park bench and just daydream into the future. When one day a butterfly was fluttering in front of me. I watched it go this way and that way, then back around again. Until finally it landed on a blade of grass in front of me. I laughed to myself as I wondered if that was exactly the blade that it had meant to land on, or if it was just faking it. It sat there for a minute, and then took off and fluttered back and forth across the grass to look for another landing spot.

Okay, call me crazy, but I was able to enjoy that little moment, and it helped to ease my mind so that I didn't constantly dwell on the wait. With each passing day I knew that we were one day closer!

If you sit and stare at a clock, an hour can seem a lifetime. However, if you instead occupy yourself with pleasant sights, sounds, smiles and laughter, you will be amazed at how quickly time will pass.

If you allow it to.

So be patient, look for a butterfly, and enjoy all that is around you. For the day is coming -soon- when your child will be there sharing it with you!

I promise!

Oh, and for what it's worth - you are closer to your child now than you were when you began reading this page ...

By Anonymous

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