The waiting is the hardest part.
You take it on faith.
You take it to heart.
The waiting is the hardest part.
Up to this point, we have lots to do for our adoption. You hear a lot about the paper chasing. The fundraising. The applications that have to be filled out. The medical exams to have performed. The tax information to collect. The fundraising. The notarizing that needs to be done. The background checks and the fingerprinting. The USCIS clearance to obtain. The fundraising. The photographs to assemble. The apostilling to be done. The fundraising. We've done all of it for the last seven months. And I think we've done it pretty well. Now? Now we wait. And Tom Petty was right. (Or in this video, Eddie Vedder and Tom Petty......what? The 90s were some of my best years.) The waiting is the hardest part.
When I was busy compiling all of that information and scheduling all of the appointments, I didn't have time to worry. Time to worry about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I'm not a worrier by nature - not at all. I'm the person who takes care of things so someone else doesn't have to worry about it. I'm a fixer. I spend the vast majority of my day telling people not to worry - not to worry about their divorce, their cheating spouse, the children being passed back and forth between two bickering parents, their child support that isn't being paid or their child support that they can't afford anymore, their pending criminal charges or their violation of probation, their trial that they have next week, or how to explain to their spouse that they want a divorce. I cannot tell you how many times a day I tell someone, "Don't worry about it right now. I will take care of it." And I do take care of it. And then I come home from work and tell people not to worry - not to worry about the dog peeing on the floor, not to worry about dinner needing to be cooked. Not to worry about the laundry that needs to be taken care of, or the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded. Not to worry about the bikes that need to be put away or the Legos that need to be cleaned up. Don't worry about your brother crying - he's just tired. Don't worry about your milk spilling - we can clean it up. Don't worry about the leaky roof. I'll call someone to fix it. And please don't think that my husband sits around eating ice cream and watching television all day - he does not. All of the day to day things that I have listed at home are just part of having a family and having things to do all of the time. There is always something that needs to be taken care of. Always. And I like being the reliable person or the person people know they can count on.
But now, with no paper chasing to do, not forms to fill out, no plans to make, I have time to worry. And that's pretty much all I'm doing. I alternate between being worried that we won't be approved to adopt her to being worried that we're not the right parents for her. I worry about her being in her orphanage still, and how hard that must be for her. I worry about her health and about the medical care she is missing out on right now while we wait. I worry about her "non-accute" heart condition. I worry about her cognitive development and how every day that passes is another missed day for therapies and attention and stimulation and love that she's not getting. I worry about how that will affect her. I worry about all of the medical information we do not have, but I know is probably there. I worry that she's going to start getting therapies when she's at least five, instead of when she was a baby. I worry about whether she's warm enough or if her belly is full enough. I worry about her banging her head against a wall or rocking back and forth or pulling her hair out to try to soothe herself, because she doesn't have someone to do that for her. I worry when Jack comes downstairs after he had a bad dream and I snuggle him up in a cuddly blanket and rock him back to sleep while I quietly hum "You are My Sunshine" to his hot sweaty baby self, because I know when she wakes up with a bad dream she has nobody. I worry about when we will travel. I worry about my children while we will be gone. I worry about David, who snuggled me close at bedtime last week and said, "I won't be able to take it while you are visiting Katie. You've never been away from me for that long and I will be so sad." And I worry because I know that's true. I worry about Henry being upset while we're gone but not talking to anyone about it and being sad. I worry about when we bring Katie home, and I worry that we won't bring her home. I worry about court in her country, and how scary that will be for us. I worry that my husband, who is so much less comfortable talking to people than me, will have to do the talking for us in court. I worry because I know he will be nervous. I worry that there won't be hot water in our hotel and I'll be so irritated the whole time. I worry about what my husband will eat in her country because he is a fairly selective eater. I worry that we're making a big mistake and that our family will be forever changed by this experience, no matter the outcome, and what if I want to go back to how we were before? I worry that she will hate us. I worry that she will not bond with us and will be miserable here. I worry about her parents, and whether they will come back for her when they learn that new parents want to take her home. I worry that her parents didn't give her up because they wanted to, but because they felt like they didn't have a choice. I worry that I won't be enough for her - patient enough, smart enough, loving enough, strong enough, kind enough, understanding enough, warm enough, or enough of a mama to make up for five years without one. I worry that she'll hate our dogs or our food or her new clothes or her sheets or the color of the walls in her room or the shampoo we use or the way our house smells........you can see how ridiculous some of these fears and worries are.
Clearly my still hands have given way to a wildly active mind. I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about these things, convincing myself in the dark quiet middle of the night that these worries are bigger than bringing her home. And while I know rationally that this is not the case, I can convince myself of anything in the middle of the night. And I am not a pessimistic person - really I'm not. I am usually able to look at the situation and work my way through it. That's the problem. There is no situation right now. There's no to-do list to work on. No checklist to check. Nothing. Nothing but waiting. I know our family is forever changed by this experience, no matter the outcome. And I know that we are all better for it. I know that we will have challenges with Katie: challenges with her eating, and her self-soothing, challenges with her behavior and her communication, challenges with her therapies and her adjustment, challenges wither her diagnoses and the best way to handle them, challenges with her being sad and with teaching her how to be part of a family. Nothing about this process is easy, and we don't expect it to be. Really? If I'm being honest, we expect bringing her home to be hard as hell. Sort of like being a parent has been so far.
So until something changes, we wait. Our dossier is with the translators and they are back from their holiday January 10th. And we'll keep waiting. And hopefully I'll stop worrying so much!