paper cuts and meanwhile

By the way, I love when people ask how our adoption process is going!  It reminds me that we are not alone in this.  That our friends are waiting with us.  That even though I don’t have a growing belly, you haven’t forgotten that we’re “expecting.”  That I’m not going through morning sickness, but I may have a few paper cuts.  I can hardly believe it has been almost a year since we started the process!  We are THIS close to sending in our paperwork and officially becoming a “waiting” family.  Just saying that makes my palms start sweating.  I wish I could describe all the feelings I have about sending in our dossier, so I will try:

Excited about being matched any day!

Deflated that we may not be matched for a year or two or more……

Curious about a new person joining our family!  I cannot wait to know her!  What is her favorite food?  Will she love to cuddle?  Or play with Aubrey & Thatcher?  Or read books on my lap?

Joyous about a little one coming home.  Forever home.  Not lonely anymore.  Loved and safe.  Amen.

Heartbroken over her loss: her first family, her familiar caregivers, food, bed, friends.  Heartbroken for the family who loses their child.

Prayerful about how our child is doing.

Hopeful.

I am daydreaming about how we will announce that we are “matched” (I won’t tell you my ideas because I want it to be a surprise!)  I am thinking about the time we will spend with our child on our “bonding trip.” (After we are matched, we will visit our child in Haiti to spend some time bonding, and make our legal commitments as adoptive parents.  Then, we must return to the US and wait for the adoption process to be completed.  After all the paperwork is in order—we have been told it may take 9-12 months after the bonding trip—we will return to bring him/her home!)  I am also thinking about the time our family will spend at home, getting to know each other while our new little one is settling in.  I hope it is sunny then like it was today.

In the meanwhile, we are doing some fund-raising and working to put the finishing touches on the front end of the adoption paperwork.  If you’d like to see a timeline of our process so far, click here.  While I wouldn’t say it has been all fun and games, there have been some wonderful experiences that I am so grateful for.  For example, when else would your friends have the opportunity to write heartfelt essays on the topic of your family?  Reading our recommendation letters for our dossier brought me to tears.  What an encouragement it was to read what our friends admire and value about our family!  I also have to say that I am grateful that the process/paperwork is what it is: it helps protect children.  If we were choosing adoptive parents for our children, the “red tape” we have trudged through so far would only scratch the surface.  The paperwork is 100% worth it because our child deserves every effort we make to show we are a safe and loving family.  And what a wonderful and supportive community we have too!  I have read on blogs and forums about adoptive parents whose friends and extended family criticized their decision to adopt.  We have not heard one negative comment from friends or loved ones.  On the contrary, my friends often ask how the process is going, pray on our behalf, and join us in anticipation!

But to be honest, not every day is easy.  Sometimes this process feels frustrating and discouraging.  There are some days (even this week) when I confide in Dan my fears that “this will never really happen.”  It just feels like there is always one more step to do, or re-do.  That we will never cross the finish line on our paperwork, let alone cross the threshold of our home holding a little one from Haiti in our arms.  But we are putting our trust in God.  Remembering that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  That His will is good and perfect.  That all things work for the good of those who love Him.  That He is the Father of the fatherless, and that He has a future and hope for all His people.

Dan and I went on a date to the local copy center this weekend, and got ice cream on our way home to celebrate the progress. (Yep, those are dinosaurs on my shirt.)

While we work and eagerly wait for that day we are together with our little one, we pray that God continues to guide us, and we treasure each day that is gifted to us.  Every Day Your Birthday has been such a joy to me!  I have found that Dan and I pray much more intentionally for all of our children because we chose a specific and different topic to pray about each night.  It is easy to get into the rut of only praying for safety, health, etc.  Every Day Your Birthday has helped us become disciplined about praying for so much more: from the first adjustment when our child comes home to the teenage years, from healthy eating and sleeping to our children’s future spouses, from sibling relationships to sports, from financial peace to mental health, from special occasions to every-day life.  We ask God to pour His blessings over it all, over us, and especially over our waiting little one.

Here is a glimpse of our every-day, our meanwhile, these treasured sunny days…

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One thought on “paper cuts and meanwhile

  1. Thanks, Natalie and Daniel for your posting of progress and feelings, thoughts and emotions. You are loved. You are being supported and prayed for each day! HUGS!

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