This week we had another Waiting Parents Meeting, an event that I usually look forward to. This time, I felt apprehensive about going, and I left a little sad.
There was an awesome speaker (check out her blog: thirdmom.blogspot.com) who talked about raising her two Korean-born children. Originally the topic was supposed to be how to integrate your child's culture into your family's life, but we ended up discussing all sorts of topics related to adoption and raising children.
We caught up with the people we already knew, and as always, met some new people. I really enjoy chatting with everyone, but this time I have to admit that I became a little jealous of how fast everyone else is moving along. It seems as if everyone is speeding through the USCIS approval process and is then receiving their referral in record speed as well. Of course I am happy for those families, but I am also jealous that our process is so much slower than everyone else's. One couple there submitted their home study to USCIS in January and is about to travel to Korea to pick up their son. That's only 7 months!
This whine brings me to something that Margie, our speaker, said. She talked about how, when she went through the process of adopting her first child, the finish line was bringing her baby home. She said that in her mind, everything would be okay once she had that baby in her arms. But really, that is not the end, but the very beginning.
Right now, I am in that place where I obsess about the process of bringing a baby home. I don't believe that having that baby home will make me any happier, make any of my mundane problems go away (probably the opposite!) , or make my life more interesting. I also know that it's really not about just getting a baby home, but it's about raising that child. Yet my thoughts are consumed with timelines and paperwork. For me, right now, the finish line is bringing home our child. It's going to be the end of this chapter of our lives, but also the beginning of a completely different life, one that I can't even begin to imagine. Maybe that is why for many of us in the process our fairy tale ending is having our child home - the journey we are on right now is real, whatever lies in the future is beyond anything that we can imagine.