|Look at that wide eyed happy couple without any gray hair! Awww....|
I have three champagne corks in Daniel and Lily's "Treasure Box." They are nestled there along with Lily's 'baby' shoes and the t-shirts they came home in, and the little gifts that the Care Center gave us on our last day in Ethiopia.
One cork is from celebrating our official entry into the waiting family list. We'd been filling out paper work and reading books and going to classes for months, and now we'd finally
The first wait was the trickiest for me, because I had to learn so much during it. I'm naturally a pretty impulsive, quick to action person. I don't comparison shop. I decided to marry Andrew after just a few weeks of dating. I picked the very first wedding dress I tried on. And so on. So having to sit, and wait, and wait, and not go crazy was very hard. It required a lot of learning and a fair amount of growing up.
During this time I regularily got the following comments: "Aren't you, like, adopting? What happened?" "I'm just sure you'll get pregnant now!". "Did you hear ___________ (every single person of child bearing age I know) is pregnant!?", and "Are you still adopting?".
I was tempted to get a t-shirt that said, "paper pregnant" with a big blow up belly, but that seemed immature.
So, I learned to wait. I learned that some days are easier than others, and some days are harder. And that either way, I was going to be okay. I learned that sometimes I needed to avoid baby showers. I learned that whatever I was suffering, it was probably nothing compared to what our future child/children's family was suffering. And that turned out to be the truth. While I was sitting around trying not to twiddle my thumbs, our children's family was enduring illness and loss and hunger. I've read that some adoptive mothers remember feeling extreme anxiety or pain on the days of loss for their future children. (Those smart cookies that kept journals.) I'm not sure if Daniel and Lily and I were connected in that way. But I do know that I thought of them, a lot.
I really don't like going to the dentist (who does, really?). But I remember walking home from the dentist's office on a freezing cold December evening, thinking, "Hey, this is one of the easy days. I'm doing okay. Look at those beautiful stars." When I got home, there was a voicemail from our social worker waiting for me. And the First Wait was over, just like that.
And the new wait, the much harder one, was just beginning.