Earlier today, I surprised myself by engaging in an atypical showing of emotion. It was unexpected. Obviously. And it was brief. It occurred as [S] was playing in the living room and I was reviewing some documents, not an unusual scene in our home. I started crying. No, this wasn’t an instance of elegant eye watering. Tears freely rolled down my cheeks and my nose began to run. Not pretty. But it was real.
What was the source of such an uncharacteristic outburst? A mix of joy and gratitude. Right before the tears began to roll, I was reviewing 50-plus pages of adoption acceptance paperwork, which was mailed out today.
A couple of weeks ago we received our second referral–an eight-month old boy. The referral was unexpected, received weeks ahead of the expected time frame. If his photos are any indication of his personality, he looks to be lively, loving and happy. After a bit of back and forth with the agency, we accepted him as our son.
But he is far from ours at this moment. Approvals are needed by South Korea and the United States. On average, the process will take another 18 months before finalization.
Last night, I confided to Russell my concerns that the adoption won’t go as planned. What if his birth mother changes her mind? What if the court finds we are unfit parents? What if we are unable to obtain an age waiver? My Husband, as lovingly as possible, instructed me not to worry. Useless advice to a champion worrier.
What struck me was that my concerns–my endless what ifs–were no different than when I was pregnant with [S]. What if she comes early? What if she comes late? What if she doesn’t want to come at all? What if she’s not healthy? Yes, the nature and quality of the concerns differ, but the intense desire for the best for our second child is the same as it was for our first. My worrying is a manifestation of love at a time I am unable to hold and care for our son.
While I was taken aback by the torrent of emotion earlier today, I shouldn’t have been. We started looking into adoption nearly eight months ago. We’ve submitted nearly 300 pieces of paper in support of our endeavor. We’ve undergone physical and mental examinations, psychological testing, disclosed our financial records, obtained criminal clearances, submitted abuse registry clearances from each state of residence, submitted referrals from friends, undertaken hours of online parenting classes, submitted fingerprint cards, provided our tax filings from years past, undertaken interviews, and submitted copies of birth and marriage certificates and passports.
This has been a labor of love in the truest sense. For now, we are done. All we have left to do is wait. We will await movement from USCIS. We will await action by the government of South Korea. We will await the appointment of a court date. And we will await being united with our son.