Well, it is always hard, isn't it? But, you see, the thing is that we adopting families know that... we know the rules, we signed on for this, we understand that we chose this... we read the terms and clicked the "agree" button. So, when it is hard, we can act like adults, swallow hard, and push on. At times, we have hard days, we reach out to others who comfort us and reassure us, and we pick ourselves up and go on with our day-to-days because we are expected to, we have to, of course. We resist (well, not always... we are human) the urges to crawl under the covers because we are in PGN limbo, or eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's when Barrios seems to be on vacation, and we live life preparing for the child we love to come home. We make attempts to pass the time learning about our child's culture, getting rooms and homes ready.... we get busy. We experience the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows, but we do it because it was our choice... and we are in love. Those are our babies out there. What you don't know, what you don't see, and what you don't hear is: This. Is. So. Hard.
To love a child in another country being raised and cared for by another family, or in an orphanage... it is, simply, just hard. And do you want to know what we know? We know that it could be harder. We know that other people adopting have it harder, wait longer, have more heartbreak... and it is still hard. We even know that some people aren't as fortunate to even be able to adopt. Do you want to know what else we know? We know we are blessed, we know we are lucky, we know that in time this will all be over, our babies will be home, and this will all just be part of the story of how we became a family. We know. Trust me.
Every day we wish we were stronger.
Still, every day, every single day... we smile and laugh, we say a little prayer, make a little wish, and "let it go" in whatever way we can that day. We smile while telling people about this experience. We remain hopeful, and excited, and grateful. We do all the grownup self-talk we can fabricate to get through each day of missing our daughter or son... but we are not 5.
Sam is 5. He has been planning and dreaming and hoping and loving right along with us. He is a child. My first baby. He has amazed us at every step of the way in this process. He is the superhero he has always told us he wanted to be when he grows up. He does not doubt. He does not question. He does not pour over timelines, or pace when anxiously waiting for updates, or get stomach aches when a government is not really sure what they plan to do with their adoption program. He trusts. He believes with all of his heart that God has this in the bag, and that his Mama and Daddy will bring his baby sister home. He tells us what WE need to do to get ready for HIS baby sister. He giggles at the site of her picture, he swoons over video of a trip he desperately wanted to be a part of, he studies the best high chair and doesn't ask for anything for himself when we go to pick it out. In the same breath, he has zero patience for SANTA! But this, waiting for his sister, he is calm.
So, when tonight, at dinner, he asked if his baby sister would be home before Christmas so that we could all finally be together...
This is hard.