There are moments in our journey where I feel paralyzed. I have an enormously long list of to-do's, which include things that go far beyond the typical grocery shopping and laundry. So much to do, so much fog in my brain that I scrap it all and freeze.
Today is one of those days.
If we start the clock when we announced adoption #2, we have been on this journey for 4 months. SO MUCH has occurred in such a tiny timeframe. Just a crack of light during a morning's worth of sun. AJ announced he was going to be a big brother and a week later we had a referral. Boom. Boom. Boom goes the process. Fast. Quick. Wild.
Stop. Wait. Wait. Wait.
But didn't you just say you've only been waiting 4 months?
Yes. I did. But if you have adopted, or have been part of someones process in the least bit, you know that a millisecond can feel like an eternity when you are waiting. And if you think of how long our baby girl has been waiting, which is the real wait in all of this, then you must start from the moment she entered this world. That. THAT. SHE. She is what makes all of this worth it. So worth it.
Have you read THIS? If not, please do and then come back here to me.
Right now I'm sitting at #9 and #12. Yes friends, I am stupid and a total mess. Stupid in the way of may brain being mush, fog, and overloaded. I may seem brave on the outside, or a total pro (hardy har har) because we've adopted internationally before. What you don't see are the outbursts of frustration and me completely overwhelmed when answering the same question for the tenth time on paperwork. You don't see the tears or my darkest moments when I'm lying in bed wonder what we've gotten ourselves into. You don't see the doubt, the fear, the questions floating aimlessly.
I am vulnerable.
I feel terrible.
Sometimes. Because not only are we in the midst of Mimi's adoption process, we are also raising a son who has been rather intense lately. And while he deserves an entire blog post all his own (which will happen), juggling the two has been a struggle. The summer months I worried that he was getting "leftovers" of his Mommy. We jumped right into Mimi's adoption and there were times that paperwork had to be done, yes right that moment because it needed to go to the post office that afternoon, which meant less swinging and more things to keep him occupied on his own. I felt guilty, and continue to feel guilty at times.
I am humble.
This is by far my favorite -ble and the feeling I am most grateful for. When we began this journey, there was no magic money tree that sprouted up in the backyard. There was no big savings account sitting and waiting for this. We felt called to adopt, no matter what the cost. I sat paralyzed, anxious and unsure as to whether to hit the "create" button on our GoFundMe.com puzzle fundraiser. When we began planning our silent auction fundraiser, I wondered if we'd have any items donated or if people would even come. What do we sell tickets for? How are we going to do this?
I hit that button and Mimi's puzzle began to have names written on the back of each piece. We created the flyers for our fundraiser with a handful of donated items, which multiplied to over 60 by event night. Tickets sold at just the right price and the auction was very successful. The love we have felt is overwhelming, humbling, and strengthening.
I no longer ask how we are going to do this. We ARE doing this.
Asking for help is a bit of a faux pas in today's world. That pains me. It's why I sat on my bed, terrified to hit that button. One click made us vulnerable to the rest of the world. The American way has turned into the "Me" way. And if this sounds preachy, its not meant to be. It's something I've been learning about a lot in my recent classes. Coincidence? I think not. We've become all about what's good for me and how does this or that benefit numero uno ME. We live in the land of opportunity, so why not. What am I going to get out of this? Why do I want to help so and so? This is why I never want to watch the news....
I've stopped caring about the label the world has created about need. I like being humble. Humble is where I hope to always be. And if I get lost, I hope to find my way back. Because it is truly a beautiful place to be.
Over the last few weeks I've spent many hours filling out adoption grant and loan applications. They have been just as difficult and pokey as the adoption paperwork itself. Pokey? Yeah, pokey.
Why did you decide to adopt?
Are you prepared for post-placement/attachment?
How are you prepared for post-placement/attachment?
What have you done in preparation for this?
Give us a breakdown of all of your adoption costs. Now give us a breakdown of every single part of your financial world.
Have you raised funds on your own? How much and how?
Provide a statement of faith.
Describe why you need financial assistance with adoption.
Are you sure you wanna do this? Huh? Huh? Huh? C'mon?! Are ya sure?!
None of them have the exact same requirements. Different requirements, timelines, supplemental documents and information. I think a small part of me thought (and thought wrong) that these applications would be less intimidating than the adoption paperwork. Oh, was I wrong. It has been a much needed reminder that while parts of our process have been super smooth and easy, this is not easy. No one said it would be easy. I read a post the other day that said "If she's amazing, she won't be easy...if she's she's worth it, you won't give up".
So I'm not giving up. I'm pushing, or at least giving it my all to push dark and negative thoughts out of my head. The grant applications have been filled out and submitted. Submitted with tons of supplemental documents, including cover letters explaining how we are almost at the end of our process. You see, because we are. We are waiting on immigration approval. Once we receive that letter, our dossier will go to agency, then to Bulgaria, and be logged in. Once we are logged in, we travel to meet her. Meeeeeet her. Oh I can hardly stand saying that without squealing. Typically, a family waits for a referral after log-in.
This is where I am reminded how incredible Mimi's adoption has been. Our referral came within days. Before we applied. So we are at the end of the paperwork trail.
We are still in need of $17K to bring our girl home.
I know you are asking, why is she sharing this? Because we have always been transparent with this blog and will continue to be. I pray every day that this amount continues to decrease. As we get closer, my heart beats faster and worry creeps in every now and then. I cover my head with my blankey and shut the world out in fear, thinking
And then I remember how her adoption has been provided for thus far. Incredible. We are trusting. Trusting God will provide. And that doesn't mean he will bibidy-bobidy-boo a money tree in the back yard. That doesn't mean we expect him to drop it off on the doorstep. But we know he is ABLE. He is laying out this beautiful journey to our daughter. Here we are, four months later, closer than ever to bringing our baby girl home. Nothing is impossible.
He makes us ABLE.