We worked hard to get to Maryland (and not get lost). My husband had to take the metro into MD and I drove, picked him up there, and we made our way to this agency someone had randomly mentioned to us at a different agency's intro meeting. We went inside and waited. I remember looking at millions of pictures - babies and children who now are in families.
We went into an office and met a woman - a woman who went to the same Alma Mater as my husband and is from the same area of the country as me (completely unimportant, but a neat connection). A woman who spoke so warmly and calmly about a very confusing and overwhelming journey that we were about to embark on. (On a side note - a woman who assured us that a child would be in our arms in about 18 months...note the 2 years -but I know she had no control over the changes).
That day we signed a contract and wrote the first of many checks to OUR adoption agency! After 2 years (almost exactly - we first started looking more seriously into adoption in November of '06 when E was 11 months old) of talking about this possibility it was now happening. I was excited and completely overwhelmed, yet ready to dive in!
It's been 2 years since we started this journey and sometimes it feels like we're treading water. Not much has happened. But at the same time we have done so much - 2 home studies, multiple sets of fingerprints, had multiple things notarized, have USCIS approval (more than once), and are at a point where we can truly be ready to see our child's face any day. That is the biggest thing. We've been waiting, but the time should be here soon! I am in fact, overdue for an elephant, but I'm also thankful.
I am so thankful that we are close! I am thankful for the friends I've made! I'm thankful that God has used this time to grow me in so many ways. I am thankful for the child that is still to come into our family. I am thankful that my kids are (almost) as excited as Brian and I are to have this child in our family! I can't believe she was 2 when we started this and I worried about her being sad not to be the baby any more. Now I realize that she's about to turn 5 and she is SO READY to have a little sibling. She doesn't want to be the littlest (at least she doesn't think she wants that....) anymore. :) B is chomping at the bit to see a picture of his youngest sibling (and to know if he will, in fact, have a brother - both kids are hoping for what they don't already have, B, a brother, E, a sister - but they will both be thrilled with their sibling). :)
It's been a long 2 years in terms of the wait, but it has been an amazing 2 years in many other ways. E has started preschool. We had G, Jackie, and Hellen come stay with us, we moved, we've welcomed other family members (including the newest cousin in our family, born on 11/11/11 - how cool is that?!?), and we've grown as people, as family, with friends. What a blessing. Thank you, God, for all you've done. Thank you family and friends for your support - without it, we wouldn't be quite where we are now. I hope that soon I will have a very exciting post to share, but there may be some fun family times to share before then. Not sure what God's timing is, but I know it is perfect.
ETA: This post is really how I feel today, but know also that this process has been hard and I'm so thankful to friends who listen to my anxious thought each day as I try to leave them behind and trust. Sometimes I think I try hard not to sound negative that I don't share how hard it is. It. Is. HARD. I long to see my child's face EVERY day - all day. And it's hard to patiently explain to my children (AGAIN) about how we don't know when or who or anything really, but that it will be in God's timing. Thanks for listening. Have a great day.