Adoption is a whole lot of waiting. You wait for your initial application to be approved. Then you wait for trainings and orientations. You eventually get to the next stage of paperwork (this was my favorite. They gave me a checklist and told me “it didn’t matter what order it was turned in.” In case you were wondering, ours was turned in before anyone else in our orientation group. Was it a race? Maybe not to anyone else…)
So you get all the paperwork in and even if yours was turned in first…you wait. You wait for it to be processed, verified and approved. You wait for them to check your references and you wait for the case worker to call to do your home study. You wait for the home study to be approved. You wait for final approval. And then…
and wait some more.
That’s where we are at the moment. Waiting. And to make the waiting just a little bit harder, you have no idea how long you’ll be waiting. You have no idea what’s happening on the other side. You tell people “It could be tomorrow or it could be a year from now!” You smile outwardly but on the inside, every time you say it, you add a little prayer of “God, please let it be closer to tomorrow than next year.” You wish there was a sign at various stages like the never-ending lines at Disney World that say “45 minutes from this spot,” “20 minutes from this spot.” But there are no cosmic Disney World signs. You just wait.
I think men wait better than we do. They are perfectly capable of letting their brains rest. When they say “I’m not thinking about anything,” they truly mean that – a concept as women we can’t begin to grasp. I’m not saying it’s easy, but they do it so much more calmly. So David is waiting right beside me, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t wake up at night thinking about bottles and cribs and blankets and a gazillion other things we’ll need when…who knows when!? We’re still just waiting.
So David beats me in the Adoption Waiting Game. Surprisingly, Brynna beats us both. You’d think waiting would be hard for a 5-year-old, and it is. She doesn’t understand how it all works. She doesn’t understand what needs to happen for us to get that phone call. She doesn’t grasp the conflict of praying for a baby and his birth mom at the same time. She doesn’t know that for a baby to come to us means a tragedy to befall his mom.
You’d think because she doesn’t know those things, she’d be impatient. But what she doesn’t know doesn’t bother her. She’s way too focused on what she does know. She knows our baby will grow in someone else’s tummy so she prays for her. (We call her our special friend.) She knows which shoes she wants to give “her new baby” if she’s a girl. She knows the ball she wants to roll with her brother if he’s a boy. She knows which seat in the car will be for her booster and in which spot we’ll put the carseat.
She’s so excited that she’s been telling people for a year that she’s going to be a big sister. (I’ve had some interesting conversations at school and church pick-up.) But lately, she’s taken her waiting game up a notch. When Brynna counts forks for dinner, she tells me that one day there will be four. When she draws pictures at school, her family has four people (and Miles, the dog). When I bought her warm clothes for school, she wanted to get the baby a hat so we’d have it if he comes in the winter. If you ask how many people are in her family she’ll tell you “3 for right now, but one day there will be 4.” She isn’t just waiting, she’s expecting. She’s preparing her heart to receive.
I see all the waiting.
Brynna sees what we’re waiting for.
I think I’ll try it her way. It looks way more fun.