As we settled into a more anxious season of waiting, I began to acknowledge a couple of truths. One: Due to the August shut down, we would not be travelling this month. Two: I also would not receive our official written referral, the magic piece of paper that both gives us permission to travel and also gives peace of mind that this thing that we have prayed for is happening.
My email checking dwindled to a few times per day, and I filled my business calendar with enough work to keep me busy and distracted.
Last Tuesday found me in target with my little boys and I happened to check my phone because I was expecting a client response and I had to look at the words again, and then again, and then one more time to make sure that I was reading them correctly. “Your written referral is signed, we will receive it tomorrow. The agency in EE will begin the process of issuing travel dates, Congratulations!”
I have imagined this moment and I always was thrilled and crying and hugging all the folks, but instead I froze and paused and sent the text of the email to four different friends to be sure it was safe to celebrate. In fact, it wasn’t until the next day, also in target (I have a problem) when I got the email with our dates and itinerary that I had the moment… I pulled the boys out of the cart and we did a little dance and sang a little “Baby, here we come!” song and I cried and frantically texted everyone from my little spot where I have coverage in the bullseye. (Related: baby girl, I hope you like target as much as we do because your story seems to play out there often).
We had ten days before wheels up.
The last few days have been a whirlwind. SO much to do, not a lot of time to do it. On top of that, remember the first paragraph… I had booked my calendar FULL so in addition to the logistics of parents of so many leaving the country in ten days, I had to squeeze three weeks worth of sessions into nine days. WHEW.
So now we are in the six day countdown, I have completed more sessions than I can count, and there is an overflowing suitcase open on my floor. I am feeling everything at once. Excited. Anxiety. Stress. Sorrow. Joy. Gratitude. Fear. Anticipation.
We will not bring baby home this trip. We will spend five days taking in all of her sweetness and then we will hand her back to her caretakers and we will leave her and return home. This is not our choice, it’s the way her country handles international adoption and as guests to her nation, we follow their rules. We knew this when we signed the first document in December but seeing her tiny face and her sweet almond eyes and whispering her name while tracing her picture makes it feel crushing and we are still stateside. I cannot imagine how September first will feel when I am boarding the plane for our return. Preparing my children here for mommy and daddy to be away is hard. Again, we knew this when we signed the first document in December, but the talks with little Tinky are breaking my momma heart (though I am thankful he is old enough to hopefully semi understand.) The unknown is hard. Will she come home this year in some miraculous, speedy process or will we be one of the unlucky ones that wait six, ten, twelve more months?
Tomorrow I will wake up to a five day countdown. There will be so much to do before we leave. There will be plenty of time to feel all the feels, so I will drink my coffee and do the stuff. The next three months will look like a lot of the same. Drink the coffee. Do the stuff. Wait the wait.
But at the end? We will introduce you to our beautiful daughter, Rosie, and it will turn out the the “end” is actually the beginning.
Totally worth it.