Thursday, January 29, 2009
I was taking a walk down memory lane earlier today, reminiscing about our adoption process and the two years that it has been since we started down this road. Two years. Two years. Unbelievable. Unfathomable. Preposterous. I just cannot believe that so much time has passed. And it's funny, even though it seems like just yesterday that we were in the middle of piles of paperwork, I can't really recall life without Dinkeneh. Okay, well - I can't recall what it felt like to not have this special place in my heart carved out just for him. I can't deny that the memory of life pre-Dinkeneh still holds some sweetness for me: the sleep, oh, the sleep. But really, what's a little sleep compared to the sound of this laughter? I went back and started to read some of my blog entries from the very beginning, way back when I thought our social worker would have our homestudy done in a week (stop laughing, Betsy), back when I thought we would wait five months for a referral, back when I thought an eleven week wait for travel was completely unreasonable. I can only laugh through my tears at my sheer naivite. And my feelings back then reconfirm for me that it's all relative. If you're told a five month wait, you mentally prepare for a five month wait. Every additional day is sheer agony. Same if you're told a one week wait, one month wait, or one year wait. I remember that agony. I remember standing in the middle of campus, students streaming around me, smack dab in the midst of a football pep rally, sobbing to my mother that we were never going to be parents. We had been waiting a little over six months. Six months. Now, families are waiting one year or more for referrals, and many months for travel. I just can't even imagine. But somehow, you get through the pain, the bad days, the tears and frustration, the wondering if you will ever see the end. You survive, and then there you are, holding this little one in your arms, and you realize that it's no longer all about you. Maybe it never really was all about you. Holding Dinkeneh didn't erase all the memories of those weeks and months full of hope and worry, joy and sadness, anticipation and frustration. Not at all. They'll always be there, and I'll always value them. But holding him in our arms, seeing his smile for the first time - well, he makes it all worth it, every single waiting second.
February 7th, we celebrate our first famiversary. We have a lot, and I mean a lot, to celebrate. I'll have a special post for that day, but I wanted to take a moment first to reflect on the process that made the upcoming celebration possible. I've never been more thankful for our social worker. But for her delay, we wouldn't be Dinkeneh's parents. I've never been more thankful for Ethiopian court closure. But for that pause in time, we wouldn't see this face every morning. I've never been more thankful for starting at #114 on the CHSFS waiting list. But for those 113 families in front of us, I wouldn't kiss this face every night.
I've never been more thankful.