There are 6,526 miles between Chicago and Seoul. Today we will celebrate the birthday of a little girl 6,526 miles away. Honestly, I don't yet really refer to her as "our daughter." Because technically, she isn't. Her birth mom could still step back into the picture. The government could change the rules. So many things could happen. I'm guessing part of it is me protecting my heart. Adoption is so messy, hard, beautiful, and broken. But today, despite wanting to protect my heart, we want to celebrate little Ru and her life thus far. We want her to know when she is 16, that we were waiting desperately to meet her when she turned 1.
Honestly, today is a struggle. Not so much that we are missing this birthday, because we knew we would miss this birthday, but more so that we haven't had any movement since accepting the referral. We knew we would be waiting. Much of adoption, is all about waiting. In 15 days, we will be beyond the time frame they said we would have to wait for our emigration submission. I'll attach a timeline below for those that want to know the different steps we are waiting for. We have been told that it is usually about 6 months from emigration submission until custody... so not yet having been submitted for emigration kiiiiiiiinda sucks.
But despite today's struggle, there is so much hope in our process. Friends. I cannot even find the words to type it in a way that matches my internal gratitude. We received the full matching grant. The full $5000. WHAAAAAT? We were DONE fundraising. We felt like people had already given so generously, that we felt guilty even bringing it up. We are truly floored and so grateful. We are grateful that people are willing to come alongside us in this beautiful broken mess.
So today we celebrate. We celebrate the birthday of a little girl who turns one. We celebrate the potential impact she will have in our lives. And we celebrate the crazy love that surrounds us. May we continue to give and live abundantly. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Happy birthday sweet Eliza Ruth. May you feel our love from 6,526 miles away.