Honestly, this process has been crazy hard. We know that adoption is born out of brokenness, and our process has felt just that. Broken.
And it has broken us over and over again.
The justice seeker in me feels especially crushed. For a year we have watched and felt helpless. Watched our timelines take longer than expected and watched a baby grow up from a distance knowing that the older she is, the harder the next step will be. I have been unable to advocate for a little girl on the other side of the planet who I am hesitant to call daughter. It is a confusing process where I am rooting for her birth mom to change her mind because I know that is what is best for Ru, but also knowing how hard that would be for my current nuclear family. It's hard to love and want someone, while knowing you are third string. Birth mom first choice, adopted in birth country second, and then us. Knowing I can never be Plan A, but having a strong desire for her to be a part of our family is like living on a seesaw and in the tension. I long for redemption of the broken and also for more transparent and blatantly ethical processes.
Last week I sobbed in the shower. You know, the most sacred place of my home. The wait and our current season had leveled me. The hard days felt to outnumber the good, despite the solid evidence to the contrary. My bed seemed more attractive than normal every morning as I pulled myself out of it and then fantasized about sleeping the rest of the day. I was running at a sprint speed from October to February. And guys, I can metaphorically sprint like a rockstar. In real life I can't sprint unless someone shoots me up with some adrenaline, but metaphorically, I am a contender. I was moving so fast, all I was able to hold was my anger. I was angry about how long Ru had to wait and our experience along the way. The sadness was just a breeze blowing by. I knew it was there but didn't want to, or feel the need to, acknowledge it. But then it all stopped. In February I graduated and passed boards. I hadn't yet gone back to my RN job as I was pursing NP jobs. I went from doing clinicals 5 or more days a week to having way more free time than I have had over the past two years. So the breeze transitioned to sadness that was as heavy and as all encompassing as the humidity on a Chicago summer's day. It has been sticky and permeating. And last week I finally gave in and just grieved where we are. Or where we were. We were matched April 4th of 2018, and as of April 4th 2019 we still didn't have an official court date.
After acknowledging and sitting in the all my mess and sadness, joy came in the morning light. We have a court date. We will meet sweet Ru on May 7th. We are so grateful. And nervous, and excited. We are all the things. I am still tackling the sadness deep within my soul while I'm so incredibly grateful for the joy and hope that came to us this morning.
People have told me that once she is home I will forget all of this. I know I am not yet on the other side. I am not yet an adoptive mom. But I don't think I will forget. I do think I will further investigate and I will better learn how to advocate. It has been so hard to feel so powerless. I think everyone knows when you enter adoption you submit to the unknown. But I do believe there are some things that can be done better. We all know I like a good sprint, so maybe this will be a part of our next race.
The first week of May we will travel to Korea and we will meet the little girl I hope to call daughter.
Because of the multiple transitions in our life, and the likelihood that I will start a new job in July, we made another crazy decision. The boys and I will live in Korea for 7ish weeks. Jon will join us for the first and last week for court and custody. If we stay in Korea we will get at least weekly visitation with Ru, if not more time. While once a week might not seem like a lot, it is huge for a toddler who has known nothing but her foster family, to at least recognize and be familiar with the people who will be removing her from everything and everyone she knows and loves. This is one of the only tools we have in our toolbox to help minimize her trauma. So as insane as it feels, we are going for it. We are trusting that in this season of career transition for me, stability is not far off in our future and we are going to use this season of waiting for her and our benefit. We will figure out how to handle these 7 weeks, to give our daughter the best we can, from the start.
The paper chain and countdown has begun. 26 days until we leave for Korea. We will return sometime in June as a family of 5.
Thank you for your love and support throughout this roller coaster. We have felt so surrounded by hopes and prayers and have been so grateful for our community. I have been a full on disaster on multiple occasions, and we still have friends. It's incredible really. We haven't shared much recently because it is hard to share over and over again that you are still waiting. But we are excited to now celebrate alongside everyone that our wait is coming to an end.
Please surround us with prayers and connections. Jon will be home alone while we adventure and bond in Korea. Someone has to bring home some bacon. I will be adventuring but likely feeling quite isolated as I explore a foreign country and live all my moments directly with my 4 & 6 year old. Bless. They are a lot and there will not be a break. We need our people more than ever. Invite Jon out or dinner or a drink. Message me if you see me on messenger in the wee hours of your night. And please surround us and Ru in prayer as we move forwards towards custody. While our wait is over, this is another trauma in her 18 month life. If you feel inclined to support us financially, our Adopt Together page is still active. We are prepared to shake up our finances however needed to make this long trip possible. Please feel zero pressure to support us financially.
Soon we will be able to show you this sweet face. But in the mean time, might you swoon over those pigtails as much as I have.