When we set out on this journey, I thought the “waiting” part came before we received our referral. I had my sights set on the 4-6 month expected wait between the time that our dossier was sent to Ethiopia and the happy day that we would see our baby boy’s face for the first time. I imagined over and over how exciting and joyful that day would be. Then it’s all downhill from there, right?
Oh, I had no idea. The hard part begins the day that you get your referral. The day that you see your precious child for the first time and know that he is growing up without you and you have no control to change that. Every day you miss a “first.” Every day he is spending more time in institutional care. Every day he is bonding more and more with his nannies and not with us. Every day he is around other sick kids, so much worse than day care (Pneumonia, colds, and rashes have been going around the transition home. I even know of a child who contracted TB during the wait time.) Every day I wonder: Is this even going to happen – what if his birth mother never comes to court or the adoption gets held up by one of those eternal investigations.
And we have no control over anything. I know we can pray. (Believe me, we are!) But as a parent you just want to be able to do something to help. I want to go over there and find his birth mom and escort her to Addis myself. I want to go park myself at MOWA and tell them that I am not leaving until they write our recommendation letter. I want to just go live in a hotel in Ethiopia and care for Little Brother there until we are cleared to take him home. But I can’t do any of these things. Instead, I just try to keep myself busy and keep on waiting.
I know all of the right answers: God has a plan. We need to trust him. He is teaching us important lessons through this waiting time. We get to have extra time with just Madeline before the craziness of adding a new child to the family begins. I know, I know. But right now it just doesn’t make it any easier. None of this lessens the feelings of loss that I have right now. I want my baby.