Suddenly the completion of our adoption feels close, really close. Who knows for sure how many more months it could be, but in our spirits we’ve begun to feel that sense of urgency that accompanied the last trimester of our first two children’s gestations. When it’s not quite time to put a car seat in the car or pack the hospital bag, but there is so much else still left to do!
Last night the doorbell rang and a package was handed over for our signature receipt. A precious package of twelve papers, already worth about $500 because of all they have been through. Each document notarized, certified and soon to be authenticated. After we photocopy everything and repackage it, those papers will be hand carried by courier into the Chinese Embassy in Washington. That single package of paper (not all of our paperwork to be sure!) will be worth almost $1000 in processes before it accomplishes it’s work. It’s pre-term labor, of a different kind. Signature by signature, letter by letter, phone call by phone call, our third child comes closer to home. Our dossier is almost complete.
This sweet baby girl comes to us in her own unique way, through heartbreak and loss, and through a culture and a continent unfamiliar to us. The stretch marks this time around are so different. With each paper signed, each fingerprint given, we pledge our love for this little one. Each time we learn a little more about China, our heart expands for a country and a people that will become our own, as she does. With each long wait for paperwork, we practice the patience that will be needed as we walk her into a brand new life in a brand new family. The startling reality is that as we prepare to bring a child home, she prepares to lose everything she knows, once again. To become a part of our forever family, our daughter must cross cultures and languages into a brand new reality, choosing to trust two faces and two sets of hands that she has only just met.
Her loss is staggering.
Our gain is enormous.
Both our hearts have been and will be broken through this process.
And in some incredibly beautiful ways it will be the best thing that has every happened to any of us.
This is the miracle of adoption.