One would think that knowing whom we're adopting would have wrought an immediate change in me, that I would have jumped into this new batch of paperwork with both feet. Alas, that wasn't the case. At least not right away. For the first week or so, I was largely in shock as to how quickly things were moving. There were still a few pieces of our home study that needed to be wrapped up, but I actually had some trouble following through on them. For some reason, it just didn't quite seem real that God had shown us our new daughter, who is currently thousands of miles away. The sensation was not that far from how I felt during each of Kristie's pregnancies. For both Josiah and Gabriela, the reality of it all didn't sink in fully until they grew enough for me to feel them. And when they started kicking and moving around, it became that much sweeter. As of about a week ago, I reached the point where the fact that we are indeed adopting a little, five-and-a-half-month-old baby girl from Eastern Europe finally made its way into my (somewhat thick) head. Now, I'm constantly thinking about our daughter, stuck in a poor orphanage almost half-way around the world, still unaware that there could be a life for her that's different than what she knows now. Every time I change a diaper—whether Josiah's or Gabriela's—when it's not very wet but still needs to be changed because it's been on for several hours, I wonder how long Mikaela has to wait until her diapers are changed. I wonder whether her skin has ever been—or, perhaps more accurately, how frequently—burned by being left in a wet and/or dirty diaper for too long. It makes me sad to think of her little, smiling face enduring that kind of discomfort and pain. I know that many children around the world are treated similarly, and in some cases even worse, but the thoughts of Mikaela's plight are the ones that make my heart sink. That's all the motivation I need to push to get her home as soon as possible.
Right now, I get momentarily paralyzed whenever I take a step back and survey all of the paperwork that still needs to be done, the long trips (or possibly trip) that lie ahead of us, and all of the money that is still needed. (Thankfully, God has given us the first bit of the funds that we need for this, and we praise Him for that!) But then I'm able to focus in on the things that I am responsible for to get her home as quickly as possible. This is not easy, and there is much left to be done, but we are well on our way now, and we cannot wait to meet Mikaela, to hold her, to tell her that we love her, to introduce her to her brother and "twin" sister, to usher her into her new life with us. Hold on, baby girl; we're coming.