Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Waiting Begins

I knew before we began this adoption that the waiting is the hardest part. I have seen my parents complete 13 adoptions at this point, and I have talked to many other people in the midst of an adoption. I think the thing that surprised me is how early in the adoption process the wait becomes agonizing. Greg and I heard about Mikaela yesterday afternoon, and committed to her about 24 hours ago. Already the strain of the wait is wearing on me. In some ways, having Gabriela makes the wait harder, because she keeps Mikaela on my mind so constantly, and because the contrast between their situations is so stark. At several points today, Gabriela has started crying because of something small that was troubling her. Once, her hands were cold. Another time, she wanted to get in her crib with her little stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet. Several times, she just wanted someone to talk to her. Each time, I thought about Mikaela as I was comforting Gabriela. While I warmed Gabriela's hands, I wondered if Mikaela was cold. When Greg carried Gabriela to her bed for her nap, I thought about her bed with its little quilt and her favorite stuffed animals. I have seen cribs in orphanages many times before, and I know that often they have dirty sheets, plastic bags poking out, and sometimes two or more children sharing a bed. As I lay in the floor talking to Gabriela and reassuring her that we are still here and still care about her, I wondered if Mikaela has given up crying when she is lonely. We have been told that the orphanage caring for Mikaela right now is very poor and not able to care for its children very well. Even in good orphanages, there are never enough workers to hold all the children, and in a poor orphanage, there isn't a chance. I wonder if my little girl is cold at night and hungry during the day. I wonder how long it will take her to learn to trust us to meet her needs once she comes home. After months of not having her needs met, surely that is what she will expect, even once she comes home. Our contact tells us that Eastern European adoptions can move very fast, and that we might have Mikaela home as early as April. I know that is very, very fast for an adoption, and I hope and pray that things will go that well. But I also know that is a very long time for a little girl to be cold and hungry. I pray that God will move this adoption as quickly as possible. I pray that he will provide all the money we need as we need it. And most of all, I pray that he will take care of my baby girl. I am asking Him to help me wait and trust Him to give Mikaela everything she needs. The first day of our wait is now over. I have no idea how many days of waiting still lie ahead of us.

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