It’s been just over 2 years. The call is coming any day.
My ringer is set as loud as possible, but I still impulsively check my phone every five minutes. I can’t miss this call. Somehow I’ve missed all the other ones… the one telling us they’d found a placement, the one telling us we’d passed court, and a half dozen other updates. I can’t miss this one.
Her passport arrived. We scheduled your embassy appointment. Time to get your plane tickets.
That’s the call we’re waiting for. And it’s going to change everything.
I’ve flown to India three times in my life, so I already know the travel is brutal. You watch every movie in the queue, but still aren’t halfway there. You can’t sleep, but you’re too tired to read. It feels like it takes days. And that’s when you’re not on your way to finally meet your daughter! This time it will be excruciating! How will I be able to sit still when we’re so close?
I can hardly contain my excitement about meeting her. But I’m also nervous. She’s 2, we’re strangers, and we’re going to be taking her from everything she knows. I need to be steady for her, not a blubbering mess. I need to show her the tender affection she can expect from her mother, without smothering her in my hugs. I hope I can do it.
I’m thankful that Isaac and Reed are so excited to meet her. But I’m nervous for that aspect, too. Isaac is so nurturing and kind. He’s already a great big brother. But I tend to expect too much of him, and know it’ll be tempting for me to be frustrated with him rather than tender as he faces his own challenges with the adjustment. Reed is the wildcard. He has so much love, and so much rage. I’m just hoping he doesn’t roundhouse kick her to the face when she picks up one of his Batman toys.
With as significant as the changes will be for us, they will be monumental to her. We’re going from a family of 4 to 5. She’s going from an orphanage to a family. We’re going to struggle to communicate with her. She’s going to be surrounded by people she doesn’t understand. I’m going to learn some new Indian recipes, she’s going to be inundated with sights, smells, and tastes that she’s never experienced before.
Outside of culture shock, she’s going to experience loss. I still have no information regarding her living situation, and I know that ours will be better (no matter how great an orphanage, a family is best). But, God willing she was loved and nurtured. And if she was, that necessitates that she will be mourning the loss of relationships. And if she wasn’t, well, we’ll have more significant challenges ahead, and she’ll still be mourning the loss of what’s familiar.
But despite the unknown challenges that lie ahead, I am excited, expectant, and eager to be united with her. My hope doesn’t lie in the instructive books and excellent seminars that have helped prepare me to parent through adoption-related trauma. It’s certainly not in believing that I’m an incredible mother who will be perfect in patience and wisdom. It’s not in naivety that everything will be easy and wonderful. My hope is that GOD IS BIGGER.
If she handles her grief through rage, and I exhaust every method of response to no avail, GOD IS BIGGER.
If she has unexpected health challenges or mental delays, and we tread the tiring waters required to address her needs, GOD IS BIGGER.
If she and the boys don’t get along, and our house feels like a war-zone, GOD IS BIGGER.
If my greatest fear comes to pass and she has reactive attachment disorder and is unable to bond with us, GOD IS BIGGER.
Training is helpful and important, godly parenting should be striven after, but it would be the height of folly to place my trust in anything outside of my Savior. And because He will be with us, I can joyfully await this call and all the change it will bring.