Sometimes even the beginning stages of this journey seem overwhelming. It takes small unexpected moments to refresh my perspective.
I was recently accepted into a yahoo group specifically for Honduran adoptions. As I read my "welcome" e-mail, I was so excited to read the posts and begin to connect....finally!....to some other families. We know several people who have amazing families because of adoption, but we know no one who has adopted from our chosen country. So, I happily logged on and began perusing the posts. Enter discouragement.
There are only a few new posts to the site, and many of the older ones were written by individuals who were obviously not pleased with their progress or situation. Last week, one lady had asked for basic information and said she and her husband were considering looking into Honduras. A few days ago someone responded and it went to my e-mail. The response advised the lady to look elsewhere (basically any other country would suffice), that it would be the longest and most difficult thing she would ever do, and that no matter what any agency tells you it will take 3 to 5 years to bring a child home. Hmm. Well. So much for my optimism!!!
I had to remind myself that we chose this program knowing it is a pilot program. This means it has not been done before and, therefore, our experience will probably be different from others who have adopted there in the past. Laws have changed, the government in Honduras is changing, and I have enough trust in our agency to know we will not be going into this without support. I also believe they have done their homework ~ I don't think we will be 'flying blind.' I also had to allow my friend Kim to remind me that for as many content and helpful people I might encounter in such an online group, there will also be those who "have an ax to grind."
Many deep breaths and a couple of days later, I was blessed to be reminded in a visible way of why we are doing this in the first place. Tonight I was getting Natalie settled down for bed. She will turn 9 in just a few weeks which seems unreal. Every now and then as a parent ~ for me, mostly when they are sleeping ~ you get a glimpse of your children and the way they looked when they were much smaller. I looked at her sweet face as she closed her eyes, and for a moment she so resembled herself as a toddler. My heart swelled up with that motherly mixture of love, pride and an odd mix of sadness and hope. Sadness at how quickly she is growing and changing; hope at the future she has before her and the opportunity to share it.
Then I thought of our other daughter. We don't know her name (well, we have a few thoughts....). I don't have a visual image of what she looks like or know what her favorite sleeping friend might be. I don't yet know what songs and books she will like or if she will hate all of her vegetables except for one. What I do know is that we are waiting for her. I know that the Lord placed Latin America in our hearts and that there is a reason for that longing. I know that she deserves to have someone look upon her with those same feelings I have when I see her sister and brother peacefully at rest in their beds. And I know that I am already praying for her and for God to be with us as we make our way to her. Hopefully, we will be a family that can encourage others as they begin their own journeys. For now, I am just taking it one day at a time. Which is really all that God asks us to do in the first place.
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Matthew 6:33-34