Friday, May 17, 2013

The Second Trimester....

I find it very interesting how similar adoption is to pregnancy.  When you think about adoption, it's like the time when you aren't pregnant yet, but hope to be/plan to be/think you might be pregnant soon.  When you commit to a child, it's like a positive pregnancy test.  When your adoption plans are interrupted it's like a miscarriage - you grieve for the child you won't be able to adopt.

We committed to adopting Priscilla back in January.  I liken the last 4 1/2 months to the first trimester. The going it tough, and there's nothing to show for it.  You are working so hard on something you can't put your hands on.  You're tired all the time and there's always more to do than you have time or energy.  Then, you finally reach the end of this first trimester - the home study arrives!

We are now entering into a new phase of our adoption, the second trimester if you will.  We are waiting to "see" our little girl.  The hard work is done, I'll have more time and energy to function from day to day.  I have a list of projects to accomplish before she joins our family.  I'm sure, just like the second trimester in pregnancy, there will be days that it will seem like this isn't really happening.  Life will seem"normal" and there will be very little to remind me that we are adopting.  Except for those occasional little reminders, similar to those precious first kicks/movements, like getting our fingerprints done for the I800a, and submitting our dossier. I'll need to prepare and plan.

In about 8 weeks we will get to "see" our "baby."  To me, this will be very much like the big 20 week ultrasound (only better as we'll get to hold her and love on her!).  But it will be the first time we truly lay eyes on her.  At that point everything will seem so much more real.  Our hearts will be bonded with her and it will be SOOOO hard to walk away and not "see" her again for so many, many months!

After that, we'll be in our last trimester - the hardest part.  There will be so much to do to prepare, as I know I will be unable to accomplish much of anything once she is home, for months even.  We'll get her bedroom ready, get clothes for her set out (we'll know her size by then).  We'll have more paperwork to submit to finish the adoption.  But, mostly, we will be waiting.  Anxiously waiting.  Praying for her to stay strong, to remain healthy.  Each day will seem longer than the last.  Going "overdue" due to delays in the red tape/legal process will be excruciating.

Once everything is ready and the time has come, Daryl will take me to bring her home.  We'll leave our other children, and come home with their new sister.  Then everything will slow down, we will focus on our new blessing and keep tight for a while.  Time to bond, time to learn about her.  Time to allow her to adjust to her new world and new time zone (so like a newborn that is on the wrong time frame, awake all night, sleeping all day!).  Keeping exposure to anything outside our family to a minimum as we care for her and bond to her.  Taking her to doctor's appointments to make sure she gets the best start here as she can.

And, eventually, finding a new normal for us. I always find it takes at least 3 months to find a new normal after having a baby, but as I get older, it has taken longer and longer.  With Carese it was nearly a year. With Priscilla, it may take that long as well.  Our friends and family will need to be loyal and patient as we go through the process of making Priscilla a part of our family.  But it will all be worth it.

But, there are many ways that adoption is so very different from a pregnancy.  While we are waiting, our child is in an orphanage on the other side of the world, spending most of her day in a crib.  Not receiving the therapies, medical care and proper nutrition that she needs.  No amount of my eating right or being careful to guard my health will help her.  Granted, if I'm eating right and working on my health, I will be in better shape to care for her, but it doesn't help her right now.  When an adopted child joins the family, they are not a clean slate.  They have been damaged.  They have learned to cope in ways that a baby should never have to cope.  They have learned to never expect their needs to be met.  They have learned that crying does not bring about consolation.  They have learned that at night, there is no one to care for them, they are on their own.

And, unlike pregnancy, it is not 9 months, give or take a few weeks. It's more like a year, give or take a few months!  A year that YOUR child is not in your arms but living in a cold, sterile environment learning to rock in place to self-console instead of sitting in my lap, in my arms, rocking in our purple princess room.

So, when is our "due date"?  We really have no idea.  Sometime next winter.  October at the earliest, January or later if things don't go well.  Another winter in an orphanage for a little girl who has battled pneumonia 4 times in her first 3 winters.

Please pray with us that our paperwork will sale through all the red tape.  That we can go get our precious little girl in October rather than January or later.  Pray that she remains healthy.  Pray that we can make all the needed preparations in our home for her.  Pray that we will be healthy for our traveling to meet her and to bring her home.  Pray for our family as they prepare to hold up while we are gone.

But even more.....

PRAY that others will see the needs of these children to be adopted!

EVERY life is worth saving.  These children will NOT be OK if left where they are.  Unlike children in need of adoption here in the US, they are not in homes.  They are  not receiving therapies to help them grow and learn.  These children face a death sentence if they are not adopted.

If you are pro-life, then you should consider the plight of these precious children, loved by God, who desperately need a home.  These are children abandoned because they are not perfect.  But in God's eyes they are perfect.  In God's eyes they are worth every penny, every sleepless night, every sacrifice of time it takes to bring these children into a home where they can be loved, cared for and taught of the ultimate adoption.  That they can be adopted by God Almighty and be His child.

Adoption is the ultimate outreach to a sinful word.  Adopting is being a missionary, an evangelist.  An adoptive family is a physical manifestation of the spiritual reality of salvation.

If you can't adopt, the support adoptive families through prayer and financial giving.  If you can't give financially, give some physical help to a local adoptive family.  And everyone can do this - advocate for children who are waiting for their forever family to find them.  Share the plight of these forgotten children.

If you think you can't adopt because you don't have the money, I say "pshaw, that's nothing."  I know because we have experienced God's provision in a way that astounds me every day.  If God is calling you to adopt, He is MORE THAN ABLE to provide such an easy thing as money!

Plus - did you know that there are 3 children listed right now who have enough money in their Reece's Rainbow Grants to nearly pay for their entire adoption?????

Check them out:

Nolan is almost 10 years old
He has been transferred to an adult mental institution
His life is in imminent danger
But he can be adopted!
He has over $15,000 ready and waiting to be used
for his adoption!!!
Can you save him?

Iris has over $16,000 to use for her adoption!
She loves to care for the other children in her orphanage
Here's is a blog post about her:
http://www.tinygreenelephants.com/2013/02/beautiful-iris-video.html
This country is fast -
most children are home in 7 months!

Maria is an 11 year old sweetie pie!
She has $15,000 for her adoption
Are you her momma???
She's in the same ORPHANAGE as Iris
(hint, hint, hint!)