I sat down this afternoon to catch up on one of my favorite blogs and suddenly found myself in tears (I'm guessing I may type the words "in tears" often here), jumping up in excitement to find Ted to show him. The blog is by a family who just got to Ethiopia a week ago to pick up their child, Silas. He's beautiful. Their experience in country has been life-changing, and the tears came to me because I was so out-of-this-world happy for them and suddenly very excited for us.
I have been thinking of starting this blog for a few weeks now but just never got around to it in the midst of the mounds of paperwork we are currently consumed with gathering as a way of offering proof that: yes, hopefully, by God's grace, we will be good parents. I realized while reading Josh and Amy's blog that I need to get going. Their story this afternoon was so inspiring to me, and I'd love for this one to maybe inspire someone else.
See, I had a bit of a meltdown last week. I needed to be inspired today. The meltdown was an unfortunate byproduct of looking ahead at a project that won't really come for another month or so (I'm guessing), that of our foreign dossier. The very nice lady at Gladney Center for Adoption told me on the phone that we are very close to the point of putting together our foreign dossier, which is basically this huge honkin' packet of information about us that goes to the Ethiopian government and to the in-country staff of Gladney that they use to clear us for adoption and pair us with a child (or children? We think twins would be awesome). So I got pretty excited about that bit of news, as once that packet is sent off, we just sort of sit back and wait to get the news that our child is waiting for us (If you want to watch a slideshow of what an amazing experience it is to see your child for the first time via an email, read Josh and Amy's blog. I cried my guts out--there I go again crying--the first time I saw this).
So I looked at the checklist of what we have to include for the foreign dossier, and I got completely overwhelmed. My heart started beating faster, my vision blurred and little chirping birds started circling above my head. Before looking at this checklist, I was in the middle of trying to figure out how to do our FBI background check. It's a bit complicated. Ted walked into the room to find me in front of the computer, staring intently at my email while waving one arm around in an attempt to shoo away these obnoxious birds. It was a bit much. He offered to take care of the FBI check, and I went away to take a nap.
Three hours later, we were successfully fingerprinted and had our background check request in the mail in the very specific proper form, all thanks to Ted, the best man I know.
This week, we have a list of things to get together and/or fix to hand in to our home study agency here in Portland so that they can send a social worker out to our home. I'm anxious to get all these things turned in. This has become my full-time job. I wake up in the morning thinking of paperwork and go to bed at night thinking about what needs to be done the next day. The good people at Gladney have been so wonderful through it all. They even broke the application process down into three distinct packets for us to gather together and send. This has enabled me to see this process as a school project, one that I get to work on to get just right and then make little (or often big) check marks beside as I finish things. Ted keeps reminding me that we don't have to get an A; it's enough if we end up with a child. He's right, but I've actually somehow enjoyed the whole process of gathering papers together and filling out forms: I feel like I'm accomplishing something, in spite of the occasional breakdowns.
Hopefully, I'll take the time to go back and write about the process up until this point. But until then, those of you reading are joining us 'in medias res', in the middle of the action, which I've heard is one of the characteristics of a great epic.