Nothing to re-do, all fingerprints okay, capital "W" waiting, here we come. We're officially approved. Thanks for opening that letter, N!
Whenever I'm getting ready to leave for a trip somewhere and people ask me how excited I must be, I'm never sure how to answer. I never get excited about going somewhere until I'm walking out the door. Only then do I genuinely start looking forward to what's to come. So I'm realizing that I feel the same way about this adoption.
My thought upon first hearing about our approval was not, "Whoopee!" but "Alright then, that's done, great, thanks God, what's next?"
Maybe it's the pessimist in me, that half-empty girl who won't let me believe that it's really going to happen. That girl seems to be always telling me not to get hopes up until the deal is sealed. I remember in high school being asked what my least favorite emotion was, and I immediately said, "Disappointment."
So I'm not sure what's the healthiest thing. This guarded way I have towards the possibility of good things coming has most definitely saved me some heart-ache (i.e. disappointment), but sometimes I wonder if I'm not letting myself experience the full realm of emotion at my disposal with this process.
It's like my friend in Slovakia who's mother freaked out when she bought a baby stroller before her baby was born: you don't want to jinx anything by preparing too much. I don't go that far into superstition, that's for sure, but at the same time, I've done zilch to get the room ready for our arriving kid(s). The most I've done is to buy a couple of interesting baby t-shirts, which I've promptly stuffed into a dresser drawer so I don't have to look at them.
(And by preparing for baby, I mean *buying* for baby--I've done an insane amount of reading and talking to friends about the stuff we'll be facing from sleep issues to attachment parenting to issues of race and adoption--my head swims sometimes from all the expert voices I surround myself with).
They say that the adoption process is an emotional roller-coaster, and that's true for sure. I've been frustrated, exhausted, inspired, frazzled, spit-fire angry, and often relieved when various steps get completed. I guess what I wonder is when that deep sense of anticipation will kick in.
So far, it feels like I've just been packing the suitcase and cleaning the house in preparation for the Big Trip to Parenthood-land. I'm wondering when that feeling of walking out the door, passport in hand, now-I-can-get-excited is going to take over.
Will it be when we get our referral? Will it be when I see the new Rooney face for the first time? Will it be when we literally walk out the door to the airport for Addis Ababa?
I'm curious what other parents in the process have experienced, from those just starting out to those raising their kids already.