Life as MommyMo

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby News

Yesterday was one of those days... I have heard lots of adoptive parents say over the years that just when you think you can't take waiting any longer, something in the process gives.

I was probably even more anxious yesterday about our wait for travel than I was for a match back in December. I can provide some context by explaining that I obsess over the stats of where other families are in process on the Holt message board. It's really the only glimpse, however unscientific, you have as to how things are moving within various agencies.

We were quite surprised to learn Max's emigration permit had been approved in Korea in January. We'd just gotten his American immigration application sent over not a week before that, so we were just convinced the universe was totally working in our favor (not that we don't believe that now...) and that Max was going to be home in record time.

(I sound rather composed about all of this don't I? That's because I'm typing this two weeks after the fact, when my kitchen is done, I have running water and Sam's moved into a new room. By no means are we totally ready right now, but we are positively light years ahead of where we were on that particular day.)

We tried to be patient waiting for the I600 approval. I saw other families in New Jersey report getting theirs very quickly. I thought I'd get a letter last week and have been virtually pouncing on the poor mail guy the instant he darkens my doorstep. I had no luck for days on end, then got a letter with the appropriate postmark on it on Saturday morning. I squealed, opened it, and read a form letter indicating that USCIS had received our application and would process it.

"Please expect 10 weeks for approval from date of receipt."

Oh, and don't even bother calling before then.

I freaked. My stress level went way up and I had a hard time thinking of anything else for the next few days.

Yesterday, I woke up just feeling like it *had* to be approved and maybe we'd somehow missed the letter. Well, when the mail came and was nothing but junk, I decided I was going to call the office anyway, but that I'd wait till the 3 hour window opened every Wednesday afternoon for freakishly hyper parents like myself to try to get through to an officer.

I tried and tried when I wasn't on conference calls. I tried searching online. I tried to dig up the number for a specific agent in Newark that is legendarily awesome. Nothing.

I called Rob and begged him to get home before the window closed so I could take a conference call and so he could try calling, too. I heard him upstairs rooting through papers and he asked me one question (can't recall what it was) before I could hear him talking to someone.

He came down the stairs and I put my phone on mute, prepared to get whatever news he had. He said nothing and started out the door to go get Sam. I hissed at him to tell me what happened and he replies, "Everything's fine. We were approved today."

I don't know how he managed to be so deadpan. Really. The man could be a guard at the Tower of London, I'm now convinced.

So, that's all a long way of saying we're a huge step farther ahead and definitively closer to having our baby home where he belongs.

Sorry the story got so long. I guess it's not surprising... I use this blog mainly to capture my thoughts from time to time, though, so I don't usually write focused on who's reading. I save that for work. :-)

Other than just the facts of where we're at, I can also now officially say that this wait has been WAY harder than I thought it would be. I managed to stay occupied while the house was in disarray, but I must have been planning for the baby to arrive as soon as life started to get back to normal. Every day that we wait just seems FOREVER.

I confess to wrestling with all of the emotions that surfaced years ago when we were in process and adopting Sam. I see so many people be able to build families in blissful ignorance to how hard it can be for others. I can't blame them and truly envy that. I wouldn't change for one second what we've been through and what has come of it, but I still fight the bitterness and questions of the struggle that are part and parcel of adopting.

I heard a story recently of someone I know and respect who said of adoption (clearly not around me) that she couldn't understand why anyone who can't have children "of their own" would ever adopt. She claimed every single thing that I HATE about the lack of awareness some seem to have. She said you can't love an adopted child the same way and that people who can't give birth are completely crazy to adopt from other countries. I can't put into words how hurtful it was to hear this, even third or fourth hand. I don't know that I'll ever be able to look at her the same way again. Actually, I know I won't. There was more to the comments, but I can't even give them justice by repeating them.

I know that most of this pain will magically dissipate the instant I get to hold Baby Max in my arms and see him with his Daddy and big brother. I just struggle more on some days than others and wish with all my heart that it could just *happen* without the waiting and the anxiousness and the publicness that it must have. I know a lot of pregnant people right now and think rather wistfully of the "luxury" (in my mind) of not finding out what sex your baby might be or not sharing the news until you're in a safe period.

I don't want to sound like I begrudge anyone the happiness and joy pregnancy and children bring. I don't. I just suppose I need to deal with some toxic emotions before they bug me too much more.

That brings me, in a very roundabout way, to my Lenten sacrifice. Last year, I focused very intentionally on prayer and devotions, but with all I've been feeling lately, I felt like I really needed an exercise in faithful sacrifice to realign my priorities. I think it will be a good reminder for me to remember Who is with me through all of this and what the ultimate reward really is.

I thought long and hard about what daily pleasure and habit would make an impact and decided not to buy any scrapping supplies during Lent. I do have plenty with which to work to actually scrap, but the shopping part of this hobby is a HUGE part of it for me. Rather than spend the time poking around on website and blogs looking for new product and sales, I want to be reminded and be more focused on getting myself in the best possible frame of mind and to do additional devotions.

I had a tiny bit of guilt about this since I know so many designers struggle in an economy like this since scrapping isn't exactly a necessity, but I figure I can work harder on marketing for the designers I CT for during this time to somehow cosmically make up for the lack of global income that begins in my PayPal account.

At the rate I seem to post, here's hoping that my next one is about Max's TRAVEL CALL!


RandiOh said...

i HOPE and PRAY the next time you post, or email me it is with a TRAVEL CALL!!!! come on home baby Max !!

It's A Dear Diary Day said...

Hey Karen ~ I can completely relate to the hurtful comments. When I was pregnant with my son, an HR person made a comment (in front of me and several other employees) that some of us are breeders and some of us are racers. This same woman asked if I was pregnant with twins would I have a selective abortion since I had too many children already.

Rude comments just go with the territory of being a mom.

Melissa said...

I can so relate to your comments about the wait and how difficult the whole process is. I've thought many times of the "luxury" of just being pregnant and having a child, but if we would have had the "easy" route, I wouldn't have Camden and Rory - and I KNOW you feel the same way! But it's still so difficult! You're going to hear something soon - I am sure of it!!