Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Big Adoption Series - Chapter 2


We never saw Jan again.

We got a running start and together, we jumped right off the ledge of needles and procedures and uncertainty. Our legs stretched out just far enough to reach the other side and before we could blink, we were on a whole new kind of ride. This one felt less rickety. Less jarring. We no longer braced ourselves each month for that familiar free-fall that left our hope battered and achy. We had climbed off the roller coaster and on to the ferris wheel, where we would come nose-to-nose with ups and downs, but where we felt much safer. We held hands in that swinging seat and noticed right away the loveliness of the view.

Right from the start, the idea wormed its way into our brains that we would be adopting a little girl. You could not have convinced me otherwise. I had always wanted loads of girls. We already had our girl name chosen. So, while the idea of a new kind of family took root in our hearts, we talked about where our Ruby would come from, what she would look like.

That first, slow ascent to the top was filled with big ideas and very little information. We knew nothing about adoption. We requested packets from a couple of agencies in our area and before long, we were on our way to Indianapolis to attend an informational meeting at Bethany Christian Services.

I noticed right away that most of the other couples seemed infinitely more knowledgeable about adoption. They all looked like real adults - capable, earnest, not especially given to the whims of fashion or style. They were sensible and generous in the exact way that parents, in my mind, should be. I tugged at my cute cardigan, probably found in the Junior's department, and wished I hadn't even bothered with make-up. I did my very best to appear mature and motherly and all the while, I felt like an impostor. We nodded our way through muddy terminology - dossier, referral, home study. We sat up straight and drank Sprite from paper cups as we swatted imperceptibly at nagging thoughts - we are too young, we don't know how to be parents, who would ever give us a baby? The swinging seat lurched ever-so-slightly, for the very first time as we came to understand all that would be required of us, when all I wanted was to sign a paper and order up my baby.

At the close of the meeting, an employee at Bethany came to talk with us, asking first which country we would be most interested in.

Romania!

Romania has not allowed international adoption for several years....

OK...China!

Both parents have to be at least 30 years old to adopt from China. You are both too young.

Then the truth came out - We really did not care what country our child came from. We could never begin to choose. It didn't matter.

With kind eyes that brimmed confidence in us, she said, "Have you ever thought about South Korea?"

We slowed to a stop, and still holding hands, we looked out around us at so much potential and so much love. She had pointed us right in the direction of our child, still utterly unknown to us, still very, very far away. None of that mattered. We swelled with all the hope of a promise. We breathed deep and held tighter, ready for the next go-round.

______________________________________________

Join me here next Tuesday for Big Adoption Series - Chapter 3