The waiting is actually easier right now than it was a few weeks ago. We seem to go through cycles where it is kinda driving us crazy to not know the timing of it all and we try to guess based on other people getting their referrals, and then there are times that we're just at peace that it will happen when it happens -- God's timing!
We still are not waiting by the phone, so that's good; I hope we get "the call" before we get to that point!
A large part of what makes the inability to pinpoint the timing, by even plus or minus 2 months, hard, is that it is such a big life change. Bringing home an adopted child is a much bigger change than bringing home a newborn biological child. First, there is the age factor. A newborn sleeps a lot, but not so much a 9 month old or a 2 year old! Then there is all the work that must be done to begin to catch up on all that the child may have missed and help them heal from their past. And many experts recommend staying home as much as possible during the first few months your newly adopted child is home. So, it's all a huge life change that must be planned for, yet you must do that with very uncertain timing and ever with the knowledge that your planning may be for something that never happens, because adoptions are uncertain often until the very final minute before the papers are signed.
We've spent a lot of time the past few months learning about how to parent the child we will adopt and I have to say it is much different that parenting a biological child so we are basically starting at ground zero.
But, I'm thankful there are some great resources out there, like the training by Dr. Karyn Purvis (you can find some of her resources here and some here).
It's been amazing to me to learn all that goes on in the first few weeks and months of life that sets the ground work for the rest of that child's life.
Some of the basics we've learned are that holding and rocking are very important parts of healing children from "hard places', so I plan to hold and carry this child as much as possible, even if we get a 2 year old, I've heard the Ergo carrier works for toddlers. Also, sucking is very soothing to a child and stimulates the Vagus nerve which helps the body calm itself. And holding your child while bottle feeding is an excellent way to promote bonding. So, even if we get a toddler, we may try to revert her back to bottle-feeding for a while. This is very different thinking for me. All 3 of my biological kids were off bottles by 1 year old.
But, the goal will be "heal this baby" -- whatever it takes!
Recently we went to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. Steven and his wife Mary Beth had 3 biological children and then adopted 3 girls, 1 at a time, from China. At the concert Mary Beth Chapman shared about the moment in a Chinese hotel hallway when she first met Shaohannah (their first daughter from China). She said as she held the baby for the first time and realized that little girl had done nothing to earn her love, yet in that moment she knew she would give her life for that baby girl. At the same time as she had that thought, she felt as if God was tapping her on the shoulder saying, "Now you get it, that's what I did for you."
This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.