5.19.2013

Waiting

Waiting...waiting...and waiting.

We have been waiting 51 days for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). I have been on many roller coasters: Cedar Point, Holiday World, Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Universal Studios, and King's Island. But I must say, this adoption journey is the wildest roller coaster ride I have ever experienced. With thrill rides you have to wait, wait, and wait in line, zig-zagging back and forth, back and forth, until you finally reach the front of the line. You choose which row you want to sit in. You climb aboard, fasten your seat belt, and start that tall climb.

Up, up, up you go until you finally reach the peak. Slowly, the car tips forward and speeds down the hill, taking you up and down, side-to-side, and upside down until a few minutes later, the ride is over. You think to yourself, "That was incredible! So worth the wait!"

I know by the time Tucker is home, we will feel the same way. Every piece of paperwork, each meeting with a social worker, every check written, every trip to the mailbox (praying that something inside will move things forward), each telephone ring (praying it is my agency to give me good news), every minute waiting (166,279 minutes have passed since I first saw my son's picture)...they will all be worth it. I believe that with every ounce of my being.

But in the meantime, the waiting is a roller coaster ride within itself. Two weeks ago, I text some of my girl friends and said something along the lines of "Please pray for me. Tucker has never felt so far away, and I am really struggling." It was a hard day, and I have no idea why. I never call my social worker...like ever. She is awesome, and I trust that when she has news to share with me, she will let me know. But, that day when I was really struggling, I called and left a message for her to call me back. When she did, I apologized and said something like, "Hi. I...uh....I don't really have a reason for calling. I just...I don't know....this is hard. I am really having a hard time in the wait right now." At that moment, and for the next 15 minutes, I was reminded how grateful I was that Ryan and I prayed and researched so hard when choosing our agency. They are simply amazing. My social worker said that she was so glad that I called and told me that this is why she is here. She doesn't just coordinate and facilitate our adoption, but she is here to counsel me through the difficult days.

My SW then spoke truth to my heart while I quietly cried on the other end of the phone. One of my favorite things she said was that God was growing me in this wait. When God grows, stretches, pulls, and pushes us, it hurts. There is pain. But God is using this opportunity to strengthen me. I know He loves me so much that He is going to use this adoption to make me a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a better follower. I remember after Noah was born, I realized that it was one of the few opportunities I would have to make some serious and real change. It's hard to change old habits, but when you have a little person depending on you for everything, God stretches, pulls, pushes, and grows you...if you let Him. He is doing the same now. So, I really leaned on those words the past couple of weeks. I celebrated my growth and knew that God was with me in the wait. My social worker also said how much she loved hearing my longing for Tucker. My heart is becoming bonded to a person I have never met, and when the difficult times come (because they will), this love, this attachment, this instinctual I-will-do-anything-to-protect-you-and-love-you will help carry us through those times.

I felt strong. I felt positive. I was glass half full after that conversation.

Then, last Friday, I crashed. Two more weeks of not hearing a word about our LOA had passed. In case you didn't know, that was another 20,160 minutes. And you know how it is when you are waiting for something. You tend to feel every minute that goes by. You can feel that clock ticking away each and every second. I see families on Facebook getting their LOAs much sooner than us, and it hurts. There is real pain and heartache. Sometimes, it hurts like my chest is being crushed. My son is across the world, and all I can do is wait...and wait...and wait.

Fridays are especially hard because you know you spent a week waiting, and nothing happened. You know you won't hear anything for at least two more days. Never did I ever dread the weekend until this adoption journey. Is that crazy or what?

So here's the deal everyone. This is the last week in May that officials will be processing adoption paperwork in China because they are transitioning to a new computer program from May 27-May 31. Sometimes before these big "shut downs" as they are called, officials will process a TON of paperwork...clean off their desks so to speak.

PLEASE PRAY WITH ME THAT OUR LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE IS PROCESSED THIS WEEK AND SENT TO OUR AGENCY. PLEASE!

We have no idea what kind of delays could potentially occur with the new system as they work out the kinks. We know we will definitely lose a week during the transition, and who knows how many weeks after that could pass. This is why receiving our LOA this week would be such a blessing. After we receive our LOA, we will still have many steps before bringing Tucker home, but we can't start them until we have this official LOA. So many of you are already praying for us, and I can't thank you enough. We definitely feel them and know that God is hearing all of us.

Another mom who adopted her son from Tucker's orphanage sent a picture to me on Mother's Day. The picture has Tuck sitting with 4 other sweet babes on the playground. I've cropped it to help remind you who you are praying for tonight, tomorrow, and the weeks to come. Thank you so much!
My beautiful son
"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." (John 14:18)

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