Adoption Advocacy: 5
All Adoption Stories
Adopting a Sibling Group
As a visual arts individual, walking a blind journey has been draining and the cause of a guarded soul.
Many moons ago, the vision of an ever growing family startled an unsuspecting Wednesday in the most beautiful way. Ticking through to Thursday was the beat that made my feet move effortlessly throughout my dreams.
At my office desk, one near full circle on my clock was occupied by a 3-line email to the closest adoption office. My heart literally pounding through my ears as I wrote the simple enquiry in my best English, hoping to impress the recipient. Putting together the words in the correct order seemed like an impossible task yet the human race correspond via text on a daily basis in the modern world we know today. Reading, re-reading followed by the required partner-proofreading, times 7. Double checking via telephone that he actually proofread the correct email. Pounding heartbeat, deafening as I press ‘Send’ followed by hours of hitting ‘send & receive’ refreshing my inbox, checking my sent e-mails, making sure I did in fact send the e-mail, and to the right address at least 3 times (or 33). Finally, the soft “ding” e-mail notification suddenly ringing in my ears after a solid 24 hour wait. The reply message, the first of many invitations to wait (or wish) my life clock away but a reply none the less so at least they know I exist. Positively bouncing with excitement, clueless of what’s to follow despite friendly but realistic warnings about the dreaded wait.
"I wait for the first e-mail, the first phone call, the first meeting at which point I am still blindly optimistic but after that I just become blind as the wait to open our arms to a child becomes not days or weeks, but months followed by years plus months. I’ve seen the statistics and firmly allowed my heart to beat to the rhythm of common sense but the world doesn’t operate that way anymore. I became blind to the excitement, the faces on profile pages, the dreams that ran wildly through my heart as I wait."
Invaluable and justifiable, YES.
I complete every questionnaire, criminal check and coursework assignment faster than I received it because my heart remained beating passionately but guarded more so. I continue to move through the motions but by now, almost legally blind. Undoubtedly still what I want but the well of excitement ran dry some time ago. On submission of my final required puzzle piece comes another wait. The wait for the visits from social workers to judge the only place of safety that truly belongs to me. The place where I have shed at least a thousand tears in the exciting, heart pounding race of frustration to find love in the eyes of a child.
I clean, clean and clean again for days before the set appointment date. For the most part, fellow residents are not allowed to exhale in the wrong direction, so not to disturb any remaining specs of dust. The excited wait for the day to arrive, possibly the one that can send my mind to Crazy Avenue and back because even though we are slowly edging forwards, I know it will be followed by more of the same. More waiting and more restrictions on exquisite dreams.
Rather unsuspectingly the end of a long, blinding journey suddenly comes to a screeching halt as wheels start to spin leaving vivid tire marks on my heart and my whole world projects itself into a dimension I haven’t visited in so many months. I peek in and turn away as fast as I can. The fear of the complete loss of sight, faith and emotion pulling me away. Pulling at me so hard to fulfil the protection order of my heart but then I recall the memory required for breathing. Oxygen forcing my heart to pound out the bass drum beat familiar to my ears. The beat that allowed me to create a beautiful dance to every step I took, the path leading to the world I could see so clearly many many months ago and finally, I exhale, completing one full breathing cycle.
The colours of my world revived as my pulse settles to a pleasing rhythm. My sight and faith restored by emotions of a different kind as I start to wonder about the soul I have guarded my own against as I wished away a part of my life to get to the finish line faster.
Similar to the child growing in a Mama’s belly, I allow myself to dream about the missing piece of my heart. The colour of their eyes and the shade of their hair. The size of their smile and the size of their shoes. Blue-OR-pink, maybe blue-AND-pink and just there, the sincerely content smile I haven’t seen in the mirror for months appear out of nowhere as I allow myself to drift off to a long awaited peaceful sleep wondering… Which beautiful soul placed on this earth will allow me the honour of loving them.
Part One of Two
A realistic look at International Adoption
Practical tips for new adoptive parents
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