What I never see discussed by those adopting is fear... I admit I am fearful. Very fearful. I think I get past it, and then it rears its ugly head. The questions creep in. The unknowns start to overwhelm. In typical me fashion, I do my research and uncover every stone there is to be uncovered, ask every question there is to ask (I think), etc... But the answer to a lot of those questions is another question or a simply "we don't know." Nothing creates fear in me like the unknown. Someone could tell me definitively something horrible is going to happen and that would generate less fear in me than the unknown. Weird, I know. But with the latter, I can prepare and develop a plan of attack. With the unknown ...
Also, in an effort to prepare you, everyone prepares you for the worst - and I will be honest. If the worst were likely to happen, we would not be adopting.
Maybe that sounds heartless. Maybe we aren't strong enough. But right now we feel we have an obligation to the two boys we have been given. And, although I'm sure they will survive if the worst happens - in fact, they will probably be better people for it - we don't wish for that for their lives... Funny how we know that trials make us grow and give our lives depth and meaning, yet we don't want them...
Of course, if the "worst" does happen once we are her parents it will be the same as if that would have happened to Mack or Cooper. We know we are not guaranteed a life free of trials and our love is not and won't be conditional.
I will admit that when I am being faithful and am close to God, I am not fearful... He has provided us many reassurances and been very direct with us. For that I am grateful, and when we start to fear, we recall all those things and the many families we know who have gone through this before us to a happy "now", etc... But when I get lazy and start to let things slide, the fear inevitably sneaks in. We are lucky that God has been so direct with us in this journey, otherwise, I don't know if we would be able to complete it.
Most of those fears went away once we actually received our "non-official" match of the little girl we will most likely be adopting on January 15th. She all of a sudden became a "known" rather than an "unknown". She is adorable and has a repaired cleft lip which seems to us a very manageable/minor special need. We are actually over the moon that it is so minor.
We got an update today on her and the updates are good. A lot of the updates are vague and not very helpful. But, we have weight, height, etc... measurements to see how she is physically developing. She is now 26.5 lbs - and is 2 1/2 years old. Cooper was 30 lbs at that point, and he is big, so that seems good to me. Of course, we sent this info to the international adoption pediatrician with whom we are working. We received pictures of her gum line (she has a repaired cleft lip) and to me her gum line looks pretty great - and honestly we have been prepared for worse. Our #1 concern is mental development and from what we know she seems to be developmentally on track - but with any child, that is such an unknown. But we know she stacks cups, plays well with other children, can be stubborn, etc...
I only write and admit this because I want others to know that fear is part of the process. And I don't think it is necessarily bad thing. Fear can help guide you, lead you to the right questions and remind us that God is in control. But I also think Satan uses fear to keep most of us from doing the things in our lives we should be doing. The fear of being uncomfortable or having to work harder or do with less when we are among the most blessed in the world... How weak are we?
I am hopeful and pretty positive that a year from now, we will be singing the praises of adoption and how we are so grateful we moved in this direction. I pray, we look back at this post and are so happy that we moved past the fear and didn't let it hold us back from receiving the blessings she will bring to our family and providing her with a forever family. When I look at Cooper and Mack, I can't imagine a world without them. I am guessing we will feel like that shortly about Yin Xiu (American name still to be determined :-)).
In other news, I have already bought her a Christmas dress that was on clearance for next year having no idea what size she will actually be (bought a 3T). Yes, that might be a little bit of "jumping the gun". :-)