Excuse Me While I Dump On You

9 Nov

When someone asks me about my adoption, my head starts spinning in circles because I’m thinking, I have 1 minute to pull all of this together into one short compact story. But, of course, it never comes out the way that I want it to, and it usually ends up with, “But you’ll be traveling, soon!” and I nod and agree.

It’s kind of like when people ask, “How are you?”  and the person replies,  “I’m good, thanks!”  But they are really thinking, Except for this and this and this…but saying “good” is just easier.

If you bumped into me today and said, “How’s the adoption going?”  I’d probably reply something like this, “It’s going! Moving in the right direction, that’s for sure! Just have to make it another 3 months.  The holidays are going to help the time go fast, so that’s good.  The boys are so excited, and we just can’t wait for her to come home. And she’s doing amazing and in an amazing orphanage, thank God for that.  We’ve been so blessed with how things are moving along!”

But my gut reaction would look a little more like this, “It’s definitely moving in the right direction but it’s hard right now.   We are living life like we always do, but we all feel like something is missing, because there IS something missing: our daughter and sister.  And now, we’re set to celebrate two most important holidays of the year and it breaks our heart that she isn’t here with us.  We watch her little video clips every day and wish we could just go.  The boys are so excited, but they get so sad at not understanding why we’re not going to get her. It’s hard. It’s HARD.”

But we don’t do that. We aren’t honest. Well, we are with a few special few (thank you from the bottom of my heart, my few special few), but the reality is, we’re all on the surface. It’s hard to talk about the tough stuff, and of course, many times it’s not something that you’d share with anyone that you might bump into at the grocery store or school.  But it’s real, and it’s there.

So when I’m saying, “It’s moving in the right direction! Just have to make it another 3 months”, I’m really thinking, But that direction seems so far off in the distance.  Do you even know how long 3 months is? It’s 90 days.  90 days of Coralie putting her head down on a pillow on the floor of her orphanage. 90 days of her knowing we exsist, but wondering why we aren’t there to get her.  90 days of her bedroom sitting empty and my heart feeling this feeling of being split, part here, part with her.

And then, when you say, “WOW! Things are moving so fast for you!  I have a friend who has been waiting for her child to come home for 2 years!” I nod and agree, for sure!  And I think, God, please be with that family who has been waiting for 2 years for their child to come home, my goodness! And while it may seem fast, let me tell you that the past 5 months we’ve been waiting on top of the 3 more to come do not feel minimal or fast in my heart.

When I say, “The holidays are going to help the time go fast.”  what I really am thinking is, I’m so (so so so so so) sad that Coralie won’t be with us to celebrate the holidays.  I’m so sad that we have to fit Christmas in a 1-gallon zip lock bag and pray and hope that she actually gets it by Christmas.  I also am thinking, On the flip side, I’m so happy that she gets one more amazing holiday with her amazing caretakers and friends who know her and love her, but oh how I wish she could wake up Christmas morning in her Christmas jammies and share in our joy.

When I say, “The boys are so excited for her to come home.”  What I don’t say is, …and it’s so sad and hard to explain why it is that she’s still waiting in the orphanage.  And when we look at her pictures and they say, “Mom, WHY can’t we go to Korea tomorrow” about once or twice a week, all I can say is, “Kiddo, that’s not something I can answer. We just love her from here and we’ll get to her when it’s our turn.”  And when Miles says he wants to send his favorite stuffed animal to his “little Seung Joo Joo” in her next care package, I realize that he has a relationship with her in his heart, too.  She’s already a part of their lives.

And when someone says, “All in God’s timing or God’s timing is perfect or We may not understand God’s timing, but He does”, I nod and agree, but deep down I’m thinking, “Very true. Yes, and thank goodness for that. But really, right now, God’s timing doesn’t SEEM perfect to me. And yes, I know that I don’t have the right to question God’s timing, but I’m human, and my heart aches for my daughter to come home.  So, I appreciate the hope you give in God’s timing, but I’m human, I’m hurting and God understands my heartache. Thank goodness for that.”

And when I say she’s in an amazing orphanage with amazing caretakers, I deep down in the pit of my stomach believe that.  She is in an amazing orphanage with amazing caretakers who love her and who she loves.  That has been her home for 4 1/2 years! I can not repay those wonderful people who have hugged SJ when she has needed a hug, wiped her tears when she has cried, tucked her in when she woke up with a bad dream, celebrated her birthday, helped her learn how to get dressed, bathed her, did her hair, her nails, picked out the most amazing little outfits I’ve ever seen. LOVED her. I love them for the love they have given SJ in the first almost 5 years of her life. Nothing I can ever say, do or give will even come close to showing the appreciation I have for these people. Praise God for them.

But what I’m really thinking is, “And with that blessing of amazing care, it’s time for us to begin our life with her.  It’s time she learns what a mom and dad is. It’s time to learn that mom and dad don’t leave at the end of their shift. They don’t have weekends off or take vacations.  They are there when you go to bed and again when you wake up in the morning. EVERY night and EVERY morning.  They make you every meal and read you stories every single night.  People don’t cycle through a home on homeland tour visits. The 5 of us are a unit. Thank GOD for her amazing start in life, but it’s time for her new start in life. The longing we have to hold her hand, to look at her little feet and to look deep in her most beautiful eyes is overwhelming.  To feel her soft skin, her silky hair, to feel the weight of her body in our arms is such a real, real longing. Pray for us as the 5 of us wait another 3 months to be together.

The reality is, we ARE keeping busy. We ARE living our lives with great joy right now. We’re NOT sitting around sad day after day. The boys are living life like we did last year – basketball, art club, gymnastics, etc…we’re honestly good.  Dave’s playing racquetball, basketball and is in a men’s group, I’m leading the teens at church, working, volunteering in Miles classroom.  We’re doing life joyfully.  But never is the absence of our daughter and sister not quickly on our minds.

With adoption, it seems you can’t say the reality of the pain of waiting.  There is this thing that exists that any hint of hardness must be counteracted by a positive spin that shows how grateful and lucky and blessed and not nearly as bad as “so and so” we are. We know we are lucky, blessed, we’re grateful, we’re not nearly as bad as “so and so”, but gosh, we are ready to start living life as a family of 5 all in one country.

And, this, being my adoption blog, is the place to come clean.

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3 Responses to “Excuse Me While I Dump On You”

  1. amy November 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Well said….we have been waiting for two years for a referral and when people ask me how is the adoption I just cringe……thank you for sharing your thoughts. What a great reminder this morning that I am not alone. Hang in there!

    • Jen November 13, 2011 at 3:04 am #

      Oh Amy, you hang in there too!!

  2. JaM November 22, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    My SIL was one of those people waiting for two years to bring home her daughter. She shared something with me once her daughter was home. Something to the effect that people always say that it is in God’s timing and while that IS true we also live in a sinful, broken, imperfect world. People are imperfect, governments are imperfect, processes are imperfect. She didn’t believe it was God making her wait those long 22 months to bring home her daughter, it was the result of flawed people, governments, and systems.

    Did God teach her patience during that wait? Yes. Did God teach her to value her time with her son while he was the only child at home. Yes. Did God teach her to appreciate every day and moment (even the hard ones) with her daughter once she was home. Yes.

    God used the imperfect for good.

    Any wait is hard and every journey is different. But I wanted to encourage you as you wait for your precious daughter that it is ok to be frustrated, to be weak, to climb up into your Savior’s arms and cry because He will be strong for you.

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