Finalization – And all of the heavy thoughts that go along with it.

26 Sep

The kids are all tucked in, sound asleep.
Hanging on their closets are suits, ties, a dress, socks, shoes, belt, tights…all ready to go for tomorrow’s court appearance.
Cora’s nails all decked out in red, white and blue.

The end to the adoption and the start of life.

So many thoughts when it comes to this step.

First, *deep breath*  We’re wrapping up the past 1 1/2 years here.  What started 1 1/2 years ago officially closes tomorrow. No more will we look at the calendar and say, “Shoot! The social worker is coming (again!) tomorrow! Get up to your rooms and put your toys away!”  ( “But she never goes into our room!”  “But she MIGHT!!”  (She never did.) 😉  )

I don’t have to have my binder of what report needs to be written and sent in by what day.  I don’t have to hear in the back of my mind, “She is not legally your child.”  I don’t have to go into why she has two names and what name is really her name with the hundreds of doctor’s appointments she has to have made.

It’s all over. Tomorrow.  We survived it. Well, the process anyway. Life is going to throw us curve balls, of course, but after tomorrow morning, we are no longer in any process what-so-ever.  Our marathon is over, we crossed the finish line, our reward is our Cora.

And those are all good and wonderful feelings, because as of late, I’m feeling myself opening up to the idea of living again. In the real world. Without the constant fear of attachment issues (though it is still very much a fear) I’m suddenly reminded of me.  There’s all sorts of “me” bubbling up that has been compartmentalized to the basement. Good stuff. Good stuff, indeed.

BUT, and I say this with a full heart.  But.

Adoption is wonderful, but adoption is completely built on the house of loss. Pain.  I wish there was no need for adoption.

How can I say this to make it make sense?

We got a video in the mail today. An old one of Cora.  It was taken the day before her 3rd birthday.  She was sitting on a rug surrounded by adults.  She was playing quietly with a toy, not moving at all.  Someone mentioned her name and a big smile came on her face.  The smile I know. I wanted to reach in and get to know 3-year-old Cora SO SO badly. So badly it hurt.

They wrote her name on a piece of paper and made her hold it.  She thought it was a game.  “Smile Seung Joo!”  I heard the English-speaking person say in a sing-songy voice.  She lit up. She smiled.  They zoomed in and then snapped. Snap, snap, snap.  “OK, that’s good” they said. They took the paper away.  The game was over. They gave her back her toy and she quietly played as they dissected her. Could she get dressed, how many words does she know, how does she relate to her friends, what impressed them about her.

I sat, watched and cried.

My sweet, sweet Cora Seung Joo.

I hate that you had to perform.  Time and time again.  Sit in front of the cameras and show us what you can do.  I hate that family after family flipped through the in’s and out’s and most private things about your life and handed it back over and said no. (Though I totally understand the “no’s”.)  I hate (HATE!) that God didn’t whisper in my ear, “GO!” so much sooner.  Selfishly, I’m so grateful that you were waiting for us when God’s voice came, but oh, sweet Cora, how I wish you didn’t have to wait.

I heard them say, “She’s developmentally on track.”  I heard them say, “No delays”.  I heard them say, “She’s not in physical therapy any more.”  You were sitting there, perfect, (PERFECT!) waiting.  And I had no idea.

Dave tells me that I have to let that go, but I wonder if I can.  Can I let go the fact that she waited for us for so long?

(Let me just say, of course I understand the videos, but I can’t help but hate them. Hate that that child has one shot to be in a good mood, a mobile mood, a singing mood and a playful mood. One shot. I hate them.)

And now tomorrow, you gain American citizenship and a permanent family.  Though you have been my daughter from the moment I saw your precious face, tomorrow it becomes legal.  Is it silly that I feel like gaining that citizenship, as *wonderful* as it is, almost feels like she’s losing something that only belonged to her.

But I do need to let some of those feelings go.  We’ll walk through them some day, together, I hope.  And when she feels life just wasn’t fair, I do believe I’ll have no problem with agreeing with her.  I know that doesn’t make sense, probably.  I love her so much, but how I wish she could have just been able to live the life she was given.

She’s gained, too, so much.  As have we all.  Her prayers the other night were, “Dear God, thank you so much for a mommy that loves me so much and a daddy that loves me so much and brothers that love me so much.  I love them so much, too.”

I have my own prayers, too. Lot’s of them.  Prayers of gratitude for the blessings those sleeping children bring to my life.

Tomorrow, life begins. Real life. Life, I’ve missed you. It’s good to see you again.





4 Responses to “Finalization – And all of the heavy thoughts that go along with it.”

  1. Wendi September 26, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Beautifully written! Tears as usual…I have a video from that time at her and Avahs orphanage as well. I hate it. I hate to watch it. Watch as they dissect and perform or dot perform. Sad that they waited. Sad that they are 3 healthy girls… With no to advocate for them. Sad for all the children in Korea who will never find their way home.:(

  2. Stephanie September 26, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    Congrats to you! I can totally relate. Our real life stated again this week after finalizing on our “foster son” last Thursday. No more case workers to clean for! No more explaining to MD’s or people at church…or everyone! Again, congratulations. 🙂

  3. Alison September 27, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Congrats on such a special day!!

  4. stephanie September 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Congratulations!!!! Rejoicing with you and completely understanding how mixed the emotions can be. Cora is living the life God knew she would live…with you. In the brokenness of this world, He brings the beauty of restoration…and a new family.
    I can SO relate to feeling like your sense of “self” gets lost in all of it. So glad “you” are reemerging. 🙂 Love.

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