6 years to 6 weeks

A little explanation about the last post (of which Chris has updated since I started writing...)

There are 2 important court dates for us in Ethiopia. The first one, since we've signed over our power of attorney (in Ethiopia) we don't have to be present, but that's the one where the court decides if our paperwork is in order and we are suitable parents. I have to admit, it's nice that they figure that out before we fly out. The second court date is the one where the official adoption takes place, and we have to be present for it.
The first one, as Chris so eloquently stated, is May 21st. On the 'Gardner timeline' this doesn't mean much. Paperwork gets stamped, been there, done that. But in reality, it means that the second court date will be scheduled 2-3 weeks after the first.

Let me do the math on that one...

So our conservative estimate of "Sometime this summer" became "6 weeks" in the course of an single email, which incidentally was not from our Adoption Agency. The Agency called and left a voicemail, but we didn't check the messages until after we got an email from another adopting parent with the same court date. It was kind of like getting a phone call from someone claiming to be your new roommate when you didn't know you were accepted into the college yet. It's not that we aren't ecstatic, just no time to process.

Six weeks.

Six weeks!

And just for the record, If Chris and I act dazed, confused, or just generally burnt out, it's probably because we are. We have lists that don't end and about 45 things sitting in the #1 slot. I know not everything will be wrapped up beforehand, but I feel like if it doesn't get done now, it's going to have to wait another 15 years. We need new doors, we need to get that tuck-pointing done on the chimney, we need to drywall the closets... Need. Need. Need.

And yet when people ask us what they can do for us, our answer has been either, "Nothing yet" or "We don't know." And it's true. At that moment, I can't think of a single thing that needs to be done. I either blank completely or my inner-voice reminds me that, "You could remove the asbestos insulation in our basement" isn't an appropriate response.

I also feel like I haven't been appropriately reciprocating the enthusiasm of our friends, but it's nothing personal. You're excited, I'm excited, but for those of you who are married folk and had to stand through a long receiving line at your wedding, you know you just reach a point where it's hard to smile and it's time to get on with the party. I really am excited, but my face doesn't always reflect it.

The other night, before getting the May21st email, I had kind of an epiphany.

I was ready.

I don't think I've told myself that in the last 6 years. I just wanted my kids. I wanted the travel part to be over and to be back home. I was ready for the planning and the preparation and the paperwork part of the whole ordeal (I mean process) to be over, and I was ready for the next adventure. I was ready to spend my evenings after work with my kids. I was ready for games and lessons and skinned knees and tantrums and hugs. I've gotten really good at waiting, but it was time for something different. I was ready and what I really needed, wasn't going to be solved with a trip to Home Depot... it was my kids.

We talk a lot about adoption happening "in God's time." If you're a cynic, that's how us religious types console ourselves while we wait for some injustice to pass. If you're God fearing, you are generally advised to use "the time you are given" to learn something. This will, more often than not, be in the life-lesson/character building department and generally painful, but ultimately totally necessary and life changing.

Maybe patience wasn't the lesson. Maybe it just took me 6 years to really be ready for children.



Lori said...

Wow congratulations on the court date. We will be praying for your court date and safe travels.
Lori Laughner

Carpenters said...

I'm so happy for you! I had the same long to-do lists and not everything got done before our children came home. Our living room is still not painted, but you're right; the important thing was that our children are home. Congratulations on your court date. I can't wait to see their pictures.

With Love,

Anonymous said...

o.k. now you've gone and made me cry. you stinker.


Nicola said...

Awe man, I'm cryin' here... I haven't even looked at my computer since we saw you guys the other day, and THWAP! 6 weeks! Oh my gosh, way to move from slow motion to fast fwd x16. ;p woot! :D


christophertadhankins said...

That certainly explains the blank looks you both had on Sunday - I just figured it was the coffee (or lack thereof!)
I'm glad that God's timeline is becoming more apparent - but I certainly sympathize with wanting to cut in line! I'm so thrilled for both of you, knowing what kind of joy you're in for as those kids arrive and become the best thing in your lives!