Bracelets for Our Brothers
Help Us Bring Our Brothers Home
Things that keep me up at night
Posted on January 22nd, 2017

​“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
― Corrie ten Boom
I love the above quote because of its absolute truth.  I have often felt the burden of carrying present moments as well as the concern for the future. It is a heavy burden, and rarely helps anything.  It also drains you of not only your strength but also your patience, love, and ability to think clearly and rationally about the present moment.  I have been working diligently on mindfulness, breathing properly, and managing the wide range of emotions that a completed adoption and pending adoption bring.  I'm still working on it, though, and there are things that are always at the back of my mind.  Here are a couple, the things I dread the most:

1.  I was reading a friend's blog post the a few weeks ago.   She is currently pursuing another international adoption in a different country.  She made a decision not to pursue a child from the orphanage her child who is already home came from because she did not want to step foot into those conditions again.  So, she chose the same country, but a child in a different orphanage.  It was at that moment that it hit me like a ton of bricks-- we are going to have to go back to that awful place.  We don't have a choice.   We are going to have to spend a whole week interacting with our sons there.  We are going to then, a few months later, have to go back there again to pick them up.  When we remove them from that terrible place, it will be such a wonderful feeling of relief, but it will also be mixed with having to see it again and being reminded of what we are removing them from.

I am working to emotionally prepare myself for this.  This will not be easy.  But it must be done.

2.  Getting on a plane and leaving my sons behind.  In our last Skype session, younger brother asked the translator, "Why can't they just take us home after the end of the first trip?".  Good question, buddy.  Because bureaucracy.  Because red tape.  Because even though the system made our family an exception, we don't get any exceptions to the rules.  So, after spending a week with our two beautiful boys, that Friday we will have to tell them goodbye for several months.  Doing this with the girls was the single most awful experience I've ever been through in my life.  I am not looking forward to doing it again. Dear students, friends, family, administrators-- if I am a walking zombie for about a week after we get back, please have mercy on me.  This is tough stuff.

3.  The wait between trip 1 and the court date.  As if getting on a plane without your kids isn't enough torture, there will be several months that we wait to receive news of a court date.  Information will the scare, we won't really know where we stand, and we will hope and pray that when the court date does come, there are no problems.  After the court date comes and we pass, we will wait several more excruciating weeks before we are cleared to pick them up.  This is so hard.  There were moments I harbored delusions of buying a plane ticket and going over there, renting a car, and driving secretly to the orphanage (I remember the way!).  Haha.  The only thing that prevents you from doing this is the knowledge that it would ruin everything.  So you stay in your place, and you wait, and you eat a lot of comfort food.  I am not looking forward to this stretch of time.  And, I am already asking for grace and mercy from my friends and family.  I was not pleasant to be around during these months last time.  I vow to do better.

So far, though, what gives me hope is that I am handling the process much better this time.  Knowing what to expect helps us all to manage our anxiety and fear.  I know this process backwards and forwards now.  There is no mystery.  I know exactly what comes next and can prepare myself emotionally for each step of the way.  Thus far it has served me well to understand better, anticipate more, and it also doesn't hurt to have two children at home already to focus on.  It leaves less time to angst.

I am also so much stronger.  Going through the last 9 months with our girls has strengthened me in ways I never imagined.  Things that used to upset me no longer do.  They have given me perspective beyond my wildest dreams.  Strangely, through working through their trauma, their past, their multitude of challenges, I have found a strange sense of peace through a new lens.  I see things differently.  What used to be a crisis no longer is because I see what an actual crisis looks like.  What used to be urgent no longer is because their needs are the urgent ones.  What used to be painful no longer is because there is no pain greater than understanding their past trauma.  How I used to define success is no longer relevant, because watching their small victories has changed my entire viewpoint and has allowed me to have grace and mercy on myself and others.  What used to make me happy still makes me happy, but there is no greater happiness than watching them thrive and overcome. 

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