October 7, 2007

Numbers

Sometimes people ask me, or e-mail me for my LID. My "Log in Date" for China.

I was like most - every month the date would roll around and I would rush to post about my latest "LID-Aversary". I would wax thoughtful, hopeful, and positive while secretly wondering if anything I was typing was remotely true. You can check my history back in April, I think for the last one.

But several months ago a strange reality sunk low our ever lengthening LID-struck mentality. No matter how much we counted down, or up, LID's were no longer "happy". So saying "Happy LID to me" sounded trite. There was nothing happy about it. Actually, quite the opposite was true. Every time that date rolled around, it had become another reminder that we were getting older, so was our expire-able paperwork, and our dreams of being parents seemed further and further away. Instead of a happy "we're __ today!" it was more of a "@$(*&#$(*@&#!(@##@# stupid LID...@(*$)(#@*$ crappy process".

I posted several months ago that I was done posting false sentiments about our wait. We were not happy. We were not hanging in there. We have no idea when we will ever get a referral. We have very little confidence in the "system". We feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the adoption process in general. We feel slightly bitter that it's so hard to give kids a good home. And we are tired of pretending the know the answers to give well-intending people who ask about Keira.

Our monthly LID celebration had become, for us, a way to gauge not only where we were in terms of the "line" but it had become an emotional attachment to something we falsely assumed had an end in sight. When we started this process, the wait was 10 months. That was back in '05 for the curious. Yes, we're old-LID-timers, as are many of our dear friends. So celebrating our LID was a way of counting up to the inevitable. But as we all know, 10 turned to 12, and 12 to 14, 14 eventually became 18 and 18, 22.

I think when this grabs hold of your attention, the fact that you're not counting towards a goal any longer - you're just counting - you start to feel jaded by your own sentiment. In other words, a celebration becomes a bit of a joke - doesn't it?

There is a bright shiny aspect to this story. In the midst of letting this "happy" date slip from both our calendars and our minds, we found a sort of peace in waiting for Keira to come home. This day now comes and goes every month, and while the reality of the number of months we have waited to meet our little daughter continues to pass by and grow, the load has become slightly easier to bear because we have one less let down a month associated with it. The monthly reminder that she's still not here. The little note on the calendar that mapped out exactly just how long we have waited, missed, and longed for her. And the double agony of wondering every time that date rolls around, how many more we will count until she is ours. Now it's just the 29th and it more than often rolls on by without a second glance from either of us. Truly, I can say that we hardly ever remember it until is has passed by.

So you see, this is why I dropped from the ranks of those who celebrate this date. To many it is a comfort and a necessary. To many it IS a source of celebration, a reason to be happy. And for those I really am glad. It's absolutely a personal preference. And I'm no saying that it's silly or that people who take comfort in it shouldn't bother. I am speaking only for us. This isn't meant to be bitter or harsh. It's simply a vulnerable topic that I rarely broach here on the Keira Show. But that doesn't mean that people don't ask. Because they do...

For Keira...Mom and Dad are tired. We will never give up - but the less reminders we have that she's not here yet - the better situated we seem to find ourselves each month when the timeframe slips further away, yet again. And better suited to handle the lack of referral days and numbers that are coming through. Right now we talk in terms of years, rather than months. As in "well, if we have Keira home in '09 we could do ____". Rather than guessing or surmising when our number will be called, we just rest knowing that all the counting up or down in the world will not bring her one day closer to us - but that letting go of it, for us, meant peace of mind until she does get here. Trying to analyze numbers, count referrals from years past and compare them to now, etc - all seems somewhat wasted when she will be here no sooner than she will. What can be gained?

Letting it go, for us, allowed us to pursue other things. To put our focus elsewhere. To find that underneath all the adoption proceedings, we still had a life. That there were important things to do, and valuable ways to grow outside of the emotional chaos that adoption has become. It also freed us up to consider moving our plans to adopt a second child, up. Why wait? In this process, time certainly seems to be on your side if you have something major you need to do. Renovate your house? Go for it! Saving for a big vacation post adoption? Take it now! Plan to adopt another child? Well, you know...

By the way, it's 3-29-06. "Happy LID" to us...some eighteen or nineteen months running now....

Good grief...

6 comments :

Christy said...

I think you completly summed up what so many are thinking right now. There is nothing to count on in this process and unfortunaly, each month seems to bring great disappointment. To let go and move on is in no way giving up. YOu are not giving up but allowing yourself to move past the numbers and the chase.

This adoption thing was the hardest thing I ever had to endure. The end result is the culmination of your dreams but the road to get there is long and rocky. We were skipped the month we were supposed to get our referral for absolutly no reason (CCAA lost our file). It delayed us one month but that was another agonizing month and was a bitter end to the long hard wait. Of course when we got Mia's referral, all the pain melted but I will never forget the pain and trials of the wait and it makes me so appreciate and grieve with all of you each month when referrals come out. Each month my heart just aches for those waiting.

Keep the faith-- it will happen (I totally know that does not help but I just had to say it :)

Christy :)

Stacy said...

Very well said Christy. I stopped posting our LID date a few months ago. It seems almost futile to talk about it now when there are so many still ahead of us. There have been a couple of months that I received an e-mail congratulating us for hitting month so and so, that is when I remembered it was our LID anniversary.

It's sad that we can stop counting months and start counting years.

Whew! Don't want this to be a downer of a comment. Wish I knew a joke to insert here. I don't so I'll leave you with ~ Have a GREAT Monday!! :)

Headmeister said...

You know what Christie? I think I'm going to start doing the same thing - "forgetting" our LID date every month. I'll recognize the yearly anniversary because, well, as you said, we're counting in years at this point so why not.

But thanks for the idea here - I think it might help me with this wait...

This is such a great post BTW - very well said, very well written, and very much in the heads of all of us out here, too.

BTW - wanted to email you directly after your comment on my blog but I can't find your email address anywhere her! Please email me at Headmeister3@yahoo.com so I can write back to you privately!

Hugs!
Heather

Doris & Dan said...

Your words express your feeling so succintly. For us, each time we tick off another month done, we feel like we have accomplished something. Made it through another month. Another month closer. How close, we do not know yet but for now that is all we have.

Keep smilin!

Elisa, Jarrod, Thomas & Zoe said...

I so feel for you, it's hard to wish someone happy Lid-iversary when you know the wait is so tough.
The last few months before Zoe came were tough and I spent them pretty numb and even gave up blogging for a few months.
It's so hard to deal with every month that has gone and then you don't know how many more to go.
keep going and keep busy, not sure if it helps ..just keep plodding through.

Andrew & Stephanie said...

Very well said. I'm somewhere in between you and Doris! ...but in the SAME boat! :) We too are trying to live life outside of this waiting. It's hard, but there is a lot of peace in moving on with Life during this wait!!