Used to be that we celebrated every month down as "another one bites the dust". What started as a nine month wait at the beginning quickly became ten and then 12 and 16 and 20 - and you know the rest. Somewhere along the line of blogging and even talking within our own home, we stopped counting. Not when we started the process to adopt Quint - but well before that.
It's not that we gave up - it's that we got tired and depressed about it. We foolishly set up a nursery for Keira when our dossier went to China. LID is 3-29-06, for those who weren't sure. We officially surrendered an entire room in our small 3-bedroom home for her - and willingly. So for over two years, that room has sat as a daily reminder, not of what's coming - but instead of what's missing. A constant jab in the heart, if you will, of someone that we planned for who didn't come home when we thought she would. Day after day, and month after month - we added things and changed this or that - hoping that our efforts at holding out hope weren't in vain. That room is now an emotional space that neither of us have the heart to even entertain changing in any way. It can't be touched, essentially - because that is too reminiscent of defeat or abandonment of her before she even gets to see it. No, it stays as it is and it will until she is home to see it for herself.
Long ago, I came across an LID "prediction" site that I would visit off and on. A friend linked to it in a post, and I think it was curiosity that drove me to it. You enter your LID and they give you a formulated prediction of when you'll receive your referral. I entered mine today and it calculated a possible referral on or around 5-31-2009. I was kind of OK ( as ok as you can be) with that - because I think that's the date that I had set in my heart as the most likely possibility, based on the recent trends and numbers.
This is what they had to say about people who are starting their adoption journey with China:
"The people receiving referrals now have waited about two and a half years. Their total time to adopt a child from China was about three years, although they were told at the time that it would be less than one year. If you are just putting in your dossier right now, we expect you will wait at least six years from the time your dossier is logged-in for a referral. This will make your total time to adopt from China, from initial decision to adopt until receiving a child, more than seven years. It is our strong recommendation that you avoid adopting from China if at all possible, as we believe that if you are pursuing adoption, it is probably because you are interested in having a child in less than seven years."
Is that surreal for you to read? It was for me. And I'm in the middle of it...never thought it could happen and here we are.
I can't deny that adopting Quint and bringing him into our family has given me a peace and a sense of purpose that I was longing for. Having him here has drowned out the cry of my heart and given me a soft perspective in my waiting for Keira. Though she was the first child of my heart, she will now be my second and presumably youngest child. This was a hard concept to get a hold of at first - until it took on shape inside and I relaxed into it.
Having Quint to love and hold and snuggle has given me comfort and blessings of which I cannot express adequately here. But selfishly, it does not fully quench my hearts desire to also hold and love and know my little Keira Joy.
I want to confess here that as I have continued to watch my blog buddies - with whom I have shared almost my entire adoption journey - struggle as they wait and the months drag out, I am ever burdened for them. I sometimes feel guilty because I have such a sweet respite in my little son - a delight and a reason to get up in the morning that I never imagined could be so wonderful. (tiring and exhausting, yes - but wonderful nonetheless) Even though I long for Keira to come home - I have comfort in my soul, because Quint has taken so much of my hurt away. So I feel ashamed to say that I am sad and missing her. Or selfish to admit that I am tired of waiting for her. I feel this way, because so many of my friend are waiting still.
Over a year ago, when we decided to pursue a second adoption - some thought we were nuts to tamper with our Chinese adoption in this way. We got many stern warnings from well-meaning people who told us that we were quite possibly throwing away our entire wait for Keira. Since I am a firm believer in God's perfect timing - I look back now and can't imagine not doing what we did. Consider that our agency requests that if you have given birth or adopted a child while waiting, that you allow 12 months in the home prior to bringing your new child home from China. If our referral prediction holds, Quint will have been home 12 months and 2 days. Can't time it any better than that! God, of course knew this full well and led us down the road we were meant to travel. Had we not been listening or obedient, we could have missed such an amazing boy and incomparable blessing. That thought makes me shudder!
So we aren't celebrating (can you call it that?) LID's or posting often about Keira - but mostly, it's out of honest sensitivity to those who have walked this road with us and are still waiting on their sweethearts to come home. We're still waiting on our sweetheart too - her name is on the wall, her clothes are hanging up in her closet, her blankets are folded gently in her dresser, and her dolls and stuffed animals are waiting for her in her sweet little crib. She has Christmas ornaments with her name, and a big brother waiting to play with her.
Never forgotten or far from our minds
Just waiting and hoping