Bureaucracy is Worse Than Contractions.
Yesterday was a busy day.
I was up at 6:30am and rushed out the door to renew my police check. Last time we did it, Tim and I waited in line with the little ones, in a small room filled with people, for over three hours. I'm not sure what happened this time, but I was in and out within 30 minutes. It was SAWEET! (I would have preferred that last time when we had busy children on our laps, but - you win some, you lose some). Then, later in the afternoon, I went to the doctor to renew my adoption health check.
I suppose it felt like a productive day, but it was also a reminder of how long this process is taking. An easy couple hundred dollars dropped, and this is not uncommon with people in the adoption process. I met a lady who was doing the exact same thing, renewing all her paperwork. She's been waiting yeeeaars to be matched with a child. It was kind of nice, if only for a moment, to connect with someone who understands what we're going through. That doesn't happen often.
One day I will write a post about the adoption and foster care system in Ontario - but it is not today. I just can't mentally go there right now. It also doesn't seem right to chomp at the hand we are hoping to feed us... soon. right? please. common.... please..?
We're still waiting on approval, still as ever hoping that tomorrow could be THE day we get the license... and not knowing whether we are any closer to our invisible goal as we were last month. It's a blind race. When people ask "would you still have started this process if you knew it would take this long?", yes. Easy answer. Because we're talking about a child, any amount of time is worth it. But I'm glad we didn't know. Just like I was glad I didn't know Samuel was going to be 9lb 7oz when I chose a natural home birth 😂 ...😭. Sometimes, ignorance IS bliss. Plus worry and paranoia don't really team up to make good decision makers.
I just hope the ending IS nearer than we think.
But then again, I said that last year. & the year before.
I feel angry, I feel overwhelmed, I feel frustrated, I feel anticipation, I feel hopeful, I feel grateful, I feel joyful, I feel sad... I feel a whole gamut of emotions really. & often at the same time. I think the main thing I'm finding is that distraction can serve a positive purpose. If the waiting is all I allow myself to think of, I will go crazy. Really, I will. So instead, I focus on potty-training, reapplying sunscreen on my pale children (at least there finally IS sun, AMIRIGHT?! 🙌) writing, watching re-runs of the royal wedding, gelato dates with friends, painting, and so on.
The other day, there was a little boy (about 13) who walked past me while I was waiting for Samuel at the bus stop. Something about the expression on his face, the way he looked up into the sky with wonder – just for a moment, my heart stopped. For a second, I thought it was Joy. I felt a rush of emotion. She's so big, and, Oh no, she's too close to the road! Within a couple seconds I went from feeling relieved it wasn't her so I didn't have to get her away from cars, to wishing it was her, just so she was near. It was odd to have that feeling, a world away from her. I almost can't comprehend that one day, there will be a clash of worlds, where Joy doesn't only occupy the spaces of my imagination, but my real life as well.
I'm not a fan of the nagging reminders of time's passage. The way the oncoming of summer is reminding me how last fall, as the snow started to fall, I thought it would be the last time I saw Canada's green grass, without Joy by my side. I definitely didn't think we would have to wait in line again for police check's, or have my doctor apologize for how long this is taking. Summer reminds me that it's been three years since we went to Uganda to bring Joy to school. Which is where she continues to wait. The rest of the students at the school are on holiday at the moment. Joy stays at the school with her dormitory mum. The wait affects them the most.
I don't really know what to say... this sucks. Joy is worth the wait... but, this just sucks. I can NOT wait for the time when Joy is with us through the changes in seasons, through anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays.
And honestly, my emotions aren't only purely of excitement. I am also nervous. We are not naive about how difficult the transition of Joy into our everyday lives will be. On everyone. Especially her. There will be SO much adjustment. She is 9 years old –that's a lot of life lived without us. She has significant developmental delays. That will take getting used to. But I am so sick of speculating. Of imaging or worrying. I just want to dive into the hard. To tackle the challenges head on, no longer in my mind.
My words today don't have anything particular or poetic to say. As I sat here, thinking about what I should write... I decided to just tell it how it is. This is what's up, this is what's going on. Still no updates. Still a ton of frustration. Still choosing gratitude in the little moments. Still hoping tomorrow could change everything. Or the next day. But oh wait, that's a weekend - and government workers don't go to work on weekends. I guess our lives – Joy's life – will have to wait until Monday. . . potentially (there you have it - a sneak peak into my mind).
Contractions are incredibly difficult. Mine lasted for days. But this whole bureaucratic process of adoption –– it's years. YEARS. If you know someone waiting in the adoption process, give them a hug. Please don't disregard the life that is growing in their heart. You may not see the bump getting bigger, but I can guaranTEE you, those prospective adoptive parents are feeling the growing pains.
Are you waiting in the adoption process?! Do you just LOVE it?! haha. Leave a comment – I'd love to connect!
Photo by Kelly Margaret Photography