Excitedly Terrified

We are down to what are the last moments in this adoption process. If this almost 4 year process was crammed into 10 minutes, we are in the last 10 seconds. We are waiting for the final phone call – that one where the paperwork is ready for us to bring the girls to Canada.

I am totally pumped on many fronts and fearful on many others.

I am excitedly terrified.

I am excited for the girls to come to Canada. And terrified as it is really only the beginning of the journey as us as a family of 6.

I am excited to walk alongside them as they learn a new language, taste new food and take in new sights, sounds and smells. I am equally terrified to walk alongside them as they are overloaded with many new experiences.

I am excited to build our family of 6 together. I am terrified of the parenting piece – of parenting children from hard places/trauma and all that brings, and parenting our boys through the challenges of seeing their sisters go through tough stuff.

I am excited for us to mesh as a family. I am terrified that that coming together may never occur.

I am excited for the change that is going to occur in each of us. I honestly believe that change is good. But I am terrified of those same changes in us because in spite of change being good, it can be extremely hard.

I am excited as I want to show them their new home country. I am terrified that they will forever hate everything about Canada.

I am excited because I love these two girls like my own flesh and blood even though they are not. I am terrified that there won’t be reciprocal love.

I am extremely excitedly and utterly terrified.

Meanwhile the last 10 seconds feel like they are taking forever. And my heart is in my throat.

Changing who I am

The beginning of the adoption journey has been interesting for our family. We have been prepared (as much as can be, by friends, family and adoption agency) for the roller coaster ride of it, but have so far only lived with the ups. Anticipating what is ahead.

We know there will be frustrating times. Times of dreading what is ahead. In reality these times can never be fully prepared for.

One thing that I was not prepared for (neither anticipating nor dreading) and am constantly reminded of is that of humility.

I have been humbled on numerous occasions in the last couple of months by many different people when they hear that our family is adopting.

To be humble or humbled is to be: meek, deferential, respectful, submissive, self-effacing, unassertive, unpresuming, or concerned with other people. To those of you that know me will attest to the fact that this is not me. I can be a pompous, in-your-face, disrespectful, assertive, presumptive, concerned-with-self individual. Not that I am this all the time but it comes out way too often. Most often when not needed.

Here are a few times that I have recently been humbled:

~Many people that hear we are adopting are quick tell ‘their’ adoption story – about a family member who adopted, or when they were adopted, or about the child they adopted. I am humbled that people would share their experiences, some of which are very challenging.

~Due to the cost of adoption, we have done a couple of different fundraisers (and continue to do so). There have been many times that someone buys something from one of our fundraisers and tells us to “Keep the change. What you guys are doing this for is really amazing.” As an aside, we don’t feel it is amazing. We just feel that it is something that we as a family are supposed and want to do. (It is not for everyone) This “change” that people talk of is often an extra 5, 10, or 20 dollar bill. I am humbled by this generosity. When we come home in the future with addition(s) to our current family I am going to be excited to tell them that people around our city and beyond are part of their story of coming to Canada to our family.

~Friends and family are excited for our future family addition(s) and so it comes up in their conversations with others. The result has been overwhelming to us. To the people that give $100 to a family member and say “give this to Brad and Leah for their adoption.” To those who donate vast amounts of quality things to the last garage sale. To those who help organize fundraisers. Many of these people are close friends and then there are those who live many hours away who we have never met. All of these people’s actions humble me.

~And then there are the children. They have brought me down more than a few notches. The one who gives some of his birthday money (Leah already wrote about) for our adoption. Another who created her own fundraiser in another city (Leah also already wrote about), knowing a little about our journey. The others who ask when our adopted child(ren) are coming home – just so they can laugh and play together. These kids loving attitudes, willingness and generosity humble me.

I have (and will continue) to be humbled. This journey is changing who I am.