With our two adoptive children, it is all about waiting. We started the adoption process seventeen months ago today. All the required paperwork and tasks for the adoption process have long since been completed. The girls’ rooms have long since been completed and are waiting. The girls’ clothes that have been given to us by many generous people have long since been folded and placed in drawers or on hangers and are waiting. Their beautiful names, Jesula and Redjina have long since become a part of our everyday thoughts and vocabulary. We’ve read books and countless blogs about child adoption, Haiti, and the Haitian culture.
I use every day of my allotted time off from work for trips to Haiti to be with the girls. That amounts to about one week every three months. My wife has only been able to go twice in 12 months. It is unfathomable how much they grow and change in the time between our trips to visit. It doesn’t get easier leaving them there each trip. It gets harder. I can’t explain why, but Haiti feels as much like home as home does.
All these months, weeks, days, hours, minutes later the end is still not in sight. Most people no longer ask us when the girls are coming or if we have news. I have quit asking for updates as the result is either no response, or no news. I pray throughout each day that we will receive news that the next step of the process has been completed. Every time my phone rings I anxiously look to see if it is someone who may have adoption news. Every time my phone vibrates with a new email I look in hope that it will be from our attorney in Haiti. There are many sleepless nights, times of self-doubt, of fading faith, of hope buried so deep I honestly fear it will never again see the light of day. Somewhere along the way we let go of thinking they will make it here for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or their next birthday, or for the new school year. We try to suppress any and all sense of anticipation.
There is one amazing commonality with all four of our kids, biological and adoptive. Whether through God’s miracle of birth or through God’s divine appointment, I loved each one of them forever, the moment I first laid eyes on them. As soon as I held each one, I knew two things with absolute certainty, this is my child, and I am their father.