>Adoption Process: Roller Coasters

>As many of you know, the adoption process can be a rollercoaster ride.

Many, many folks just love roller coasters…hence the popularity of expensive theme parks like Six Flags and even Disneyland. Certain aficionados travel around the country to find the best old wooden rollercoasters, believing those provide the most “authentic” coaster experience.
Even in my own family, we have kids who love roller coasters. Take Booboo, that boy lives for a great rollercoaster ride – the scarier the better. If there was a roller coaster named something like “Twisting tower of furious warp speed death spiral,” he’d be twitching to go buy a ticket, be the first in line. That’s my Booboo. He’s seventeen, you make the connection.
Me, I don’t like rollercoasters. I don’t like the sheer terror, the speed and the plunging drops where your heart stomach lifts in your rib cage and then plunges down as your breath is stolen in the speed of the plunge.

photo by space potato

So, for me, this has been a tough week, adoption process wise. This week has been a roller coaster in the adoption world. As many of you know, the U.S. CDC has issued new guidelines for visas and immigration, for all immigrants to the U.S., not only adopted children. But these new guidelines threaten, or seem(ed) to, the timeline of an already lengthy and dicey process: the process of finalizing international adoptions and the timeline of going to pick up your child. The unknowns of this have many of us parents wondering what it means to our upcoming, hoped and prayed for, travel plans. The speculated delays range from “none” to “more than seven months or so.” And really, none of us will be able to know which one of these times applies to us until after we pass court and start stepping through the new visa protocols.

As one of the parents who has a child who doesn’t fit the tidy box of these parameters, there are a lot of unknowns yet to be played out. Thus, this week has been filled with rumor, speculation and yes, sheer panic. And yes, a great lot of that is because I am a high responder and also something of a cynic. Yup, it’s true. Me.

This week started with the wait mode creeping of the coaster car up the hill, waiting on our court date, getting closer (1 1/2 weeks!). Then on Wednesday, we crested another peak with a great update on our girl, complete with a new picture where she looked really good. Little did I know that that same afternoon, I was going to fall into the steep careening panic of potentially devastating timeframes, now being broadcast across the web. And I was strapped in. Caught. All I could do was kind of soundlessly yell, “No!” as my heart and stomach plunged into the sick worry of “what does this mean, really? NO!”

Stop the coaster, I want to get off.

But it doesn’t work that way. And I was waiting for our agency to get back to me on more concrete info, and more specific to our girl….and I’m really bad at waiting. Control freaks, I think, hate roller coasters. So, I reached out to friends and tried to wait, keep busy, as Coffeedoc put it,”Don’t borrow trouble. Wait.” Right. I’m SO good at that…..

Finally, what seemed like ages but was only 24 hours, our agency got back to me. And they clarified. And they clarified for our girl, “it seems like it will go ok.” They have a few more things to check out, regarding all this, but so far, that’s what I’ve got. And, for now, it’s enough, it has to be.

And today is different. I have chosen to step off this roller coaster, to unbuckle myself and step out.

I am quite very sure I can only do this because of the prayers of many dear ones and because of my desperate plea (over and over, begging) for the grace to be still, to wait without being consumed by worry (as is my natural m.o.). And as I went to Mass today (offered for our sweet M) and then adoration, I got to wrap prayer around me and sink into it, like a soft homemade quilt. And I felt the grace of that comfort. And I have looked back over this week and realized that even in my panic, in the twisting plunge, I can see grace and beauty: in the tremendous support of friends like dear Jess, Shelly, Lori, (and others who know who they are)…in my husband, knowing how much this rattles me and his caring.

I realize this is just one instance, one loop, if you will, of the roller coaster of international adoption. So many others have buckled in for much more death defying loops, many more twists and drops. This is not about me, except in that, I guess if I have to even look at that loop, I am grateful to be able to find the small dabs of beauty in it all. The support and prayers of blog and home friends cannot be measured, and cannot be repaid. But they can be appreciated more than can ever be told. And they are.

So, in order to honor that grace and beauty, I choose to step off the roller coaster. To wait. It is less than two weeks to court and to the new embassy protocol cascade. I choose to wait and pray and hope. I’ll wait (and see) right here by the side, I’m not in line for the ride.