>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.

10 thoughts on “>Adoption Process: Roller Coasters

  1. >You are an amazing writer. Have you ever thought about getting published? I am not kidding. You wrote exactly what I was feeling last night when the update came. At that point I had decided that if B had active TB, I was moving to Ethiopia for 6 months. Jason said… worrying is an inefficient use of your time. Oh, if only things were that simple. Then this morning… devotional was…. 1 Peter 5:7-10. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (is how it starts, and it only gets better) Do you think that He is trying to comfort us? At that point, I too got off the ride and am enjoying a latte watching on the sidelines. We are praying for you, your family, and M. Thank you for articulating what so many of us are feeling.

  2. >Jen, I DO think we are being given some comfort, some grace. Thanks be to God! And here’s where I’m at, on the sidelines: God loves her (and your B) more than I do or can. And He knows what is best for her (which I believe and have made my pitch…is coming home asap). And so, I can let go, step off, observe and hunker down and wait. And pray. And hope. And that’s about it. So I will. For you and your B too! Thanks for this. Love M

  3. >Just LOOKING at roller coasters freaks me out!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am eager to hear more good news of progress for your precious daughter waiting. She has your picture now and is learning how this whole process works. One day you WILL be there, right by her side ….. who knows you might even both ride a real roller coaster someday! Or … maybe not! … shopping for earrings together sound much more fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs, dear friend!! Will keep praying you through. ~Shelly

  4. >I had not heard of this latest news! I am so sorry for you and all of the families who are looking at a longer wait because of it! It is sooo hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. I didn’t think I was a control freak until we adopted and learned that the lack of control I had over the situation DROVE ME NUTS!!!I’m so glad you are getting off of the roller coaster, but don’t beat yourself up if you get sucked back on again! That is your daughter you are waiting for and we mothers are so intense in our love and protection of our children that it’s only natural!!God Bless!!

  5. >Wow, I hadn’t heard about the new TB protocol. So glad you’re able to step back and just be with the situation. I wish I was able to do that more often. Keeping you all in my prayers that things go smoothly with court and with the new embassy protocols.Thank you so much for your words of support today!

  6. >Jen, you have my heart…but wait…if you look at the last rollercoaster picture, to the far left, the two red/white tracks appear to form a heart! So, you see, the adoption-rollercoaster ride is for those who truly have the heart for the journey!

  7. >Ugh. I remember those feelings of emotional highs and lows, just feeling like you had to stay on the ride, no control of what was over the next hill, just had to ride the ride. The pictures alone just give me knots in my stomach. You’re right. Each day around the ride is different. Each day brings different coping mechanisms. Each day has a hint of grace and beauty if you choose to see it. I am glad you see it. I am sorry this past week has had so many highs and lows. I have been thinking of you all and keep checking the calendar. The court date is so close. Know that I am waiting and praying and hoping right along with you.Rebecca


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