Very similar to the wait in adoption, particularly international adoption.
Things seem to mostly make sense.
But not exactly, and they don’t always work in the expected way.
Take falling in love.
That’s a classic, right?
We all know it, been there, done that, can sigh and wilt into a reverie over the magic of it all…humming the latest love song as we go about our normal day.
Until you fall down the rabbit hole of adopting a child from a world away.
And then love is all topsy turvy.
It’s love, but in a different way, at least while you wait to see if you can officially declare this child “yours.”
You are virtually given the child, through pictures and information.
Sometimes (like us, this time) even meeting them briefly and getting snagged and connected then (whether you realized it at the time or not).
Then you have to jump through many many hoops for them, in order to be allowed to claim them.
Then you are approved to claim them; you are “referred” officially.
And then you wait for court, and hopefully travel.
Hop, hop, hop.
And this is where Wonderland becomes so very literal.
You wonder, will you pass court, pass visa, travel soon?
Or be stuck, held up, and have to wait in this weird no man’s land of parental limbo.
You want to love this child, you have written them letters of love and received them back.
The words have been given.
But it’s a strange sort of love, before you hold the child.
It’s a weird uncomfortable suspension….
And the fear of not being able to go get them and hold them soon, of being told, hurry up and wait some more, maybe for a long time, no we don’t know….. it hurts.
It hurts just like regulation style love, when it’s not accepted or allowed.
It hurts like a mom, who is fighting for her kid,…right there in that breathless hollow just below your ribs.
And you think: I was given to her to love, she was given to me to love.
I need to climb out of this rabbit hole and just be allowed to do it.
And then, as I am stifled in the wait, I realize and important thing.
I love her.
I love her, not with the lingering gaze and brimming heart as I watch her sit nearby….
But I love her, in that I will fight for her and am consumed with figuring out how to get to her, how to make things right for her.
My kids, one or another, have wondered out loud about how we get so focused on her, we don’t even know her, really, she’s not here.
And I agree, but point out that love is also true commitment, not only sparkly eyed blushes.
That we committed to her, head, heart, will…..she is our child, and so now she feels like our child in that acceptance and commitment…that love.
And she is far away.
And she needs to come home.
And we will move mountains to make it happen, if only given the chance.
Because whether we are in our normal regular life or in the rabbit hole of the wait…..we do love her, we looked at her, and we fell.
We love her.
We want her home.