The new year has been ushered in by myself and my family, and one of my first thoughts on New Year's Eve as the clock struck midnight was that I could now say words that I had been so longing to utter. "Our little girl is coming home THIS year!" For months, I had been telling anyone who asked about our potential travel dates to bring Lucy home that it would be sometime next year. Those words made the first meeting and the first hug and kiss that I would give my sweet girl seem so far away. Simply changing those words to "this year," makes our first meeting with Lucy seem so much closer.
Now, what seems like a lifetime ago is the moment that I first found our sweet Lucy on our agency's waiting children's list. Since that time, I have been what we in the adoption world like to call paper pregnant. I am going through many of the emotions that can come with expecting a new child into our family, and I am also making preparations for our daughter's arrival later this year by beginning to fix up her room and buy clothing for her and other items that she will need. My husband and I have also been buried under a mountain of adoption paperwork (this is the paper part) and have been going to various adoption related appointments to meet all the requirements of our home study.
When I wrote my last post in December, we felt for sure that we would have our home study finished and approved by now. But, we encountered a small bump in the road. For one of our home study requirements, we had to have a background check done on each of us in every state that we had lived in since we turned 18 years of age. My background check was very simple. I have only lived in one state, Tennessee, all of my life. My husband, on the other hand, was in the Air Force before we met and has lived in several states. While he was in the Air Force, he was stationed in Blytheville, Arkansas for a time. His residency there, even though it was over 20 years ago, precipitated a background check from the state of Arkansas, and this is where the bump surfaced.
The background check information was sent to Arkansas in early November, Arkansas took our payment for the background check, and then we waited... and waited and waited some more. Our wonderful caseworker was vigilant and called the state office in charge of the background check several times to determine its progress. Rob and I honestly believed as of last week that the paperwork had been lost or was in an enormous, dusty pile on someone's desk never to be seen again. But, on Thursday (2 months and 3 days later) our caseworker notified us that the background check had come in the mail. We jumped for joy that our supposed lost paperwork had been found and that we were moving forward again in our journey to our daughter.
Isn't it always such a relief when you find something that you thought was lost? Can you imagine for a moment that you thought your parents or your family was lost? I overheard Yuli recently tell my sister-in-law that his mommy and daddy had been lost and then they came to Bulgaria and found him and brought him home to be with his family. This was adoption from my six year old's perspective. Mommy and Daddy were the ones who were lost and needed to be found before they could go and get him. Yuli also once asked me while we were watching a video of him with his baba in the orphanage, "Where were you mommy?" Holding back the tears, I could only answer, "I was waiting for you."
Just like lost paperwork, waiting is something with which most adoptive parents have a lot of experience. There are no definitive answers on how long each step of the process will take or how long it will be before that first highly anticipated moment of when you can look upon your child with your own two eyes rather than relying on the images in a photograph. In adoption, there are no absolute time frames, except God's. So, in the meantime, you wait. You wait for that precious moment when what was lost has now been found...when a family apart has been made whole....when Lucy comes home.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes on finding what was lost.
“For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto another brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.”
― Edmund Spenser, "The Faerie Queen"