The wait during the adoption process is killer. I’m going to be very straightforward about that and I’ve had a really hard time handling it, especially with the take control kind of personality I developed. I have a sincere belief that the only reason I survived some of my struggles is because God was preparing me for this journey. I went through different traumas to prepare me to help my girl through hers.
Now, please bear with me since this is going to take me a while to write, because I’m not good about being this vulnerable. We still haven’t gotten far, but it turns out that it has taken longer than expected because there was a massive computer issue that caused problems on our profile and it snowballed. However, the silver lining is what matters. As the wait continued we began to worry that we had been rejected for some reason and it finally got to the point that I was absolutely terrified of it deep down, although I kept trying to hold onto that hope. When they contacted us about the computer issue and what things they needed, etc., our case worker officially said that we are in the process. There’s a lot more ahead, but finally some confirmation and now we wait for the next step. From there we use my training and God’s direction, and we will get our missing piece. I will be a mom. I hoped, I dreamed, and I tried to prepare in every way I could come up with during that down time, but I was still so scared underneath. I’ve gotten used to wearing a mask because of my Fibro; “It’s my mission to get through everyday doing the best that I can. When you say I look ‘perfectly fine’, I know I am succeeding! I have years of experience with this now…and because you do not see the pain that I am in, I know that I am accomplishing my best. So, thank you!” (Fibro Affirmations, specific author unknown.) Since I’m so used to my Fibro mask, it wasn’t so hard to put on my “It just takes time” face, apparently. And I tried to mask it inside so that I wasn’t so aware of my fear, so that I could keep pushing and preparing. Now my second mask can come off and I can have full faith that I get to be “mama bear”. *grin* Who knows how much longer it’ll still take to get to that next step, but it’s in writing. We’re going to get there. We’re going to be parents.
While I was desperately trying to cling to hope and belief, L gave me the most beautiful Christmas gift to keep me going during such a hard time. He flew my best friend since childhood from California to host a Motherhood Shower for me. (A Motherhood Shower is like a Baby Shower, but they’re celebrating that rite of passage into motherhood that most adoptive mothers never get. People celebrate, give gifts, encouragement, and advice with a biological child. Or even with people that adopt babies. The age shouldn’t matter; this is still my first daughter and will always be my first child, no matter if we adopt another or not. I will be her mother for the rest of our lives, through the good and the bad, no matter what.)
I cropped out the details and names, but that was the theme and those were my colors. 1800 miles and we were able to do a bang up job of coordinating a neat little Shower, and it was truly a celebration of my journey into Motherhood. Best of all, getting to be with her for several days after nearly fourteen years without face to face contact, gave me such faith and hope. Not just in the adoption either, but in being strong through the struggles with my Fibro progression, my fear of failing Kiddo because of my illness, and so many more things that are so vulnerable that I’ve only ever talked with her about them. Some of them I never admitted to anyone else and worked through them with her help, and will never discuss them again unless my daughter needs to hear what I went through and how I got through all of it.
Back to the Shower now that I have cleared that annoying water that was pooling in my eyes (nope, I wasn’t crying. I don’t cry. Nope. I’m just going to keep saying that until I believe I’m just that tough. lol). I used to think I lost a lot of friends due to Fibro, but what really happened was that I learned who my true friends are, and some of those special people are family for us and will be for Kiddo. They’re the family we chose, so right from the get go Kiddo knows it’s not about the genes for us. It’s about love and friendship. And a small group of our family and friends came to my Shower. It really couldn’t have been better, other than having more time for some (I picked a day that had a bunch of stuff going on that I didn’t know about, which made it extra hard for some to attend the Shower, and made it extra special that they did). We went all out with pink and black, and glitter, oh my! *happy sigh* It was a slow prep process, but it really helped keep me working on the adoption in some way, which kept that flame of hope alive. As the invite says it was a cocoa buffet, so we had the most decadent and delicious hot cocoa (I’ll share the recipe later), with tons of mix-ins, and a few snacks, plus my mom got me the most perfect cake shaped like a puzzle piece, since our theme has been that we’ve been looking for our missing puzzle piece.
Sorry, had to take a pause and look at the ceiling. Might have been a cobweb to watch for. Not because I was teary eyed or anything, so stop thinking that! It was all so perfect for me. Intimate, loving, an amazing host that kept the pressure off of me, the encouragement, the games, and the most beautiful tradition of sending our hopes for Kiddo and my motherhood journey out into the world. It wouldn’t have been quite so perfect without L’s gift. Not just because she’s the best coordinator and host in the world, hands down, but because she’s a huge part of this adoption. When I was faltering in my faith due to another set of struggles there was no judgement, just love, compassion, and help. And that, plus the little bits of the Shower that we have up as reminders, helped me get through until we got the official confirmation that we will adopt. We. Will. Adopt. I just needed those reminders of His handiwork while preparing us for this new chapter in our lives. And next, a few pictures of our little set up…
As you can see, even Skully got in on the party, although I’m sure he wasn’t too thrilled to be in a frilly women’s masquerade mask, but he’s been dressed up in different things all year long for years, so I couldn’t leave him out. And all of those little hand painted puzzle pieces that were used as table scatter…my friend had the most brilliant idea of filling an empty candle tumbler with them, so they’re right by the tv and a constant reminder of our beautiful puzzle piece that we will get to meet someday. And next is the cake, now that my eyes aren’t so itchy. *grin*
I had to keep the party very intimate, so if you weren’t invited, it isn’t that you were snubbed, please believe me. We weren’t sure until a few weeks before that the Shower would get to actually take place and all venues were booked by then, so it had to be a tiny crowd that could fit in our cozy little living room. And this wasn’t the official Adoption party that everyone will be invited to. This was for me, my journey, and how best to help my daughter when we start out. If Kiddo agrees to an Adoption party, believe me, there will be a total loss of control and I’m going to go hog wild with a big ole party to celebrate her!!