We first learned of our son’s sister in November, and we’ve been in the “process” adopting her ever since. Adoption and waiting are two things that go hand-in-hand. With a child that you have given birth to, you have that 9-month plan, and you know that one way or another the baby will be born in 9 months or sooner, but with international adoption, the waiting becomes something indescribable. Waiting can take 9 months or 2 years. Of course, a good adoption agency can give you approximations, but it can still vary. With MR, our case was a little different, and since she was already 5 months old in November, we thought that once the ball got rolling, things would fall into place pretty quickly, especially given the fact that we’d adopted before and that we adopted her brother. The waiting is all part of the process of checks and balances, during which your personal lives are scrutinized, making sure the adoptive parents are eligible to adopt and that they fall within the acceptable criteria set by the child’s birth country. Despite all the joy and thrill at the prospect of becoming parents through adoption, at some point, as an adoptive parents, when friends and family and friends of friends whom you barely know continually ask you about the status of your child, you begin to just resign yourself to the reality that milestones you’d hope to experience with your child will not be experiences you get to share with her and that you won’t get to tell her about those milestones from a parent’s perspective.
Today is one of those days for me, for it’s her first birthday. I had very much expected, perhaps unrealistically, that we would spend this day with MR, and that our son YM would be able to experience it with her. Of course, we will have so many more milestones to share with her and to witness as she grows, but anyone who has raised a child from infancy knows that a lot changes in those first 12 months. With our son YM, even though we brought him home at 6 months, I was the first to discover his first tooth (on the day we met him), we celebrated his first birthday with him, we heard him call us O-ma (Korean for Mom) and A-ba (Korean for Dad), we introduced him to his first foods, and we witnessed his first steps. It’s been only 8 months that we’ve been waiting for MR, and we have so much to look forward to. We just don’t know when and it’s become tiresome answering people’s questions about when we’ll get her. I find myself in a state of holding my breath and I’ve had to stop thinking about her much, even though her picture is the first I see when I turn my phone on.
So I go on and hope that maybe next month will be the month we bring her home. That’s my birthday wish for you, my daughter.