Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Transperancy

It's hard to know how to share all of this. But I wanted to take the time to do so in case some of you were either taking this journey, considering it, or if you know someone else who has/is...I'm sure most all of you fall under that.

This journey has been so much harder than I could have ever imagined. I've done both...given birth and adopted and I have to say, adopting is so much more...overwhelming. Now, granted we haven't ever really struggled in getting pregnant, and I won't even pretend to know how hard that is. And my pregnancies may have been long and well, swollen, but really not bad. And my labors, well, I didn't ever use any drugs, so that was tough, but all in all they were good labors and I can't complain. And while I have struggled with the aftermath physically (read stretch marks, extra weight, and skin that I tuck into my pants), still it just doesn't quite compare to the overwhelming nature of adoption.

What I first discovered about adoption is how lonely it can be. It's paperwork that is done at home and sent to offices of people that you never meet. It feels chaotic and yet is so quiet. And while the people close to you occasionally ask how things are going, the reality is that many of them are asking half-assed and are maybe even a little unsure that anything is going to come from what you are doing. It's easy for them to deny it...they don't see anything happening...

I would walk around feeling very "pregnant" in so many ways and yet no one knew. No stranger asked me when I was due (or as often happen in my case...Please tell me there are two in there! No, there aren't...) or even awkwardly looked at me wondering if I was indeed pregnant or if I needed to lay off the Ben&Jerry's. It was so so lonely.

And even I struggled with connecting to the process. Maybe it was because I have done it the other way. I know what it is like to feel every movement. It effects your whole day when your pregnant...what you can and can't do, or eat. You have constant physical reminders from puking to trying to figure out how to get off the couch. But in adoption, it feels like so much more than paperwork and yet, it feels like only paperwork.

But then it happened...we were matched and I went. And that was maybe the loneliest time. Sure I had my friends (but not Anthony) and I was there with Nathan, but it was such an overwhelming trip and I had this new baby and I was trying to bond with him and fight to bring him home and take him to this doctor and that embassy and it was so hard, but I did it and we got home and I was tired and needed a good cry...

And now here I am, the mother of four and it has been hard to find the time to cry. It's been hard to take the time to process it all. It's been hard to sort through all the emotions. And people will come up to me and ask how Nate's adjusting and I want to scream at them, what about me?! He's adjusted great, but I've struggled. And it took weeks for me to really see how much I was struggling and really begin to just seek out for myself and talk about it with Anthony and others.

But now I am coming through the fog and I look at this boy and I smile. And I love to tickle him and make him laugh. Or watch him learn and try new things. And I am enjoying my girls...they bring me so much joy. I'm always on the edge of losing it, what mother of four, four and under, isn't?! But I am pressing on and I am doing well.

This last weekend was so great for us as a family. Just really fun. And at one point I looked over at Anthony and teared up and said to him, "I think we are okay."

God is so good and so present. Doing this without Him, well, I just don't understand how people think they do do it without Him because I know that even in those times when He has been far from my mind, His hand has still been on me. I look back on things and can't deny it. I would have crumbled if it weren't for Him. But with Him we are doing okay and will even do great...and I have a lot of hope in that.

Almost Done.

There is always something...

So, since we have been home we've known that there would be a little bit of legal stuff left to do. We needed to make sure Nate became a citizen and that he became Nathan, since his name is legally still IRAKOZE Daniel (Daniel being his first name). But we have seen a lawyer and he is filing what needs to be filed. Nate was already made a citizen through the process, so that was good to know and hopefully in the next few weeks he will officially be Nathan Irakoze Dummermuth.

It will be nice to have all the legal stuff done.