Friday, August 7, 2015

2.5 pregnancies

I'm still pregnant. (I really can't believe it.)

The day I thought I'd deliver Baby O came and went. And now it's so far gone I don't even remember what I did that day instead.

I haven't even hit the magical 40-week mark, and I'm READY to hold this baby. (I'm a few days from 38 weeks, if you're wondering.)

It's nice to know, however, that the day I'll hold her is coming, and it's coming soon. Even if I pass my due date, it will still be within this month.

Imagine not having a due date.

That's how this adoption feels. Actually, this adoption feels like we have had several due dates, and we've passed every single one of them without a hint of a new one.

The original process was supposed to take 6-9 months total. That would have put Clementine in my arms in the same amount of time it takes most babies to grow en utero. That would have put her in my arms in early July 2014, at the very latest.

That date came and went.

Her first birthday was July 25, 2014. That date came and went, too.

When DRC said they were halting the issuance of Exit Letters in September 2013, they said it could last UP TO one year. September 2014, one year later, came and went. She still didn't come join our family.

Christmas 2014 came and went, too. It would have been such a joy to take her to family gatherings, buy her gifts, show her off in sweet little frilly Christmas dresses, and let her eat my mom's famous Christmas brunch. But she still wasn't able to come to join our family.

April 2015...We were told kids would be given Exit Letters "soon." Officials alluded to July 2015 as the due date for reviewing files and getting all kids home with their families.

Brad was able to meet her, hold her, and love her in DRC for three glorious days. It was like feeling the kicks and hiccups and seeing the face of Baby O in my belly, but it was even more real and out of my grasp. Clementine has a personality, likes and dislikes, bonds, sass, a beautiful smile...(and some truly awesome hair). We thought she'd join us very soon

The end of July, a very hard month, came and went. No kids were given Exit Letters. The process continues to change, the due date being pushed back each time. Promises keep getting broken.

We have been "expecting" her for nearly 680 days...that's the length of nearly 2.5 pregnancies. It's hard on a heart. It's hard on a body, too, in case you're wondering. (Lots of chocolate and ice cream consumed on those hard days of waiting.) Other parents have been waiting nearly three years to get that Exit Letter...that one piece of paper that says their children can leave the country.

Sometimes it's hard to be present with the kids we already have and love. I have been testy lately. My kids have felt the sting of my disappointment in this wait for two babies. It bubbles out in my wrath over spilled milk (no crying, but there is definitely a harsh exhale of breath as I clean another mess). It bubbles out in my impatience over seat belts that aren't fastened yet, books that aren't put away yet, pillows scattered on the floor. It bubbles into my thinking, my inability to express myself or answer 700 questions patiently, or help them get another drink.

This waiting is tiring. It weighs heavily. It hurts, and keeps me up at night. It's uncomfortable.

It's nice to have a due date for one little girl, but it's so hard to carry the weight of another sweet, precious child across the ocean.

Dear Lord, thank you for the four beautiful children in our family, even if they aren't all here yet. Please provide peace and patience. Please remind me that you are completely in control, that when you say "It's go time," the timing will be perfect and exactly what you've always had in mind. Please provide rest for the crazy journey ahead. Please help Clementine know that we love her and are waiting for her. Please keep both babies safe and healthy. Please hold us through this wait.