Confession. I have a guilty pleasure. I watch the Bachelor. I know it's lame, but somehow brainlessly addicting. If you've ever seen the show you know the phrase "all the right reasons" (or "for the wrong reasons") is annoyingly over-used. So, in that vein I thought I'd use it here.
I've been losing sleep about the latest tiny step in our adoption process (getting our updated I800a approval in time to send to Haiti). Crying about it. Sometimes short tempered because of it. I realized recently that I was doing these things for "all the wrong reasons". I'm not really freaked out to tears specifically about if I'll get that document in time, or that if I don't that our entire adoption could be affected...I'm freaking out because I'm just tired. Tired of years of collective disappointments. Emotional about such an extended period of lack of control over something so important. Overwhelmed at knowing that 4 years and 4 months into the process I still don't know our child's face...and that once we finally do that we'll still have a heart-wrenchingly long journey ahead of us.
On Saturday we received our updated I800a approval letter in the mail. Hurray, right? I thought so. Then I decided to just read through everything to double check it (wouldn't be the first time I found an error in a government document during this adoption). Sure enough. The officer approving our document made a change/typo that could have caused real problems. Of course I couldn't do anything about it on Saturday and knew I'd have to wait until Monday to call about it (and hope they could get it fixed and back to me before Chareyl leaves for Haiti on the 15th). I was shaking and trying not to cry. Mark wasn't reachable, so I walked next door to vent to my dear friend Sydnie. She kindly listened to my frustrations and we talked through scenarios of how this could still work out. And I realized that I didn't like not having control over getting this document done properly now, but that I did know that it would indeed get done and all work out...and that somehow didn't help me feel better.
It was then that I realized that I was getting all freaked out/emotional over this document for all the wrong reasons. I wasn't really upset about this document - it was just representing years of collective disappointments, frustrations, hiccups, change-of-plans, and lack of control over this difficult journey. I realized that then and verbalized it - I'm just tired. This is such a long, difficult process. I know it will work out, and I know it will be worth it in the end. I just want to at least be to the next concrete step closer to being done and having her home.
Somehow recognizing that I was putting all those years of emotions into frustration with this one tiny step helped me worry a little less about just that document and put things into perspective. It didn't resolve the emotions (and my eyes were a faucet of tears that wouldn't turn off during church the next day), but at least I was being more realistic and honest with myself about my emotional hysteria over that document. Later on Sunday, Sydnie came over with her daughter Ellianna and gave me something (along with a thoughtful card) that she said they'd been meaning to give us for a little while now. Ellianna's set of little girl Disney books (mostly princesses). It was such a sweet gesture and meant so much to me.
Here is part of what her sweet card said: "Here is a little reminder of what you are working hard for. I always hated when other women said it, but it is true - it will be worth it..."
Of course I love these books. I love that Ellianna wanted to give them to us for our little girl. I love that Sydnie recognized the "right reasons" why I'm so emotional right now, that it's not just about this letter - and that I needed some encouragement and solidarity right now. This meant so much to me, and I know that each time that we read one of these to our little girl someday that I'll be reminded of her bearing my burden with me.
By way of wrapping up where we are on that document - I did call USCIS and was able to talk to the officer who approved out application. After some discussion he agreed to fix the application and get it in the mail yesterday. We are hoping that it will get here in time, and if not he said that he will see if he can get approval to send an encrypted email copy to us. So! Here's to hoping it comes in time, and that it was done correctly. Here's to praying that Chareyl is able to deliver it to our file at IBESR and that we don't have to wait much longer until that approval letter is referenced before issuing an official referral to us for our child. So we can see her face. Hold her. And begin to know her. Because we certainly already do love her.