Saturday, November 8, 2008
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.
I could have spared you months and months of blathering by just posting this picture. This picture describes our adoption journey so far.
It describes it completely.
About two years ago I dragged Steven to an adoption seminar. It was sponsored by these people. It was depressing. There were at least a dozen women weeping quietly during the opening remarks. The couples in the audience were full of despair. They had suffered losses and disappointments. They were at their wits end. They were a grim looking bunch. We fit right in. Steven said,"Losers, a room full of losers." We felt like losers. We were all unsuccessful. We could not have a family. We were dejected, depleted, and depressed. We were not alone. This was the first formal adoption seminar that Steven had come to. It was like pulling teeth to get him there. I had already decided that adoption was our next step. Steven was reluctant to say the least.
Over a year later, (actually a year ago last Wednesday) Steven and I attended another adoption event. (Yes, it was a whole year later for those of you out there with a reluctant spouse). This next event was at the home of the woman in the picture. That's her on the left. No, it is not Thandie Newton. This woman had an open house for prospective adoptive families.
In California, (back then) you needed to find an out of state placement agency for your adoption. This open house was sponsored by Children's Home Society and Family Services. I am not sure if I can adequately describe what happened that evening. This woman, let's just call her Thandie because she is a dead ringer for her, was anything but a loser. We arrived at her house and were greeted by several small children. Thandie had adopted three children from Kazakhstan, one from Korea, and one from Ethiopia. The wee Ethiopian had been home just one week. Thandie helped present a slide show about the adoption process. She was so honest, open, and funny about her experiences. Her husband was as beautiful and open as she was. The kids were obviously thriving in their care. I am not describing them well enough.
Give me a minute....
Optimistic. Joyful. Full of Life. Unafraid. Full of Wonder. Elated.
They were the complete opposite of us in that sad auditorium a year prior. They were radiant. They were down to earth, smart, funny and willing to share every single detail of their experience.
Like I mentioned, I had already decided that I wanted to adopt. It was Steven who still needed a little help.
Help arrived. Help arrived in the form of the tiniest Cindy-Lou-Who. Cindy-Lou-Who bounded down the stairs in her fuzzy footie pajamas, with her pigtails swinging. She plunked herself down in her mom's lap, threw her arms around her neck, and laid her head down. She was smiling. She was secure. She was breathtakingly adorable.
On the way home, or maybe it was the next day, Steven said,"Okay, Let's do it." We filled out the application the next evening.
Today we went to a picnic sponsored by our agency.
The little girl that Steven is smiling at in the picture from today is Cindy-Lou-Who.
There she is, just as beautiful as she was a year ago. She is looking into the face of Kristina.
Kristina is our social worker. We hadn't met her until today. She lives in Minnesota. She is the woman who is going to tell us who are children are.
Glancing over from across the park, I had one of those full circle (or at least half circle) moments. There was Cindy-Lou, holding hands with her Ethiopian sister, Thandie, Kristina, and my once reluctant husband. Cindy's new sister, who just came home from Vietnam two days ago, was there too.
This is the second time this week that I felt a huge surge of hope run through my veins. My worries and anxieties about our adoption were temporarily erased.
I looked at how far we had come, and I saw a small, adorable glimpse of our imminent future.
Not bad for a Saturday afternoon in the park.