This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What it feels like

My friend Julia is one smart cookie.  I always enjoy her perspective on things.  She's an out of the box, colorful, fashion designing, eco-conscious, astrophysicist, soon-to-be mother of 2.  I've been wishing a lot lately that I'd gotten to spend more time with her while she was here in New Haven--she's recently moved away.  
In a recent comment, she asked,

I've wondered what it felt like to prepare for motherhood when you're growing your family through adoption... It's always great to hear your perspectives.

Her comment has made me think a little more carefully about what I write here.  Often, I write to chronicle the process of growing our family through adoption, but I don't always take the time to talk about what it's like on the inside of my head.  Truth is, adoption probably makes up more than 50% of my thoughts every day and at least that fraction of our conversations at home.  It's also true that many of those thoughts and conversations are about practical details--I'll copy the birth certificates if you can get them notarized at work, then I'll pick them up and mail them off.  Or else they're dreams of the future--When the kids are home, won't it be great to speak Portuguese with them, or take them to this or that museum, or travel here or there?  

Since this is the only growing-into-motherhood process I have experienced, I have nothing to compare it to, it seems perfectly normal to me, and therefore Julia's question is not an easy one to answer.  I've read a bunch of books, talked with professionals in the field and people who have been through it on the parent end and on the child end.  I've taken an online course on international adoption.  As a couple, we've talked about issues of language, culture, naming, discipline, school, work and faith.  Even so, we're sure we have no idea what life on the other side of that miraculous moment will look like.  We don't even know how old our children will be.  How can we know how to prepare?  Sometimes it feels like we're walking in the dark toward the edge of something unknown.  All we know is that this question-filled darkness is peaceful and we're sure that the newness on the other side is something that we will drink up and learn to navigate step by step.  

I think that when getting ready to be a parent, one's mind can never be prepared, but you know you're ready when you're heart is prepared.  

Does it sound like we're prepared?  


botanyhead said...

You're so right. You can't "be prepared" you can only get more prepared. Any big step is like that, marriage, buying your first house, having children....etc.

Michelle said...

Now.. I'm certainly not the expert by ANY means.. but I do think having your heart ready is far more important than being physically ready no? I would think that a family who loves each other and is connected by their hearts can get through just about anything (in my economy). And I know that you guys have most of the pieces together, the biggest one you need now is the kiddos. I'm so thrilled to know they will be coming to such amazing parents who will be delighted to welcome their little faces to the clan and enjoy each moment as it comes. You guys are terrific and I'm blessed to call you friends.

Julia said...

And in contrast with you, all I EVER write about is the inside of my head. :) Alas, the self-indulgence... Anyway, as I was reading your thoughts, I realized how universal it is to have that feeling of walking toward the edge of something unknown, especially when becoming parents for the first time. And you can prepare, like you two have done such a great job of doing, but maybe it is just plain impossible to FEEL prepared. :)

Steve's Brother said...

OK... it took quite a few moments to get the tears to stop so I could see the screen clearly again. The Beth Guckenberger video is wonderful. I'm ready to go get the book NOW.

I don't know how you have the priviledge of knowing my friends Brent and Michelle, but I pray that they are as much an encouragement and exortation to you as they are to me.

Godspeed as you recklessly pursue our Heavenly Dad and the child you've asked Him to send your way.

yours and His-
Kevin Kohler

PS is there a way to format that video on your blog so that the right edge isn't cut off or is that just my screen?

Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot said...

I think you've done all you can to prepare and no you never feel prepared. Not even when you think you know the due date!

You guys will be great parents, because of all your preparation and the continually learning you will do as you raise your children!