We received the final piece of our dossier on Friday. This last piece of paper will allow me to mail our paperwork, and officially put us waiting for travel. I don’t know how long that will take. I feel like it has taken forever.
When I was in elementary school, we learned about people in Ethiopia for social studies class. I remember being so taken with the poverty and the smiles on the faces of those in the pictures. There were statistics about orphans and life in this country that had taken by heart. I told everyone that I would adopt a whole house full of African orphans one day. I was naïve of course, but I was also connected.
The love affair didn’t stop.
I have read history books, books on the different cultures, missionary accounts, blogs, and anything else I could about the people of a continent with which I’ve never been to. So many countries together suffering, but so much flourishing in other countries on the same continent, so much joy in the midst of sorrow. What keeps them smiling and kind? I still don’t know.
Life didn’t exactly take us to Liberia as we had planned 8 years ago. The country closed. Our path was directed a different way, Ukraine was to be our destiny. I have a deep appreciation for Ukrainians. The culture is one not easily understood by westerners. I’m blessed to have two children from their country as well as my experiences there.
I assumed that once we adopted Anna and Tanner, we’d never adopt from Africa. I thought my dream was over, but that didn’t keep me from praying and reading and hoping to one day be involved in a mission trip or something. I just felt so connected. It’s truly unexplainable how I felt my heart in a place so far away.
I know why the connection now.
I see her and she is my daughter. She is my shared daughter, for I will always share her with her birth mother, even though her birth mother has long since disappeared. I am connected to her. In my mind I can’t fathom that any potential adoptive parents could have seen her and passed her over. Yes, she has special needs. Yes, her brain has a looming question mark hanging over it. Yes, her future is unclear in many regards.
When I open my emails on Friday afternoons, I open them to see this tiny girl described as having brain atrophy, a large head circumference, delays, and a brain hemorrhage.
She is absolutely perfect.
I want to be able to reach out to her and say I am coming soon.
I have always been coming.