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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Imagine My World
Imagine wanting to be a parent more than anything in the world. Think about the excitement of the prospect of holding this beautiful brand new baby in your arms. Feel the heartbreak as you watch every month pass by with nothing. Doctors wanting to cut you open just to look under the hood. More doctors wanting to put you on a medication that you have heard horror stories about. Picture the light at the end of the tunnel when you hear an unmistakable calling to find your child in a foreign country. Joy at the thought that God didn't really leave you out on the whole parenting thing. That He had other plans for you. That you are supposed to take a different trip to the same place.
An overwhelming fear washes over you as you stare at an ominous stack of papers. You must answer questions about the most intimate details of your life. You must complete reams of paperwork just to be considered to be a parent. Background checks, finger prints, medical exams. You start to question why is it that you are on this journey.
A day comes when you see something that looks like hope. It is disguised as a photo of a little boy. The most beautiful child you have ever seen in your life. Big brown eyes stare at you through the photo. This is your child. He lives 1/2 a world away.
With trepidation you board a plane. You fly across an ocean to meet a little boy that the Lord has led you to. It is amazing. Your can't imagine that you could feel so much love for any one person. He is perfect. Perfect face, healthy, 10 fingers, 10 toes. You know because you count them over and over. You hug him and hold him and tell him over and over that you love him and that he is your son.
Then there comes the day. The day you hand him to a woman. God how you wish you didn't have to do that. How you wish that you didn't have to say goodbye. You wish that this was the moment that was going to be forever. That you could whisk him away from this place, but no. You kiss him one last time. You tell him one last time that you love him and that mommy will be back soon to get you. And you walk away.
You board that plane again. Flying back across the ocean you wonder again why you were picked to take this trip.
Before you left you thought it would only be a short time before you got back on that plane to run back to your son. Imagine the discouragement when the person helping you breaks the bad news that she needs one piece of paper for you to go back. The horror as you read that yet another woman has killed her child, a child that she got from your son's country. Feel the outrage that this woman sparks as her actions not only end an innocent life, but stop you and everyone else from bringing their children home.
The days pass by. They become weeks and then months. You have nothing more than photos to look at. The photos are everywhere. In your home, at work, you carry them with you everywhere.
Imagine that a foreign government has complete control over your child. They refuse to send you updates on your child. You have no clue if he is alright. Has he been ill? Is he walking? How much does he weigh? Are you still able to go back to get him?
Four months later there is news. The foreign government is going to investigate every agency. They are going to make the determination if your agency is good or not. With bated breath you wait. Two weeks later there is good news. Your agency is good. The government says they will give you the paper soon.
In the mean time you watch your friends give birth to their children. You watch other mothers travel to pick up their children. All the while you sit and wait with no word. Milestones pass. Birthdays, holidays. Events that you were sure you would have your child for.
People ask why you can't just go back and get him. They ask what is taking so long. They ask, when are you going back. All you can answer is I don't know. Over and over again, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
On the outside you show a brave face. You smile and know people ask because they care. On the inside you are secretly withering away. With every I don't know your heart breaks a little more for the boy you said good bye to.
More months go by. It is eight months now. Eight months with no word. No hope. Other agencies are getting the paper. Other children are coming home. If you don't hear anything by first thing in the morning then you have to claw your way through another day of waiting. They are on the other side of the world and sleep soundly while you try to manage another day with the brave face.
Your only solace comes in the form of the others. Those stuck just like you. People who have become like family. People who have looked into their children's eyes and had to say good bye, mommy will be back for you soon.
You start everyday with hope and watch it turn to despair, all the while putting on the brave face.

Imagine that this is your world.
I will completely echo this sentiment. The average range of emotions that I run through daily go anywhere from despair, to anger, to hope and back again. I want to scream, I want to cry, and there are those days that I come close to giving up. But failure is not an option. So on those bad days I prop L up and she props me up.

Anonymous Seegal said...
Lisa, I am sitting here crying for you. If I could make ONE wish today, it would be for you to get the call to go pick up your son.
It is just not enough, but for now all I can offer is a hug and a "hang in there". :(

Blogger Margaret said...
I'm right with you Lisa and Derek. As different as our situations are, they're also really similar.

As I hear about more agencies their accreditations I try to feel happy for the people whose wait is over. But, frankly, the only accreditations that would make me happy are for my agency and AIA.

At 7 am every morning my summer hosting group has a prayer circle. You are always included in my prayers.

Anonymous Cathy said...
I hurt for both you and Derek in your journey. There is absolutely nothing positive I can say other than we keep you both, as well as Alexander, in our thoughts and prayers. May God give you peace and comfort.

Blogger Rhonda said...
I certainly am moved by your post. Its tough for me just waiting on a referral, I can't imagine what you and Margaret are going through having already met your child and waiting to be reunited. You're in my thoughts.

Anonymous serena said...
Lisa dear, Wow you are eloquent and that was a post that hits me where I remember the pain. That was my world for two years while I waited through lost referrals and countries that closed.(I never met Mr. Right, so I don't know if there are fertility issues or not so don't pretend to understand your pain there). My adoption story would scare most PAP's so I don't share it much. However, I survived it with the most precious child to show for it. I was never more depressed in my life. I started to wonder if I would recover. Would I be a rotten parent after such an experience? By the time things started moving, I had lost hope and had no excitment, no joy with my new referral. Kept expecting the worst to continue.

Well it didn't. My child is a joy anyone would be proud to call theirs.

I wish I had the answer to how to get through such a journey. If you ever need an ear, please let me know. Its totally worth it....and it will end. Best wishes for it to end very soon.


Blogger Gaye & Andrew said...
Lisa...My name is Gaye and my husband, Andrew and I are awaiting a referral for a son or daughter of our own from Kaliningrad. Reading your post made me cry...I felt like you were describing my life, my heart. I have a blog as well, but I have not really poured my heart out in it as you did...I feel braver now. I would love to hear from you...

Blogger M3 (Mary-Mia) said...
Lisa this is such a beautiful and heart wrenching description of what you are going through. It is so hard to read, and I can only imagine the pain you and Derek must feel as every day passes. I'm sending you both good thoughts and wishes. Hang in there.

I am so sorry for your pain. I truly hope that that stupid ink will unfreeze and that stupid paper will be signed. I wonder what your little one must think after so long. I will keep hoping for the accreditation in Russia to happen SOON. Bureaucracy sucks.

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting.
Melissa ;(

Blogger Lauri said...
Oh man Lisa- i cant imagine what you are going through-but i can relate to alot of it- the total feeling of having no control. Your post gave me goose bumps it awakened my worst unspoken fear. As we prepare for trip 1- i cant event hink about saying goodbye and then being at the mercy of others as we wait for our court date. Im so sorry for your pain & heartache.. im praying for you every night

Lauri ( hugs)

Blogger Avonlea said...
Lisa, I wish I new what to say to make it easier to get through each day, what to do to reunite you with your son, if I did, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I will keep you and your family in my heart and prayers.

Blogger jeneflower said...
I had a dream last night that I met you at a dinner party. I was telling you how much I enjoyed your blog, but you just looked at me confused and shook your head and said, "That wasn't me." I was sad about that. I am glad I am now talking to the right person. Thanks for helping us through the wait.

Blogger Kate and John said...
I read your very poignant post and I feel for you. I, too, left my son in Russia, saying goodbye, I love you and I'll be back soon. I was lucky to go back in 4 weeks. It's so hard to know that your family is waiting on some paperwork. Right now we are waiting on paperwork slowdowns in China. I pray for you and your family, I pray for your son and I hope you all are united again soon.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Lisa, I am also crying for you. My prayers are with you all. Lisa Marie

Blogger Brian & Rebeca said...
I pray you get to see your child soon again. I am crying as I write this … so I promise to pray for you. I have been in the place of emotional pain before so I will pray .. I just don’t know what else to say.

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