One of the more exciting parts of receiving a referral a few weeks ago was updating the referral roster on the adoption yahoo forum that I've been part of for years now. Maybe it was silly to be so excited about that, but I loved updating that site, and was glad to have to do it twice: once for the single roster; once for the sibling roster. It was a moment of euphoria for me and, as I typed in the date of our referral, I wished consciously for a way of infusing into each character the joy of receiving a sibling referral.
Yesterday, I went back into both rosters and removed the information about our referral. I had been dreading it, but it felt like a necessary step for me towards accepting what happened. It was a real low for me, to then see the revised list where we are, once again, a waiting family.
A waiting family. Waiting. What loaded words they are...more now than before even. It was such a relief not to be waiting anymore, for at least those few days. When else have I had to wait for something so important for this long? I can't think of anything. I'm used to being able to plan something, do the work that it takes to achieve it, and then obtain the thing that will mark the end my wait. But this whole adoption thing is so much out of parental control, and it makes me crazy: the powerlessness of the process; the inability to even ensure an end result...even when you think it's within grasp.
Yet, here we are again. And another, clearly unwanted, circumstance has forced its way into our adoption journey...our story, so to speak. I don't want this to be part of our story. This is not the way it was supposed to turn out. Right? Well, at least in my own mind. Surely, after eight and a half years, struggles with infertility (with admittedly miraculous results), completing countless homestudies and updates, going through two other failed processes and countries before re-doing our file for Ethiopia, enduring a wait that is already five times longer than we were initially told it would be, living through the bankruptcy of our agency in '09... surely after all that, we don't need to add loss of referral to the end of the list. But again, it's out of our control...and our reality is that another piece has been added to our story.
Looking at those rosters now I can see by the absence of our notations that we are, indeed, a waiting family again. But I stare at the list empty of our referral and there's an absence that is somehow more than an absence. There's a void. There's nothing to mark that our children were there, even if for just a while. I need to do something about that, to mark their rightful place there. I need to honour the place they hold in our journey. I need to update the roster again.