I've often heard it said that, after bringing one's newly adopted children home, there is a short honeymoon period to be enjoyed before one might expect things to become rather difficult for a while.
Geoff and I have decided that this is our honeymoon period: Post court; pre-homecoming. This is the time when we can relax (relatively speaking) and enjoy the knowledge that things are coming together as far as our adoption goes. We've passed court, and the kids are finally ours; but we're not yet in the position of having to help our three children cope with whatever they will need to cope with, as they adapt to a whole new world. This is a blissful and absolutely naive time when we don't yet know what we don't yet know, and when we can wallow in the joy of making preparations for what is to come.
I feel pregnant, in a way, being at this point in the process. I say this carefully, and with some reservation, because I know the pain of years of wanting to become pregnant so badly and not being able to, and I have no desire to hurt people who might be reading this and who have been (or are) in a similar position...especially given that we now already have one child. So let me explain.
The years leading up to Matthew's miraculous (I almost typed immaculate but that would have been a pretty big oops) conception and birth were tough years in so many respects. I so desperately longed for a child and we were attempting both fertility treatments and adoption options, hoping that one of these would result in a child to add to our family. For a long time, I wondered if it would ever happen. It has crossed my mind on many occasions in the past few weeks that I think of the years leading up to this time in our lives very much like I think of those hard years before Matthew's birth: It's been just plum hard waiting years (and years) for a referral and waiting to get through court; but then, just like pregnancy was like heaven for me (the one time in my life that I felt my body was doing what it was designed to do), so too is this time in our lives. I'm in a heaven of my own these days: I feel such joy; relief; a sense of thanksgiving. Our children are coming and, just like for Matthew, we're getting ready for them: We're preparing rooms; purchasing clothes; talking excitedly about what is to come; dreaming about possibilities.
I also imagine Seth Asrat's and Lizzie Senait's actual entrance into our lives will be a little like our experience of Matthew's entrance: We were somewhat naive about what awaited us; we were sometimes not sure that we'd be able to 'pull it off' (raising a child, that is); and over time, we settled into a routine that we suddenly couldn't imagine being without, and living with a child that we couldn't imagine not knowing. My hope is that, a year from now, we're at the point of not being able to imagine our lives without Seth Asrat and Lizzie Senait either.