Dear Newly Adopting Mom

Dear Newly Adoptive Mom aka Emily of 2014,

AHHHHHH! You just submitted your paperwork!! It's official!

I know you're excited. You can hardly stand it; after all, it's only been ten years since God first put this desire in your and Kev's heart. The picture you took of the computer screen saying "application submitted" was the perfect photo opp. The picture was a tad blurry, but it was a great idea. There are going to be plenty more pics to come, just wait.

Ok, I know you are gung-ho, but you are gonna have to remember some things. So STOP for a second and pay attention!

First thing first, slow down and take a deep breath. I know what you're thinking. I just got this party started--why would I want to slow down? Listen girl, this is an international adoption, you need to pace yourself. It's going to take nine months to complete your homestudy and dossier even if you move fast. Yes, you heard me--nine months before you even get on the waiting list. You hadn't thought about that? The government does not work on your time table. Appointments get cancelled, sometimes people make mistakes that must be corrected, AND the mail is just slow. Take three deep breaths. I know I hate when Kev says that, but it works. I said BREATHE...fine, don't breathe. Just know, you are only making this harder on yourself. Woman, you are really hard-headed. You need to watch that.

Listen to your adoption agency. They are your friends. Remember that first phone call with your agency? Your caseworker gave you all the info you needed. She said once on the waiting list it would be at least two years before you got a call about a referral. I know what you are thinking. Psh, maybe two years for everyone else. This paperwork is merely a formality. The time frame doesn't apply to us. God gave us the green light so we are going to get a referral in record time. In fact, they will probably call me tomorrow after receiving my application and ask me to take a child that just showed up. Write this down...don't get cocky.

You can't "make" this adoption happen. Hey, master manipulator, I know you think you've got skills, but you can't manipulate God or His time. You think you are a fundraiser extraordinaire, but just because you raise money fast doesn't mean your new children are going to get here any faster. Applying for a ton of grants and qualifying for many of them doesn't mean your adoptive children are prepared for your family. Your girls praying every night for their new little brother or sister doesn't mean God has them ready to share mommy and daddy's attention. I know you think you can handle most anything that is thrown at you, but you don't know everything. Trying to control everything isn't going to make this adoption happen. Leave room for God to show up and do His thing! I know you're a planner, but this is God's plan, not yours. Make a are not in control.
Aunt Rosie and Baby Joseph

Be thankful you don't know all the details. I know you want to--but truly be glad you don't. A lot will happen in the three years you spend waiting to get to this point and even now, you are still waiting. Three years?!! Yeah, let's start there. Be glad you didn't know it was going to take longer than three years. You would have pulled all your hair out in the first week. First days of kindergarten for both girls have come and gone. First teeth have been lost and the tooth fairy forgot to show up at least once. Your cousin had a precious baby named Joseph and you love like he is your own. Be thankful for the sweet moments you have spoiled him with attention. Be glad you didn't know you would lose your aunt. You would've been dreading every moment. She had the relationship with you that you have with Joseph. Be thankful you didn't know your husband would change his job and you would have moved to a new state.  Time passed--things happened--life changed. Not knowing all the details left room for hope and surprises. Sometimes those surprises are fun, but not always. Some surprises are just slow coming, but they bring hope. Do you really think knowing all the details of the past three years ahead of time would have been any easier? Don't answer that, I'm you, I already know the answer.

Know who you are and who you aren't. You are a servant; you are NOT a savior. Remember what you are doing and what you are not doing. You are giving your life, not fixing someone else's life. These reminders are crucial. How you view yourself and your job as a parent to this child is going to determine how you handle the future difficulties and struggles.

Keep things in perspective. You are going to be humbled. You are not the only adoptive mom out there anxiously awaiting her child to come home, so get in line. Some people have waited less time, but many have waited longer. God is going to show you things in His time and His way. You are going to have to learn to shift your perspective from what you want in your time to what is best for your new child and your family in God's time.

Last but not least, Don't lose your passion, zeal and excitement. Waiting is so hard and as friends have told me, it only gets worse when you have a name and a face that you are specifically waiting on. The end result of God's plan isn't always immediate, look at how long it took the Israelites after they left Egypt to get to the Promised Land--it could be worse!

Hang in there. You are gonna make it,


Emily of 2017

P.S. To Emily of 2017, Hang in there. You are gonna make it.