I waited 10 years to become a mother.
I "officially" waited 13 months to become a mother.
And then I waited 2 months more to meet my child.
The wait was hard. The wait was long. The wait was difficult.
However, in a way, the official wait was also easy. Once we had decided to adopt a child, I knew I was going to become a mother. There was a child waiting for me a the end of this road. I had not had that certainty before.
I had to jump through hoops but my life really didn't change all that much. I went to work, I hung out with friends, Frink and I traveled a bit. We did the same things we would have done even if we weren't adopting. We were waiting to be parents of a non-existent, hypothetical child but we were also living our lives as a married couple with two incomes and no children.
One phone call changed that all. We got the official word that we were parents. There was a child, a little girl, waiting for us on the other side of the world. Once I heard that and saw her picture I was done. My life as I knew it was over and my life as a parent began.
Well it was ready to begin, I just had to wait a little bit longer. Two months. The longest two months of my life. Eight weeks. Sixty days. An eternity. Forever spent staring at that picture, the picture of my child.
Then, finally, I was a parent. The next three years were a blur of activity, laughter, sleepless nights and joy. It was every thing I had imagined and more.
Even though we were happy, we knew our family wasn't complete. There was one more child, out there somewhere, waiting for us. Or maybe he wasn't out there yet and we had to wait for him. We began the process and began to wait once more.
We made the decision to move forward last fall but had some false starts. We started again this year. We could have finished the process earlier but I always held off. I was waiting for something, I didn't know exactly what, but I was waiting.
I was waiting for something to push me forward. I was waiting for a phone call, THE phone call. The phone call that said you are a mother. I finally knew that there is a little boy waiting for me on the other side of the world. And I knew why I had been waiting, I was waiting for him. Once I heard that and saw his picture I was done. My life as a parent of two children began.
Well it was ready to begin, I just had to wait a little bit more. WAIT. I had to finish some paperwork on my end. WAIT. We have to get a court date in Ethiopia and pass court. WAIT. We have to get a visa appointment with the American embassy. WAIT. We have to get travel dates. WAIT. We have to wait an unspecified amount of time for someone half a world away to tell me its time.
The wait this time is excruciating. I have his picture. I love him. I am his mother. However, I have to wait to hold him in my arms. And that is the hardest part.