Emotions Running High

So many of our sweet friends have been wonderfully supportive and interested in our adoption journey. Lately, we've gotten a lot of questions not only about the logistics of the whole thing, but about how we are doing and feeling during all of this...especially as travel draws nearer.

Here is the honest answer.

The past 6 months have been some of the most physically and emotionally exhausting months of our lives. Adoption is such a long process that for a while you can oscillate between simple day-dreams and relative stoicism because it is still so far away. Sure, the paperwork is grueling...but for the most part, it is "out there" and something to delve into later. Once that initial decision is made to adopt, life sort of marches on. But since we received our referral in September, everything has changed. In September, there was a name and a face...and the mood became decidedly more intense.

We are both feeling completely spent. With three relatively little kids, life is full. Our oldest is in school all day, but my other kids are home for a good portion of the time. The afterschool hours are full of shuttling to the various activities and any of my waking time before bed is for unfinished chores. Patrick has been extremely busy at work and with some travel, so I'm own my own for a good portion of the week. We have been busy moving our kids' rooms around, clearing out the nursery and handling various house organizational projects that will make life a little easier once we arrive home. Our list of things to do as we prepare to leave for Ethiopia seems impossible and it appears we may need to drag a U-haul behind our airplane. I'm hosting a couple of Christmas social events at our house, so we spent last weekend decorating and now I need to manage to fit in a little shopping and some holiday fun for the kiddos. So physically, we are pooped.

The surprise has been where we both are emotionally. Neither my husband nor myself are highly emotive people, but lately, we are all over the place. The emotional side of this is just so difficult to process. A friend wrote the other day that sometimes she "found the paradox almost unbearable." We are so thrilled to be adding a member to our family. We cannot wait to hold him, love him and begin the bonding process. I see his face and I am joyful. But the underlying sadness is always there. The sadness about what he has already been through - the circumstances that led him coming to us. I am happy briefly...but I immediately feel guilty for it because the story is so complex. It is a lot to comprehend. It is difficult to put words to it. We are excited for our trip - but very nervous about being so far from our other kids. We are ready for a baby, but we are fearful of the parasites and other issues we will have to address upon arriving home. Each pleasant emotion is immediately met with one of sadness, anxiety or fear...and after a while it becomes quite unbearable.

So, how are we doing? I could probably pick almost any emotion and we are feeling it. We are physically and emotionally exhausted. We are full of joy, sadness, excitement, anxiety, hope, discouragment...and on and on and on. I am weepy most days. I spend most of my day feeling overwhelmed. But even with all of this, we are still content. This is where we are supposed to be and God is showing us so much about ourselves, our idols, our sin. God has brought us this far and we will continue to "baby step" all the way to Ethiopia and back.

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